Times Square is populated by a galaxy of performers dressed as characters from cartoons and movies. They pose for photos with families, hold babies and even help tourists find their way. They also demand money.

After a spate of unfortunate episodes involving some unruly performers and attention from the tabloid press, city lawmakers are looking to regulate the characters. This could include issuing licenses and background checks.

During a recent tour of Times Square, dozens of costumed performers were milling around the Crossroads of the World, working hard for their money and helping tourists get snapshots.