Now with over 11 million YouTube views, the whiteface clown Puddles of Puddles Pity Party has intrigued audiences across the country with his powerful, yet somehow solemn, rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier” on “America’s Got Talent.”
Puddles has a booming, operatic voice that trails off in a way that is reminiscent of speakeasy jazz. He pulls on the puff balls of his clown outfit and fidgets with his fingers. In some performances he’ll engage the audience, drawing laughs from them as, despite his shy appearance, his personality fills the room.
Puddles himself doesn’t do interviews, never talking, only singing. But close friend Mike Geier — who has never been caught in the same space as Puddles — is happy to answer any questions he can.
“The world’s kind of noisy enough already,” Geier told the Charleston City Paper regarding Puddles, “I think he’s also just a little bit on the bashful side.”
This isn’t the clown’s first foray into viral video, though. In 2013 he recorded a rendition of “Royals” by singer Lorde with Postmodern Jukebox, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 19 million times.
Geier himself also has a history as a traveling musician. His band “Kingsized” covered songs like Elvis Presley’s “In the Ghetto” and he’s worked in dinner theater in productions such as “¡Caliente!”
Closer to home, Geier once sang the National Anthem for a Braves Game, and occasionally composes music for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late-night programming segment.
Nearly 7-feet tall, Puddles can, to some, seem off-putting. His melancholy demeanor and angelic voice paired with a sad clown costume might be enough to make Atlanta’s coulrophobes run screaming.
But, despite that, Puddles has developed a cult following. According to the Charleston City Paper, he tends to show up suddenly and unannounced to bars where he will belt out his latest work and deliver his particular brand of emotional honesty to unsuspecting audiences.
“Puddles Pity Party” will be live at Atlanta’s Center Stage on Dec. 21 and 22.