“There was a heaviness about him,” says Geier. “I could tell he wasn’t in the mood to chat, so I pretty much left him alone except to pass him the mustard when he pulled an onion and a heel of bread out of his pocket. A couple weeks later, he came by the bar and gave me a flyer to a show he was doing at a flea market. The sound system at that flea market was crap, but his voice was something else. I’ve been in my share of bands and wasn’t expecting much from a clown singing karaoke from a boombox. But I’ll be damned if his singing didn’t get me all choked up.”
The two soon became close friends, with Big Mike acting somewhat as a confidant, and the pair travel all over with Puddles Pity Party, Mike speaking on behalf of Puddles since the clown chooses to stay silent.
Originally from River City before kicking around Atlanta, the sulking serenader gained momentum after hitting the road as guest performer on the 2010 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live tour and 2013 Eels tour and making special appearances at Seattle’s Teatro ZinZanni and NYC’s Sleep No More.
It was Halloween 2013 when Puddles then collaborated with Postmodern Jukebox to record an epic version of Lorde’s hit song “Royals,” which instantly went viral on YouTube, having received over 29 million views so far. You may also recognize Puddles as quarter-finalist from Season 12 of America’s Got Talent and most recently on AGT’s The Champions 2020. The “sad clown with the golden voice” has captivated audiences and media from around the world, building a fan base of more than 397,000 on Facebook and over 757,000 subscribers to the Puddles Pity Party YouTube channel.
Puddles has since performed all over the planet, garnering rave reviews at festivals like Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, Perth Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Fest, Belgium’s Gent Fest, Outside Lands and the Kennedy Center’s District of Comedy Festival. He was a feature performer in La Soiree’s 2014 Southbank show in London, which won the Olivier Award. He was handpicked by Neil Patrick Harris to perform Just for Laugh’s “Circus Awesomeus,” gala filmed for HBO Canada, and Jack Black selected Puddles for multiple performances at Festival Supreme. And he recently enjoyed a Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace.
Today, with touring and live concerts halted in the wake of the pandemic, Puddles has been busy producing a one-hour musical variety show series on Veeps.com that features lots of special guests like Jack Black, Weird Al, Penn Jillette, Tim Heidecker, Mark Ryden, Neil Hamburger, Rebekah Del Rio, Sid Krofft, Michael Des Barres, Petra Haden, David Dastmalchian, Cait O’Riordan, Nicole Atkins, El Vez and Jolie Holland. The softhearted crooner hopes everyone is taking good care and wearing a mask, so that some day soon he and his fellow performing artists can get back to touring, and Puddles can resume giving free hugs to all his P3ers.
“Puddles gives an emotive performance that resonates with all kinds of folks,” says Geier. “The crowd really responds to him. There’s something about a giant sad singing clown that comforts us, let’s us know it’s ok to feel, to show our feelings. It’s a sad and beautiful world, and we’re all in it together, even when we’re totally alone.”
Word on the Street:
“His special effect is a textured voice laced with melancholy…What makes him transcend the trope is his vulnerability.” – The New York Times
“It seems like a parody. But when Puddles opens his mouth to sing, it’s beautiful. Operatic.” – The Boston Globe
“Fantastically brilliant…originality at its best.” – Simon Cowell
“Clever and often hysterically funny… (Puddles) is ideally suited to songs popularized by belters old and new like Tom Jones, Sia and Celine Dion, all of which he performs with tear-jerking bravura…” – LA Weekly
“What a voice he has. Brilliant man. Love him.” – Eric Idle
“Puddles Pity Party is the damnedest thing…If I could sing like that, I’d never shut up.” – Michael McKean
“Wow…a perfect, powerful avant-garde art piece…Genius.” – Penn Jillette
“I love him so much.” – Aaron Paul
“Pagliacci by way of Pee-Wee Herman and David Lynch.” – The Atlanta Journal Constitution
“A laugh-out-loud, life-affirming hour filled with power ballads and pathos.”
***** – Herald Scotland
“Saw one of the greatest performances of my life last night by one of the world’s most original performers.” – Matthew Gubler
“This is quite brilliant.” – Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
“If the inspiration for the Pity Party appears simple – a tragic clown with a beautiful baritone – Puddles works it until he becomes an archetypal figure, an embodiment of the romantic despair that infuses so much popular romantic music. At the same time, Puddles is fun, compassionate and an all-round entertainer.”
***** – The List
“Calling Puddles Pity Party a one-man show feels a spiritual disservice…so maximally expressive he could be a cartoon, or a deity, something conjured from pure positive energy…we’re made to feel as important as he is…fostering a warm and inclusive environment…”
**** – Fest Magazine
“A master of persuasion by gesture…a good-natured pantomime with a big lovable and cuddly clown.”
**** – Herald Scotland
“…the talented performer with the taste for the ridiculous should not be underestimated…Puddles keeps a smile on your face right to the very end. “
**** – Broadway Baby
“Puddles’ ability to interact and connect with his audience, making them the stars, leaves a much deeper impact than his intense vocals.”
**** – Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
“With his unique blend of soaring vocals… Puddles plays games, pokes fun and eventually wins his audience over with his golden voice.”
– The Australian Daily Telegraph