Puddles Pity Party

Location: Portland

A 7-foot clown walks into a bar. He motions for a soda water and sits there staring at his drink. The year was 1998 and Puddles had wandered into the Star Community Bar in Atlanta, GA where bartender Big Mike Geier first laid eyes on the sad, silent clown. “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 425,000 on Facebook and nearly 800,000 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. Since 2020, with touring and live concerts halted in the wake of the pandemic, Puddles has stayed busy producing more than a dozen episodes of his Still Sequestered Show, a musical variety show online series 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, Michael Stipe, Patton Oswalt, Nicole Atkins, El Vez, Mastodon, Amy LaVere, Jake La Botz 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 serenading all his P3ers in person. “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.”