It has to be hard to be a clown these days. Rapping clowns (ICP! ICP!), killer clowns (Pennywise), and alcoholic clowns (Shakes) aren’t doing clowning any favors. Puddles, a 6’8” clown who performs covers of classics like “I Who Have Nothing” along with melancholy riffs on contemporary songs like “Losing My Religion” and “Where is My Mind” as well as more uptempo “smoosh-ups” of “Sail Away/Let It Go” and “My Heart Will Go On/Enter Sandman” is sure to warm the heart of even the most stalwart of clown-haters.
Puddles’ talent is no joke. He has a shockingly impressive command of his range as well as the stage. If you didn’t catch him on America’s Got Talent or YouTube, you’ve seriously been missing out. He’ll be appearing at the Slowdown on June 9th. This is most certainly a show you do not want to miss.
Puddles doesn’t speak, but he generously agreed to answer my questions via email.
What are some of the items in your tour rider? What do you need backstage?
Coffee, pie and Kleenex are at the top of the list. And of course, a safe place to poop is always important.
Who, if anyone, would you consider performing a duet with?
I have many talented singer pals with whom I’ve been lucky to duet on a song or two. But if I could sing with someone whom I haven’t yet had the pleasure … Angel Olson, Joanna Newsom, Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, and Kate Bush all have such emotive singing styles. It’d be a dream to try a song with any of these immensely accomplished chanteuses.
What’s the saddest song ever written?
Oh boy, there are so many great sad songs out there. But I think one of the most devastating songs of late is Randy Newman’s “Lost Without You”.
Are any songs too sad to sing?
That Randy Newman ditty, for sure. It’s gut-wrenching.
Is it okay to cry at your show?
I highly encourage everyone to let it out. Express your feelings whenever and however you’re so moved.
How do you deal with hecklers?
I don’t come across too many hecklers. Once there were two fellas in the audience arguing with each other and causing a ruckus, but they both calmed down and apologized when I gave each of them a lingering hug.
Have you had any run-ins with other clowns?
I have lots of clown friends. Jimmy Slonina, Peter Pitofsky, Jef Johnson, and Bello Nock are some of my favorite clown pals. I love running into those guys.
What’s the biggest misconception about clowns?
That we’re not human. Or that we’re all scary. That’s just ridiculous.
Your Metallica and Celine Dion mashup was incredible. Will we be hearing more of those?
I love a good smoosh-up! In my show, I cover “Pinball Prison” and also do its call back “Folsom Wizard”. It’s fun to mix ‘n match songs and see what jives.
What’s your favorite song to sing?
I love some good weihnachtslieder [German Christmas carols].
What can fans expect at your show?
Fellowship and all the feels!
Do you take requests?
I love hearing all the great ideas that come through the P3 Request Hotline [found on his Facebook page]. I’m not able to cover all of them. But I try as many as I can. It can be hit or miss, but when it works, I’ll often include the song in my show.
Puddles Pity Party
729 N 14th St
Doors: 8 pm