Puddles brings his pity party back to Gainesville

Puddles isn’t talking. But he will be singing on stage at the University of Florida’s Performing Arts Phillips Center on Jan. 11.

Puddles Pity Party won over the judges on “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) in 2017 with his performance of Sia’s “Chandelier.”

The sad clown who walks onstage carrying his suitcase is also known as comedian and singer Mike Geier. He dresses in a signature black and white clown costume with a touch of red in his makeup and shoelaces.

Geier was a singer in Atlanta before he conjured up Puddles and a pity party that touches hearts and convinces audiences to drop their walls and empathize with the towering clown who is almost 7-feet tall.

Big Mike Geier and Kingsized performed on stages in Atlanta starting in 1995 and took on classics such as Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and the hit from Titanic, “My Heart Will Go.”

Puddles picked up where Geier left off, bouncing between performing classics such as “All By Myself” and taking on popular pop songs with a Puddles Pity Party twist.

Puddles’ deep, commanding voice and theatrics makes him a cross between Luciano Pavarotti and David Bowie. Even AGT producer and judge Simon Cowell gave him a standing ovation.

“I never ever want to know who you are, Puddles,” Cowell said after Puddles’ audition during week one of the AGT 2017 season, confessing he is afraid of clowns. “But you may have turned me. This is originality at it’s best.”

According to Puddles’ publicist Stuart Ross, the clown found a way to connect with fans after the pandemic wiped out his touring schedule.

“Puddles holed up in his studio and produced 14 episodes of his ‘Still Sequestered’ show which featured guests as Jack Black, Penn Jillette, Howie Mandel, Weird Al, Michael Stipe, Patton Oswalt, Cait O’Riordan, Michael Des Barres, Neil Hamburger, David Dastmalchian, Dave Hill, Mastodon, Tim Heidecker, Steve Agee and Mark Ryden. Puddles also came out with his own blend of coffee from Batdorf & Bronson,” Ross said via press release.

Puddles also recently recorded a new CD titled “Songs That Got Me Through the Plague” and published the inaugural edition of his “Puddles Pity Party Informational Magazine.”

Puddles Pity Party has over 811,000 YouTube subscribers and close to 300 million views of his performances in which he interprets songs by ABBA, Bowie, Britney, Cheap Trick, SIA, Tom Waits and Queen.

He became a finalist on Season 12 of AGT and earned a spot as a a contestant on “The Champions” 2020 season.He also went on to Las Vegas where he performed during his residency at Caesars Palace and toured the U.S.

This is not Puddles’ first visit and performance in Gainesville. Pat Lavery, owner of Glory Days Presents! and High Dive, booked him in 2017 and said he would like to have him back on the stage there.

“As Gainesville’s only dedicated music venue, we develop many acts over the course of many years,” Lavery said. “But Puddles was already bigger than our venue when he came in July of 2017 following his high profile appearances on ‘America’s Got Talent’ as well as his numerous YouTube videos. We are so excited to see him growing to much bigger venues around the country and hope he will come visit us again one day at High Dive.”

Lavery said Puddles brings a unique show to his fans.

“The way he uses silence in his act creates a lot of tension between the songs,” he said. “He has taken a classic performance art of being a clown or pantomime and fused it with contemporary songs which gives the show a really unique feel. Classic but modern.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to the show visit the Phillips Center website.

Puddles Pity Party Unsequestered Show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11 and is sponsored by The Independent Florida Alligator. Tickets for UF students are $10 and range from $25 to $45 for non-students.

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