A seven-foot US clown performer has been chosen to provide the soundtrack to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert.
Mike Geier, an entertainer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joins UK music stars including Ellie Goulding, Lily Allen and Tom Odell in contributing to the retailer’s annual festive campaign.
His cover of All the Small Things, originally released by punk rock band Blink 182 in 1999, accompanies The Beginner – a 90 second tale of a middle-aged man learning to skateboard before welcoming a young teenager into the family home.
Despite his Pennsylvanian roots, Geier is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and garnered international fame through his most critically acclaimed act: a Pagliacci-type clown alter ego named Puddles Pity Party.
Standing at 6 ft 8 inches tall, the 58-year-old is known for his irreverent, melancholy style of performing, often mixing comedy, mime and audience participation with his baritone song covers.
In 1998 he founded a clown-based band with several other Atlanta-based musicians, though the project later disbanded, paving the way for his “Pity Party”.
Geier is known to refer to his alter-ego in the third person, and while performing as Puddles will refer to himself as Mike, also in the third person.
He shot to fame in 2013 after recording a cover of Royals by New Zealand artist Lorde, with Postmodern Jukebox.
As of October 2022, the clip has been viewed over 32 million times, with Lorde reportedly citing it as her favourite cover of the song.
Since the release of the video he has toured internationally, and in 2017 participated in the 12th series of America’s Got Talent, in which he advanced to the quarter-finals.
In January 2019 Geier, as Puddles, began a headline act residency at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada.
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