The ridiculous, the sublime, and redemption

I have always liked musicians and artists who don’t take themselves too seriously. A week ago I stumbled across this video on youtube.

The “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice” is Mike Geier, performing here in his “Puddles” incarnation. Big Mike says he is 6 feet 8 inches tall. Puddles is one of his characters, and he does a show called “Puddles Pity Party” where he sings sad songs. But he is an actual clown.

In this video he goes on stage at an Eels concert and tries to disrupt the show, even punching the lead singer. (it’s an act) He is a bit of a troublemaker. I like that. And I like his singing.

He reminds me of another clown. Harpo Marx. Harpo was a mischievous imp who chased women and stoled hats. He was always up to no good. Except when he played the harp. Then he was an angel.

When Harpo plays music, he is transformed. He is redeemed.

Harpo is a clown par excellence. His character is wild and uninhibited. If he were that alone, it would okay. He would still be funny, but a bit less memorable. Playing the harp revealed his depth and beauty. That is what makes a great clown.

Charlie Chaplin made fun of the world, but he also strove to find depth and beauty.

Do any animated characters fit this description? If you think so, please mention them in the comments. Thanks.

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