[image-3] You may remember Puddles the Clown singing the National Anthem at City Paper’s 2014 Best of Charleston party (see below). Former CP staff writer Paul Bowers described Puddles as a seven-foot clown whose plight “appears first as farce, then as tragedy.”

The macabre and mysterious clown galumphed onto the America’s Got Talent stage last night for the show’s season premiere, dressed in his standard get-up of a white suit adorned with big black buttons, a painted red nose and red teardrops on either side of his face, and a too-small crown sitting askew on his big bald head.

The judges looked perplexed, and the camera zoomed into faces of confused audience members; Puddles was silent and sad, and made hand motions in response to judges’ questions. But then Puddles starting singing Sia’s “Chandelier” and his surprisingly deep and melodic voice brought everyone, including Simon Cowell, to their feet. Watch Puddles on AGT below: [embed-2]