Clownvis Presley Speaks! The King of Clowns on America's Got Talent, Winning Over the Goo Goo Dolls and His Next National TV Appearance
It's a tale as old as time: Clown insults The Great and Terrible Oz(zy) to his wife and as a result becomes nearly infamous, by winning over the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere -- including, but not limited to, the members of Goo Goo Dolls.
Clownvis Presley with his biggest fans, the Goo Goo Dolls.
Or something. We caught up with Clownvis Presley to chat about his entrée into reality television. He has much love for St. Louis and his pal Amanda Palmer -- and he has some choice words for Sharon Osbourne. And don't forget, on Wednesday, the RFT's Chrissy Wilmes summed up Clownvis' second appearance on America's Got Talent.
How did you get the Goo Goo Dolls' drummer to wear a Clownvis shirt?
Clownvis: He didn't even know I was going to be on the show that night. He emailed me, like Monday, just saying that he wanted a shirt but it was too late to order, so he was wondering if he could meet me somewhere because he wanted to piss off Sharon Osbourne. And I was like, Yeah man, I'm in the show, I'll just meet you on the lot. He said they all had a good time watching that first video over and over again.
How has your life changed since being on America's Got Talent? Do you have people coming up and razzing you in the streets now?
So many people loved it, and then all these teenagers wrote in bad grammar, "Fuck you fag, you suck, die." I got a million emails like that, I sent them back positive messages about staying in school and studying and that, I told them to talk to school counselors if they have problems, stuff like that. A couple of them I just did long winded replies about how to get through puberty and adolescence and stuff. I remember what it was like to be a kid -- I don't hold it against them. But it's only helped me for the people who want to pay attention to me--it's been nothing but positive, you know, it's been great.
How did you get on the show the first time?
They scouted me out in St. Louis. They had contacted a couple bars I performed at, they were contacting people asking for variety acts in town, and people pointed to me. They asked me to audition in St. Louis...listen, I would never in a million years try to go on a show like that. I'd seen the show once because I had some friends who were burned on there, and I was like, "Ugh, never man, I don't want no part of that!" I hate that stuff. My mom loved the idea of it -- [and] I was happy to do it because I knew my mom would think it was awesome.
I had every intention of going on there and really bringing it. I thought I could charm people and it would be all right and they would like it, but then they told me I couldn't do an Elvis song. I tried out with "Viva Las Vegas," with the whole act with my bodyguards and stuff, and they told me, "Cool, great, you're in, but you can't do Elvis, pick another song in three days." I don't want to say sabotage, but they told me to pick another popular song, if I were to do a John Cougar Mellencamp song or something it would change the whole dynamic of my routine, so I was like, all right, "Old McDonald." So I thought I'd go in there the guns blazing.
Why couldn't you use an Elvis song?
They told me [it] was because of royalties. They were like, "Did he write that?" And I was like, "No, he didn't write any of them." But then again, you see people do Elvis everywhere all the time.
Clownvis' original appearance:
How did they approach you to come back for the show?
Originally they wanted me to come back and they wanted me to cuss out the judges and they would just bleep it out. And they were paying me this time, so hell yeah. People that they brought back last night, it's not like they were the worst or anything. The guy that does the thing with his eyebrows; that's awesome. It's not a Vegas show, but it's awesome. Everybody has a place on that show, it's not just winners and losers. I almost backed out, once I heard we were just going to sing a Black Eyed Peas song in a friggin chorus line, I was totally going to bail. Then we rehearsed on it for like four days, and then by the end of it I'm like, it's kind of awesome. I didn't really have to do anything, you know?
Just show up and get paid, there's nothing wrong with that.
[laughs] Yeah, and hang out with the flipping Goo Goo Dolls. Are you kidding me? The Goo Goo Dolls?