- 3.23.10 - 6:00PM
- - by
- Drew Grant
Is Chatroulette's Merton Actually Ben Folds?
In case you haven't been following along in the saga of Chatroulette's first musical prodigy, Merton, here's a quick summary of what you need to know:
1. He's a mysterious hoodied piano player, who sings you a totally improvised song if you happen to catch him on Chatroulette. He swears he's not Ben Folds.
2. He recorded himself singing songs to these random strangers and put them on YouTube.
4. Meanwhile, singer/songwriter/dorky piano guy Ben Folds put on a concert where he connected himself and his entire audience to Chatroulette and made two "Ode to Merton" videos where he basically took the guy's shtick and made random songs about the people he connected to.
You got all that? Good. Because it gets even weirder.
Now, Mashable has scored an exclusive Skype interview with the mysterious Merton:
Leading people to claim, once again, that Merton is Ben Folds. Who, just for comparison's sake, looks like this:
Merton looks like this:
Hmmm....same glasses, same teeth, same nose...same, uh, face (although it's hard to tell: under the hoodie, Merton could be a bit younger than Ben Folds, who is 43), but why would Folds' alter-ego go through with an on-camera interview if he's trying to avoid scrutiny?
Buzzfeed notices that the sound is a little wonky in the Mashable interview, which could be Folds trying to disguise his voice. Or, it could just be the notorious echo-effect on Skype! If anything, giving this interview is evidence that Merton is not Ben Folds because if the famed musician wanted to keep this gag going on longer, he wouldn't have agreed to an interview that makes the comparisons even more inevitable than before.
Yet these events couldn't be better timed to suggest they are one and the same: Ben Folds just did a concert over the weekend doing a Merton impression, then by Monday all of Merton's videos are down off of YouTube? And today all we have to connect the two together is the Ben Folds video, the new Merton remix, and this interview. If Folds is trying to do an Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton thing, he would have been better off using a better disguise. As it is, we give it another week before Ben goes for broke and announces that he was behind the stunt all along.
Here's Merton's new video, in case you want to screenshot it and take it down to the forensics lab:
If nothing else, those are some totally Ben Folds chords right there. Though Ben may be a little more nasally. What do you think, is Ben Folds really moonlighting on Chatroulette?
Update: Our pals at AOL News also have an interview with Merton.
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