If you thought that ChatRoulette was simply an internet playground comprised of pimply-faced teens and serial masturbators, well, you’re not entirely incorrect. There are most certainly scads of those people hanging around the hottest URL in the game, but then again, there’s also Merton.
You see, a scant four days ago, an anonymous YouTube user who calls himself Merton posted a video under the username PianoChatImprov. In it, a bespectacled young man wearing a green hoodie serenades a series of users with funny, improvisational, piano-driven songs relaying generically specific details about the person on the other end of the screen. And during this time, the video has gone viral (fancy internet lingo!) and racked up nearly 700,000 views. So, who exactly is this Merton fellow, anyway?
Merton’s particular style of ivory tickling and sing-songy approach led some early fans to speculate that he was, in fact, Ben Folds. We had our doubts, as A) aside from the specs, it doesn’t really look like Folds and B) we’re fairly certain a songwriter as gifted as Folds wouldn’t rhyme “hand” and “planned” so frequently. Our suspicions were confirmed when Vh1′s own Bex Schwartz got in contact with the mysterious YouTube superstar earlier today to confirm that he wasn’t the popular piano man.
That said, Merton does not have any plans to reveal his “secret” identity just yet. We applaud his decision, but knowing how ravenous the internet can be, we’re fairly certain we’ll know everything about good ole Mertles by week’s end. Here’s hoping he is able to make a buck and book a late night appearance or two before TMZ inevitably outs him.
– Mark Graham