A New York drag queen has gone viral after performing “Baby Shark” at a recent brunch show. Marti Gould Cummings, the performer, shared a video that showed a two-year-old enthusiastically clapping along and smiling to the Pinkfong song.
“When a 2 year old comes to brunch you perform baby shark for them!!!!” Cummings wrote on Twitter.
The clip has gone viral with almost 700,000 views, receiving love from stars like Audra McDonald, a renowned Broadway actress who currently appears on The Good Fight, and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy. “Hiring you to come sing it to Sally👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾,” McDonald wrote, referring to her two-year-old daughter with husband Will Swenson.
The heartwarming video was shot at Talde in Jersey City, New Jersey, during a Drag Queen Brunch. Cummings said the song had been requested during the brunch. “Between Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, we did ‘Baby Shark,’ ” Cummings told the Daily News. “The world is so scary and to have a little moment of joy and people excited to see that, that’s why we do drag … We want to give people a moment of escape.”
When a 2 year old comes to brunch you perform baby shark for them!!! pic.twitter.com/Ikx94mlTxO— Marti Gould Cummings (@MartiGCummings) March 16, 2019
The performer joked on Twitter that the biggest criticism he’d received was for his dance moves. “The biggest internet ‘Hate’ is that I didn’t do the choreography to baby shark …. guess I better learn it!” Cummings wrote.
Most online comments were positive. “This just flooded me with joy,” wrote actress Julia Murney, though some users questioned how a restaurant could allow a child at a drag show. “A place that is welcoming to everyone,” Cummings quickly responded. “Where joy is spread and hate isn’t aloud [sic] through the doors.”
“The internet can be such a toilet for negative, toxic behavior and misinformation, so it feels incredible to be part of this one moment that is using the internet to spread so much love and joy,” he added.
Cummings, who grew up on a small farm in Maryland, moved to New York at 17 to pursue a career in the performing arts. Though he began as an actor, Cummings soon fell in love with performing drag. He has appeared on Fusion TVs show, SHADE Queens on NYC and Bravo TVs Watch What Happens LIVE, as well as a McDonalds commercial and as the face of NYC GO promoting Pride for the city of New York.
Cummings was honored by OUT Magazine on the 2018 Out 100 list and won the Glam Award for Entertainer of the Year in 2019. He also received the Luminary Award for Dedication to Homeless LGBTQ Youth by The Ali Forney Center.
“Baby Shark,” a children's song about a family of sharks, has become an internet sensation. The song, which was popularized by Pinkfong, a South Korean education brand, was released on November 25, 2015 and has so far garnered over 2.5 billion views on YouTube. The Pinkfong version begins with bars from Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, which evoke the film Jaws.
Though Cummings’ version is far from being the hit Pinkfong’s is, it is a testament to tolerance and shows how prejudice is a learned, not inherent, behavior.