I have a confession to make. I love street performers. No, not talented musicians, artists, or dancers that perform their crafts on the street for money (although I like them too). I’m talking about street performers who act as human statues or wear terrible knock-off costumes of cartoon characters. In fact, the worse the knock-off, the better. Yes, they are silly, sometimes tacky and occasionally anti-Semitic, but I still love them (well, not the anti-Semitic part). You could call them a guilty pleasure.
Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol are the best places to find street performers in Madrid. I saw cheap imitations of Puss in Boots, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Pluto, among others. Some of the performers impressed with their ability to stand still for long lengths of time, others seemed to defy gravity using elaborate rigs and creative paint jobs. My favorites are the statues that come to life at just the right moment to scare the bejesus out of somebody.
Of all the performers in Madrid, my favorite was Spiderman Gordo (his words, not mine). He danced around, posed, and antagonized the crowd in multiple languages. And don’t think he wasn’t a professional; he gave me a business card after his performance.