Let Me Fartertain You

Flatulism sounds like it could be a decent religion, or at least a working philosophy. (“When in doubt, fart it out“?)

In reality, it’s a form of entertainment that has been around since ancient times. Professional farters, or flatulists, were at the “lower end” of the performers’ spectrum available to the wealthy during medieval times. But a bard or comedian who was also able to fart on command was actually sitting on a major party asset.

Back in the court of England’s King Henry II, “Roland the Farter” was a big hit. He held land in return for jester services, which included an annual royal Christmas performance of “Unum saltum et siffletum et unum bumbulum” (one jump, one whistle, and one fart.)

French flatulist “Le Pétomane” (whose real last name was Pujol; you just can’t make this stuff up) was active in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  I watched an old film of him online, farting into a huge funnel, but it was silent.  I also found this picture, where I believe the Gallic gas-maker is urging someone to pull his finger.

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A few years ago, someone named “Mr. Methane” blew it on Britain’s Got Talent. Not only did he bomb, none of the performers wanted to use the microphone after him. Backstage, they gave him a wide berth. The judges were not impressed with him because they went home and did the same thing every night. On the plus side, it was a great way to bring some classical music to television’s wider audience.

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