Le Pétomane  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Le Pétomane was the stage name of the French professional farter and entertainer Joseph Pujol (June 1, 1857 - 1945).

He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to fart at will. His stage name combines the French verb péter, "to fart" with the -mane, "maniac" suffix, found in words like toxicomane. In English, a translation might yield "the fart maniac". His profession can also be referred to as a "Flatulist" or a "Fartiste."

Some of the highlights of his stage act involved sound effects of cannon fire and thunderstorms, as well as playing "'O Sole Mio" and "La Marseillaise" on an ocarina through a rubber tube in his anus. He could also blow out a candle from several yards away. His audience included Edward, Prince of Wales; King Leopold II of the Belgians; and Sigmund Freud.

It is a common misconception that Joseph Pujol actually passed intestinal gas as part of his stage performance. Rather, Pujol was able to "inhale" or move air into his rectum and then control the release of that air with his anal sphincter muscles. Evidence of his ability to control those muscles was seen in the early accounts of demonstrations of his abilities to fellow soldiers.

Legacy

  • The Italian movie 'Il Petomane', starring Ugo Tognazzi, gives a poetic rendition of the character, contrasting his deep longing for normalcy with the condition of 'freak' to which his act relegated him.
  • The 1999 Kinky Friedman novel, Spanking Watson, makes frequent reference to Le Petomane.
  • "Le Pétomane: Parti Avec Le Vent", a 2005 short film based on Pujol's life, stars Ben Wise. It was written, produced and directed by Steve Ochs.
  • "Le Petomane" is the title of a 1998 documentary by Igor Vamos that examines Joseph Pujol's place in history through archival films, historical documents, photographs, and interviews.
  • In his 1974 movie Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks plays the part of "Governor William J. Le Petomane".

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Le Pétomane" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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