The "La Petomane" Appreciation Thread

Dunno if all of you have heard of this French music-hall star (but I’ll damn sure bet SOME of you have!) so I thought I would, umm, bring him up. Here are some links to his great “ca-rear,” and yes, the Governor in “Blazing Saddles” was named after him:

I keep coming across brief notices of this man. The longest I’ve found is the last chapter in Ricky Jay’s book “Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women”, which includes several pictures. The most interesting thing is that “Le Petomane” (Which some wag translated as “The Fartiste”, so now everyone else does) is that his act was not unique! Jay describes others who performed in this fashion. People will apparently watch damned near anything.
BTW, when I posted, the next thread was “I Have a badly bruised buttock.”

Eve, I know of your interest in unusual cultural phenomona and turn-of-the-century (last century) music hall performers, but I do hope that the next item in the Eve Golden bibliography will not be this “fartiste.” It would be just too side-splittingly funny to have to read your sly descriptions of the publicity stunts needed to promote the famed flatulator.

[hijack]For the NYC Thursday night dinner series this week, we’ll be going to a bar in Chelsea. I hope you can make it. P.S. Can you e-mail me so I can send you e-mail reminders of such stuff without hijacking threads about important cultural figures.[/hijack]

We sure have!

Eve, Eve, Eve. Joseph Pujol was a man, so the title of your thread should have been Le Pétomane. I think he’s the reason why foreign films and other cultural events are now described as “artsy-fartsy”.

Oh yeah, I’ve heard of 'em. I read an interesting biography on him once where he was quoted as saying “my emission have no odor due the fastidious preparation involved” Apparently before a performance he would partake of enemas and I * think * a special diet as well.

All righty then.

Thanks, Eve! Le Petomane hasn’t blown through my mind in quite awhile. My uncle had a small book about him back in the seventies, which the whole family enjoyed. I haven’t seen the book since then.

I dimly recall that a movie about him was in the works. The director who mentioned it was either David Lynch or John Waters. That’s pretty vague, but it was mentioned at a talk by one of 'em. I saw both around 1985. Maybe they were just kidding anyway…

It does make ya wonder who would have the starring role.

Adam Sandler doesn’t count.

Why couldn’t this guy have lived in modern times. If anyone deserves a Kennedy Center Honors special on TV its the original “fartiste.”

Arnie—Well, now you know why I had to stay after school in order to bring my French grade up to a C-.

Billdo—Miss Otis Regrets she’s unable to dine today.

Elelle—I have that book! In fact, it’s in my “Anna Held” bibliography, as I just HAD to mention him while talking about French music halls.

. . . And I have the hideous feeling Jim Carrey would play him onscreen . . . What would the theme music be? Yet another Elton John rewriting of “Candle in the Wind?”

You know, I often perform the same act around the house or at dinner, and nobody ever seems to appreciate it. I think, perhaps, I simply need to wear a tuxedo more frequently to really sell it.

Thanksgiving at the Dennison household must be something to behold! :smiley:

And, yes, I had heard of Joseph Pujol through Cecil’s column and Ricky Jay’s highly entertaining book.

I must emphasize that M. Pujol claimed his act was odorless—and thereby quite inoffensive—as his effluvia did not emanate from his intestines, but rather from an, umm, inhalation below-stairs. “Winds as sweet as the zephyrs blow from the dewy mountaintops!”

I understand he also did “imitations.” The mind boggles; reason totters on its throne.


worry not. There are modern imitators. There is a gentleman whose stage name is Mr Methane. He wears a leotard with a specially engineered gusset (apparently) and plays a trumpet with the lips you don’t kiss with.

The whole thing is rather anal, if you ask me.

I still can’t hear the song Surfin’ Bird without remembering the birthday party acts for Babs in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos

I gotta go wash my hands.