The Gas We Pass

Watched Blazing Saddles for the umpteen millionth time the other night. Truly one of the funniest movies ever made. It was also the first movie to feature flatulence. One of the characters played by Mel Brooks, Gov. William J. Le Petomane, is named after Joseph Pujol, Le Pétomane, who was a turn of the century artiste in France. Pujol’s stage performance consisted of controlled displays of flatulence. Extraordinary control of his abdominal muscles and rectal sphincter allowed him to draw air and water into his rectum and so create a wide range of sounds at will. This is the very tenuous connection to the campfire bean feast scene. Everyone laughs at fart jokes. Mel Brooks was just the first to put it on the big screen.


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