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ANSWERED on Mon 8 Dec 2008 - 3:32 pm UTC by David Sarokin

Question: Actors farting on stage

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 7 Dec 2008 20:35 UTCSun 7 Dec 2008 - 8:35 pm UTC 

I read somewhere that one of the things they teach aspiring actors is how to fart silently on stage.

Actress Daniela Nardini complained about her "co-star farting on stage. It's not audible, but its odorous and he's been warned not to or he'll be in trouble!"

So, is it true that fart technique is an important part of acting school? And what's the technique? A generation of schoolboys will be able to make good use of this weapon of mass distraction.


David Sarokin 


 7 Dec 2008 20:51 UTCSun 7 Dec 2008 - 8:51 pm UTC 

Don't you mean a weapon of almost massless distraction?




 7 Dec 2008 21:13 UTCSun 7 Dec 2008 - 9:13 pm UTC 

With sound but without the odour would be a better idea.

Remember Le P├ętomane?

He really let them rip:





 7 Dec 2008 21:26 UTCSun 7 Dec 2008 - 9:26 pm UTC 

Finally a serious question.

A search with   silent fart  (no "") brought about 478,000 sites; with "", a few more than 15,000.  Adding   learn OR teach    cut that down to a mere 1,620, including this one:

But I don't think that's the answer.

Personally, I don't think teaching this is "an important part of acting school", certainly less important than what to do if an actor gets a fit of hicoughs.  I imagine it comes in the course about not eating garlic and beans or cabbage, maybe suggesting relaxing at the critical moment or coughing  - or both.

Hmmm, I think my father had passed away before it occurred to me that his saying I was "full of prunes" when I was a kid was suggesting that I was just a young fart.

Now older, Myo


Roger Browne 


 8 Dec 2008 10:53 UTCMon 8 Dec 2008 - 10:53 am UTC 

A budding young actor from Sparta
Was known as the world's greatest farter
On the strength of one bean
He did God Save The Queen
And Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata


David Sarokin 


 8 Dec 2008 15:32 UTCMon 8 Dec 2008 - 3:32 pm UTC 

Hello ribuck,

Interesting question, but as it turns out, fact seems to collide with myth in this case.  It appears that, rather than training to supress a fart, actors take exceptional pride in their ability to deliver one on cue. 

The topic is addressed in several different sections in the definitive treatise on flatulence, Who Cut the Cheese: A Cultural History of the Fart by Jim Dawson:

Here are some relevant excerpts:

John Barrymore: "Some people, you know, can fart at will...I've never been able to learn to do that.  I'm very disappointed in myself."

Timothy Carey (actor):  "I'd take a big fart in front of the actors.  That's always a big help.  I always thought if you really want to be a good actor, you've got to be able to fart in public."

"Kelsey Grammer...confided to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show that he'd been developing a flatulent character named Mr. Methane...for a one-man play."

"Johnny Depp admitted that he pined to portray the legendary fart man [Le Petomane].  'You have to admire anyone with such great control of his...instrument,' Depp told Playboy."

Dawson's other opus on the topic is "Blame It on the Dog":

which adds one bit of additional insight:

"Actor/comic Jack Black says he uses farting as a way of shedding his inhibitions before shooting a scene..."

Tellingly, there are no mentions in either book of the reverse...of trying to prevent an ill-timed release through rigorous training in the actor's arts. 

Scholarly studies of the subject appear to begin and end with this one author, so I hope this information passes with you. 

That is, I hope this answer doesn't stink!





 8 Dec 2008 16:40 UTCMon 8 Dec 2008 - 4:40 pm UTC 

I'm beginning to regret asking the question. I was hoping my curiosity would be satisfied by a simple "Yes, it's part of first-year acting school, and this is what they teach".

No such luck.

Anyway, I found this at Yahoo Answers: "How to fart silently"

Some of the answers are quite good, but as usual the "Best Answer" is a load of rubbish.

Also I found the "Facts on Farts" page

I think acting schools would have been mentioned there if applicable.




 8 Dec 2008 16:48 UTCMon 8 Dec 2008 - 4:48 pm UTC 

I've never seen it but reportedly Mel Brooks' movie 'Blazing Saddles' (1974) had some infamous fart scenes:

Do read the Trivia (including More):

Director 'Mel Brooks (I)' plays a character called "Le Petomane", which was the stage name of a popular French performer (Joseph Pujol) from the beginning of the 20th century, who told stories punctuated with flatulence, demonstrated his ability to blow out candle flames from two feet way with his back turned, and performed "La Marseillaise" and popular tunes.




 11 Dec 2008 21:21 UTCThu 11 Dec 2008 - 9:21 pm UTC 


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