Some people can burp at will.
Le Petomane, born Joseph Pujol in 19th-century France, could break wind at will. He used his talent to make a name for himself on the stage.
He could control not only when and how much wind he broke but the pitch and tone as well.
He could “whistle” or flute out tunes. He could imitate animal noises.
He was also famous for his water tricks using the same part of his anatomy, but the air show is what people loved best.
After he blew into town, as it were, Le Petomane would make his entrance dressed to the hilt.
Dignified, poised, and stylish, he’d then drop to his knees and run through his repertoire, explaining what character each fart represented.
He was one of the most popular entertainers in Europe at the dawn of the 20th century.
Recollections on Le Petomane, his life and his career, by colleagues and his son, Louis Pujol, are featured at The Suitcase, a Journal of Transcultural Traffic.