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This time we have an interview with a real living legend, Mr. Methane, from the United Kingdom!

Mr. Methane is a superhero, a professional flatulist. There has been only one of his kind in the known history before so we are talking about a really rare kind of an artist here. Mr. Methane puts art into fart.

If you are not already familiar with Mr. Methane, here is some info from his website Mr Methane – The King of Farts!:

“Mr Methane Is No. 1 for farts, farting video and fart related comedy!

Mr. Methane is a Performing Flatulist or Petomane, he performs the Art of Controlled Anal Voicing employing the same technique as 19th Century French man Joseph Pujol aka Le Petomane. He has performed his Fart Artistry at the worlds top comedy festivals in Montreal, Melbourne and Edinburgh as well as many public and private shows for exclusive clients.

Mr. Methane has also showcased his Performance Farting on many TV and Radio Shows during his long and illustrious career. Howard Stern called him, “A true Genius. A huge star!”

He further tells us that “basically I possess the rare ability of “singing” from both ends, putting the “art into fart” rock, pop, and classical selections are included in my musical repertoire which, combined with a stunning visual display of… Candle snuffing; talc blowing, and the incredible… Dart farting, guarantees a reaction from any audience.

Apart from the many TV & Radio Shows and there have been a lot over the last 20 years – about a hundred TV shows and many, many more radio shows both here and abroad – I’m usually as a rule booked for private parties, corporate events, festivals, student unions and nightclubs looking to book something unique, different and unusual. The type of people who book me come from across the whole social spectrum, children to royalty, barristers to builders, students, mums and dads. My humour crosses all of society.

I’ve literally “worked my passage” around the World with Live appearances in Europe, North America, Canada, Asia & Australia, including performances at the worlds top comedy festivals in Montreal, Edinburgh & Melbourne.

In Stockholm I am the act that blew open the doors of censorship, launching Swedish TV into a new open era with a rendition of God Save the Queen in front of the Swedish Foreign minister. In Austria I am the “face” of an Austrian anti racism advert and Down Under I hold the record for the most complaints received by an Australian TV station after “singing” Happy Birthday to former World No1 Tennis Player, John Newcombe on Channel 9s Footy Show.”

I guess you got the picture, right? Without further holding, Ladies and Gentleman: Mr. Methane speaks!

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For the starters

Greetings, Mr. Methane! It is an enormous honor to interview you, a living legend! How are you doing?

I’m ok thank you, I’m just recovering from a busy week of farting for Japanese and Spanish Television. Talk about working your passage.

How has your life changed since you decided to become a professional flatulist? Was it a difficult decision to make? Were you worried what your relatives would think of your choise of career? Did you guess how famous you would become?

My life has changed enormously, I don’t have the vast wealth of an A List Movie or Rock Star but my way of life over the last 20 years has absolutely no resemblance to the life I had when I was in an non show business occupation.

It wasn’t a difficult decision to make in the end as my career as a train driver for British Railways was coming to an end, the moral of the work force was low, the relationship between the staff and management was very poor, the Government and Margaret Thatcher in particular didn’t like the rail industry or its workers. It was a dying industry constantly contracting more and more with each subsequent year. All in all it wasn’t a satisfying organisation to be working for, definitely not enriching to the soul, certainly not a creative job, just awful clocking on and off hours and a bad overall feeling of no future due to all of the foregoing.

My mother Died in 1988, after that I wasn’t worried about what anyone else thought. You could say “I threw caution to the wind!”

I had no idea about how well recognised I would become, although I wouldn’t say I’m at a Hollywood movie stars level of fame, I’m quite blown away at the amount of profile my bottom and I have achieved in so many different parts of the world.

What is so funny about farts? Why do we laugh at them?

Its all down to our social etiquette, what your society believes you should and shouldn’t do in company and peoples feelings and reactions when someone does something totally natural that their social rules say they possibly shouldn’t. I remember Kelsey Grammer when speaking in defence of me at the Montreal Festival said, “Its the first thing in life that we laugh at and possibly the only thing that we can always laugh at”. Despite those fine words farting is still a social taboo for many and the ridiculous nature of all this fuss over something natural makes it funny.

Its all down to our social etiquette, what your society believes you should and shouldn’t do in company and peoples feelings and reactions when someone does something totally natural that their social rules say they possibly shouldn’t.

Besides of fart jokes, what kind of comedy, humor, you like? Any special shows, actresses or actors, etc. to name?

I used to like Monty Python a lot as a youngster. I also liked some of the alternative stuff that came in the 1980’s like Kenny Everett and “The Young Ones”. Moving into the 90’s Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse were great and Pete Watermans appearances on “The Hit Man & Her” were always good for a laugh but looking back its Jims Bowens Bullseye, Minder with George Cole, Lovejoy, Bargain Hunt with David Dickinson, The Two Ronnies, Dads Army, George Formby, Fred Dibnah, Bruce Forsythe, Morecambe & Wise and the early Carry On film cast of Sid James, Kenneth William etc. that really stand out and last the test of time. Not all were comedians, some were comedy actors, others like Dibnah were steeplejacks whose way of life was documented on TV.

If I have to choose a No1 though its Morecambe & Wise, a British double act who really only appealed to a British audience and weren’t that famous anywhere else, their ability as musical hall variety entertainers & TV stars is unsurpassed but if their fan base is anything to go by you have to be British to appreciate it. Then again ask me tomorrow and it might be Dads Army.

Is fart humor universal? Are there places on Earth where farting is generally not considered funny?

I once lost a talent contest in Japan to a Korean Uni-cyclist. The Japanese audience saw his craft as bodily discipline and mine as bodily indiscipline. With the Japanese audience being into the discipline side of the coin, I lost the vote as they didn’t conceive the fact that to fart on command was infact in my case a discipline or craft, they just thought I had a dietry disorder and was blowing off all the time. At the end of the show members of the audience were shouting “Booooo!” I thought they must be the ones who voted me off but what I didn’t know at the time was that “Boooo” in Japanese means “Very Strong Wind” so I did in fact have some friends in the audience who saw me as a disciplined Ninja of Flatulence rather than a man who had ate too much cabbage.

Life as a flatulist

You are apparently the only person in the world today who is a professional farter. There has apparently been only one professional farter before you, Mr. Joseph Pujol (1857-1945). Why is it that there has been no more professional farters in the world? Certainly there must be people out there who know the technique involved, right?

There are other people like me and Pujol who have the skill or the powers of Controlled Anal Voicing but not everyone wants to go public or is a showman. Couple that to the fact that it is a niche market where the openings for public performances are not in the same volume as for say, a Tina Turner tribute act, then you are well on your way to getting to the bottom of the show business farting conundrum.

If there are some persons out there who know the technique and have been considering to try a career as a flatulist, what kind of supportive words you’d have for them?

Strain hard to make sure your career doesn’t go down the pan. I’m 46 this year so the World needs some Fresh young farting talent that can come along in a few years and fill my shorts when I eventually hang them up.

Do you train your farting skills regularly, practise new songs, etc? Are there some health related benefits, disadvantages or dangers involved in your profession?

I find it gets harder as I get older and I have to keep Farting Fit with specific yoga stretches and exercises in order to preserve my powers.

I’m a bugger for sticking to what I know works best and not trying new stuff. Last week I farted the Macerena on Spanish TV, it was they who requested it and me who had reservations. Even in rehearsals I was not sure it was fart friendly but then when VT rolled just like Tom Jones I rose to the occasion and delivered a very sincere and authentic interpretation of a Spanish classic. Not that I’m saying Tom Jones sounds like my arse, I use his name as he is a pro, the top of his game, a singer who always rises to the occasion and delivers a top quality performance when the chips are down. – just thought I’d clarify that to avoid any misunderstandings.

You have been on Finnish TV at least twice, in Älä katso in early 2000 and in Jim Salabimin Taikashow in 2010. How your visits here went? Did you enjoy your stay here? Any special memories of Finland?

I remember my first visit in 2000 I was struggling with a hemroid, looking back at the show now on youtube you wouldn’t know it but every time I farted it was like tooth ache in my anus. I love watching this show on youtube but for some reason I think they left out my performance of “It’s Flatulation” in the final edit which is a shame as I was busting my ring on that gig.

On my second visit in 2010 it was very very cold it being February. I enjoyed landing at Helsinki and also Tampere on the snow & ice covered runways, I also enjoyed the very laid back feel of the show and as time was allowed for overruns in filming I ended up with a spare day to go sight seeing in Tampere which is always good as so many times you are just in and out with no time to get a feel for the country you visit.

In general I like Finland, Norway & Sweden. The air is clean and fresh, the towns are clean and tidy, the design and architecture styles are clean and tidy (IKEA), the country’s are not overcrowded and life is on the whole seems more civilised and socially inclusive than the UK. OK I know the tax is a killer but you can’t have it both ways.

In addition to Finland you have been performing in many other countries worldwide. Where you’ve been, what have been the most memorable performances thus far and why? Are there some places where you’d really like to go perform?

I’ve done all the EU countries except maybe Luxembourg. Japan, Australia, America and a few Middle Eastern countries.

I think Sweden stands out. Apparently I changed the face of Swedish TV when I appeared on The Robert Aschberg Show and farted God Save The Queen in front of their foreign minister. Never before had such a thing been seen and never again would Swedish TV be the same ever again.

Australia really goes for the live shows, they love a display of Controlled anal Voicing, its the country where I can really get bums on seats.

The USA is another country where I’ve been well received thanks to USA commercial radio and people like Howard Stern, Drew & Mike, Dom & Mike and Beth & Bill. People would to come to my shows in their hundreds. Unfortunately during the time of George Bush junior as president a new regulator was appointed at the FCC who interpreted the regulations about what you could and couldn’t do on radio more stringently. Stations were suddenly afraid to have a man on their show who could break wind at will, so my USA radio appearances dried up and consequently the bottom fell out of my live show market in the USA.

I once performed at the opening of an art exhibition in Switzerland called “AlpenDuft” = Smells of the Alps. It was an official champagne style reception with the local dignitaries and the mayor presiding over the ceremony. For my part I Performed a selection of traditional Swiss folk songs accompanied by the horn section of the Bern Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the ceremony.

Apparently I changed the face of Swedish TV when I appeared on The Robert Aschberg Show and farted God Save The Queen in front of their foreign minister. Never before had such a thing been seen and never again would Swedish TV be the same ever again.

Is fart humor more popular among men than women? What kind of women are into farts – are they of more intellectual type?

Definitely more popular among men. In terms of women its usually intelligent or aristocratic ladies that like a good guff.

Do you have lots of female fans? Groupies? Does Mr. Methane get laid a lot?

Its not Rock & Roll by any means, you certainly don’t have to nail the hotel door closed at night but I would be very uncomfortable if it was, on the odd occasions I have experienced that sort of thing I’ve felt very uncomfortable, the whole groupie thing really isn’t my scene.

Have you had any ”accidents” during your performances?

Yes once at the Sportsman’s Inn, Hyde, Cheshire many moons ago I went all the way and caught a bear in the net. Last week on Spanish TV during the Macerena was a close call as well but I managed to avert disaster or at least downgrade it to a Shart.

You took part in Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 and performed Blue Danube in the show. That must have make your star even brighter – have you got more gigs and other offers after being in the show?

My appearance was more of a Statement about the show than a genuine audition, I think that’s possibly why Simon Cowell looked so pissed off. Looking back although I knew the panel would look down their noses at me it hasn’t done me any harm, in fact its done me a lot of good and a lot of people actually envy me for having had the opportunity to fart in the direction of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden & Piers Morgan.

I’m always surprised how seriously some people take the show and its characters, as if it isn’t loosely scripted, slightly fictional, manipulated or presented in a certain way. Its all about making good TV so any good production company or TV station will always try to manipulate or influence events to get the best and most controversial outcomes.

What do you think Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden really thought about your performance? Surely they just pretended to not like your amazing act, right?

I think I’ve just covered this in above paragraph.

As for Piers and Amanda, they laughed uncontrollably and then were unable to comment leaving Simon to deliver his line. I can’t prove it was scripted but I can say I was invited to apply for the show and they knew I was coming.

Talking about Britain’s Got Talent 2009 – I was thinking it would have been awesome if you would have done a duet with Susan Boyle! What would be the song of your choise for a duet with her?

Someone not associated with me was going to mash an edit together and put it on youtube but they got cold feet when Susan was taken ill and went into care after the finals. Suddenly it wouldn’t have been funny at that time as I think she was suffering from mental illness and exhaustion. Had things been a little lighter then maybe Sonny & Chers, I’ve Got You Babe would have been a crowd pleaser.

If you could perform with any artist you’d like to, who she/he/they would be? Any special songs in mind?

Sinéad O’connor is in her own words, “A Massive Fan” – She once bought all her friends a Mr. Methane DVD & CD for Christmas – So I think a duet of “Nothing Compares To You” would be good, maybe re worked and called, “Nothing Compares To Pooh!” Only trouble is Prince or at least the artiste formally known as Prince owns the song and he might have a bit of a problem signing off on the idea.

Sinéad O’connor is in her own words, “A Massive Fan” – She once bought all her friends a Mr. Methane DVD & CD for Christmas.

Have you considered participating in America’s Got Talent? Based on what Howard Stern, a judge in the show has said, you might end up in the finals there! What do you think of this?

They did invite me to try out a few months before BGT made the call but unfortunately I’m not a US citizen so by their own rules it couldn’t happen and it wouldn’t make sense. Tonight on Americas Got Talent here’s a guy all the way from the United Kingdom called Mr. Methane. Mind you on seconds thoughts they do say the UK is the 51st State so maybe there isn’t a problem.

Ah, yes, silly me. Are there some types of events where you would categorically refuse to perform? What if someone would want to hire you to perfom in some political event, wedding ceremony, funeral, or other such ”serious” event? Would you go?

I’ve done all sorts of events over the years but if my bottom is going to be used to endorse a political viewpoint or point criticism at someone on behalf of someone else I’m not up for that. I have my own personal opinions but as Mr. Methane I entertain all and don’t take sides.

See here for an example: “Britain’s Got Talent” – farting around causes national outrage in Romania.

I’ve done all sorts of events over the years but if my bottom is going to be used to endorse a political viewpoint or point criticism at someone on behalf of someone else I’m not up for that.

What have been your peak moments in your career thus far?

Probably the launching of my website and the release of my home movie Mr. Methane Lets Rip and my CD Mr Methane.com have to be the high points for me as I think the website and my merchandise have been my most valuable promotional tools.

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Future

What kind of plans you have for the future? New records, gigs, TV-appearances, or such? New appearances in Finland?

I’d like to get a budget to develop the Mr. Methane animation idea into a full blown series of fully animated adventure cartoons. I’m also planning to release an album of National Anthems very soon on itunes, this will be a digital release as the bottom has fallen out of physical CD sales.

You have made the record for the longest recorded fart in history – 59 seconds! Are you planning to break the record some time soon?

I believe that many people dispute my record and a problem is that many years ago when I wrote to the Guinness Book of Records the Editor blew my request out saying such an endeavor wasn’t suitable for inclusion in his book. Consequently all records are unofficial and open to interpretation and counter claim so unless some proper rules are established its probably not worth having another blow at it just yet.

What would you like to say to all of your fans reading this interview?

I’m not sure really as everyone gets something different out of Mr. Methane and his Colon Coughs but maybe just to say if I’ve helped raise your spirits, restored your faith in humanity, entertained you and helped get you through a difficult day then that’s what Mr. Methane is all about and its been a Gas doing so.

What makes you happy?

Peace, tranquility, nature and the natural environment. I’m not a materialistic person.

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Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Methane!

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Related:

Mr. Methane website / Facebook / MySpace / Twitter / YouTube / iTunes / Wikipedia.

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