03/15/2005: Unfortunately, people would think of Mel Brooks first....
From Query Letters We Love, here's a pitch for a biopic that I'd camp out for days in front of the theater to see:
"I am contacting you regarding potential representation of my screenplay 'The Fartiste.' Logline: The true story of Joseph Pujol, the most popular performer in 1890s Paris: can a man with a musical ass hope to be taken seriously as an artist?Um, yes, there really was such a performer. Joseph Pujol was the toast of Paris in the early 1890s, owing to his amazing control of the muscles of his anus and lower bowels; he could suck water and air up into his nether regions, and expel them in a disciplined fashion (fittingly enough, it appears that he discovered that talent while serving in the Army). He managed to parlay that quite unique talent into a career in the Parisian theater, eventually playing the Moulin Rouge and amusing thousands.
Pujol billed himself as "Le Petomane"--"The Fartiste"--and called his unique act "petomanie"--"fartistry".
In what might have been a sly nod to Pujol, Mel Brooks decided to name one of his characters in the immortal Blazing Saddles, "William J. LePetomane".... Hence the title, in case you were curious.
Len on 03.15.05 @ 12:00 PM CST