You know the story of Joseph Pujol, also called Le Petomane, who made a living by farting on stage. Pujol was only the best known of a raft of fartists who entertained by expelling gas, with a history going back hundreds of years. Of all the minstrels that entertained King Henry II in 12th-century England, only one is mentioned by name.
Referred to variously Rowland le Sarcere, Roland le Fartere, Roland le Petour, and Roland the Farter, Roland really had one job in the court: Every Christmas, during the court’s riotous pageant, he performed a dance that ended with “one jump, one whistle, and one fart”, executed simultaneously.
For this, Roland was gifted a manor house in Hemingstone, Suffolk, and more than 100 acres of land. For farting on cue.
Roland’s career hinged on the king’s sense of humor, and the next king didn’t care much for farting as entertainment. There were also the bruigedoire (farters) of Ireland, Kirifuri-hanasaki-otoko of Japan, Pujol, and Mr. Methane, in addition to many references to artists who remain nameless in the records. Read about them and the future of farting at Atlas Obscura. -via Digg