November 18 2010

The World’s Most Famous Unsung Fart

So years ago when I was first learning Windows I started collecting sound effects like crazy. It was my first computer hobby. Fart noises and burps and Simpsons soundbytes and blips and bloops and stuff. In Control Panel I used to set my computer Sounds to make noises constantly no matter what I did. On Shutdown (Apu: Thank you come again!) or Startup (Yabba Dabba Doo!) or error messages (Fart or burp) it was like the noisiest machine and it used to crack me up. Nowadays my computer is pretty quiet. I don’t need the General Lee’s horn announcing every single time I get an email or whatever.

But back in the day, there was one fart noise that I always found fairly impressive. I used it as a sound effect for when ‘buddies’ signed off AOL instant messenger or something. It had a sort of brass horn quality– and I am completely convinced it is the most used fart noise in the world. It is perhaps the fart noise that has been heard by the most people in the history of the world. I’ve heard it in movies and TV lots of times and I recognize it instantly…

Here it is used recently in Mad Men. Fast forward to 1:18…:

Not Mad Men’s proudest moment— but every time I hear this specific fart I wonder about the guy who originally created it. I wonder what he thinks of the infinite life of his little fart…

I wonder if he hears his fart on Mad Men or in a movie and is proud— or is he mad that he created something that is used so super often but he gets no money nor any credit? It is a great fart. The right balance of tooty humor without being overly gross. He does deserve credit for his fart creation (whether it was originally butt produced or tuba produced or whatever).

I often think about things all over the place that someone somewhere created or said or made for the first time and never received credit for. People have started catchphrases. Invented dance moves. Started hairstyles etc etc. And they see their ‘creation’ go national (or global) and they can’t even brag about it because nobody would believe them. Or they’re pissed that they didn’t own it from the beginning somehow.

There’s no controlling an online fart of course– but as a fan of farts I felt acknowledging this particular fart is the least I can do…

ok bye!

PS. There is a runner up to most famous fart. It’s a deeper and more farty fart. The sound goes down and then shoots up. I’ll look for it later…


Nat M. says:

That fart IS all over the place. I think it’s even in my iPhone fart app…

mark w says:

You guys noticed that “scream” that’s in every movie? It’s like in every Star Wars, Indy films, LOTR, etc…It’s even got a name although I can’t remember what it is…

Nikos says:

That scream is apparently a sound engineer in-joke. It’s more than 50 years old. They are always trying to squeeze it in somewhere and apparently get props from other sound geeks when they do.

Matty N. says:

That scream became known as the “Wilhelm Scream,” named after a character from an old western who was at the receiving end of a well aimed arrow. Sound engineers have used it as running inside joke like a piece audio graffiti in well over 200 films over the years.

Max says:

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, have many philosophies about the humor extrapolated from farts. A fart can only be funny if it isn’t fake-sounding. Many things can be attributed to a fart sounding fake, but the number 1 culprit is, of course, having heard the exact same fart used over and over again in other movies and tv shows.

Always record your own farts if you want to use one!

sm says:

Mark, you’re thinking of the Wilhelm Scream. I forget the story behind it, but you’re right. It’s in everything. Lucas is a big fan of it for some reason.

Comic Book Guy says:

Worst. Post. Ever! AND STFU because Mad Man sucks ass!!

Guy who knows stuff says:

That scream was also in Broken Arrow when Howie fell off the train/bridge into the Colorado River. Pretty intense!


That scream is in LOTR: The Two Towers. An elf screams when he is shot with an arrow at the battle of Helms Deep.

Hamlover says:

Jeez, todd, did you run out of stuff to what’s happening about?

Odd Todd says:

This week I did! But wait til next week!

Anonymous says:

The best TV fart has to be William Shatner in Boston Legal. Where he is desperate to find an airport bathroom. He finally finds one and goes running in to it and lets out an earth shattering fart.

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