Friday, August 29, 2008

Fringe Favorites: The Wonderful World of Mr. Methane, I finally get to meet a real-life superhero.

For the first week at the Standing Order we were preceeded by Jake Yapp's Bum Notes, a great musical comedy show and with serendipitious humour the last too weeks was An Audience With Mr. Methane: Adventures in Showbusiness. I was aware of Mr. Methane before, here's the wiki-skinny on Mr. Methane for those not in the know. He's the world's only performing flatulatist and all round nice guy.

Martin Kelner and Mr. Methane

The show was him and journalist Martin Kelner (of Guardian Talk Sport and Piss Poor Podcast fame, see his article on the show here. ) in conversation disussing how he found his powers (an origin story if you will) and loads of puns like 'ring-side seat'. Coming in at the end of each show to get ready for our's was hilarious there was normally rows people with cameras and mobiles trying to catch this cliamtic moment as Mr. Kearns attempted:

Mr. Methane inserts a straw into a certain area and then uses it to fire a high-tech dart retro-engineered from a Japanese design into a huge balloon placed on an audience member's head (with requistite safety visor and helmet) which a huge bang it goes off the crowd goes mental, music plays and they are invited to slip some pounds into 'the buttocks of destiny' (we found it on the last day and I posed with it, you'll have to be on the auld facebook to see it).

I think there is an American pretender to the flatulist crown but I just can't imagine an American version of the act, I can imagine him going up to people's faces going 'howwdda like that huh?!' what makes Mr. Methane so good is the contrast between the physical at and his hilarious soft-spokennes with phrases that became (in my mind as I spent time on the Royal Mile flyering) hilarious catchphrases 'that's right Martin', 'I'll just get my talcum powder'.

In Deadhead Comics I found some old copies of Viz (four for a pound!) and there was an ad in one of them that had Mr. Methane supporting The Macc Lads along with a guy called Eddie Shit. I had to show Mr. Methane and he goes 'ohh that's right, you know there was one time in the 1980s that every boy had an Eddie Shit tape in his bedroom'... It's something to tell the grandkids that one has performed with a through one-of-a-kind act, or as Mr. Kelner would say 'turn', which I feel like saying to people who do anything, like when someone posts a letter or something 'top turn lads'.

Martin was a stand up gentleman, very nice to us all and very entertaining and knowledgable about comedy and media in general, he even had to go one or two days alone without Mr. Methane, and having played that room it's quite a job to fill it for 45-55 minutes! . When I had gut troubles I could still do my show and then hurl afterwards--that's a whole other story, that involves Tom's shoes--but obviously with the physical strain of Mr. Methane's turn, it's not so simple. Considering the cost of the props and everything this was really the spirit of the fringe (obviously they can put it on their flyers for next year as can we all) and you really get the sense that Martin and Mr. Methane were there for the craic and meeting the audience rather than any ulterior motive.

Johnny Kearns modeling Fest's "Fart Attack" article on Mr. Methene

Mr Methane takes on Broadway

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