The Farting Contest
“They sell assault rifles, but Farting is considered to be in poor taste.” Demetrius Toteras
In the spring of 1989, Demetrius Toteras, Tad Baker and several members of the Northern California Collective Consciousness conspired to form the experimental theater group, The Institute of Absurdity, which in 1990 morphed into the title School of Absurdity. The Institute/School became the practical 'performance arm' for Toteras' Theories of Absurdity, and the group's first act was their decision to host the most unusual contest in history: a Farting Contest.
Why Farting? Well, it's perhaps the last taboo known to Man, and therefore, the Institute, with its credo, 'Rude, Offensive and Vulgar', knew what it had to do: perform an elegant and tasteful open-to-the-public, nationally-advertised Farting Contest.
Many people have held informal and impromptu Farting contests in the safety of their homes or private locations, but none had ever dared perform a Farting Contest which would be open to one and all and carry a Grand Prize of $500! National advertisements went out, Ft. Mason on the shores of San Francisco Bay was chosen for its breath-taking and historic location, and soon, all of America was asking, “Is this real, a Farting Contest?” Word spread like wildfire, the Institute was overwhelmed with interested, curious and disbelieving people, Howard Stern splashed the news and replayed Institute PSA's on his radio shows, and all the while, contestants were carefully screened and the stage was prepared.
Then, on April 21st, at 7:01 pm, with angry protesters blocking access outside and demanding the event be stopped, the anxious crowd packed into Ft. Mason and a group of hungry, seasoned and capable farters, including 5-time Grand National Champion R. Roberti, the Farting Philosopher, Al Starr, and the voluptuous Joya McPhearson-Glenn, waited in the wings, until Tad Baker, as Dr. Robert Salubrius, proudly took the stage!
What happened next? Well for that, only the video should be consulted; indeed, seeing is believing!
We offer you here, for your casual perusal, 1 of the 3 films made of that historic evening: a 2 minute promotional clip:
2 minute Farting Contest
Here is some text describing what you'll see in the 30 minute review:
“In this half-hour short, 'The First Annual San Francisco Farting Contest', you'll see the essence of the action which captivated the nation on April 21, 1989 at Ft. Mason in San Francisco. This is the event that put Farting on a national stage, and became one of the most controversial events in San Francisco's history.
Uncle Tad Baker, as Dr. Roberts Salubrius, is the Master of Ceremonies for this contest between some of America's Greatest Anal Blasters! The contestants for the fabled evening, a public event never performed in history, were the immortal and 5-time Grand National Champion, R. Roberti; the Farting Philosopher, Al Starr; the ass-blowing temptress, Joya McPhearson-Glenn, and a host of challengers all battling it out for the $500 Grand Prize.” ## only available to life-time members
The 3rd film: again, only those who have purchased a life-time membership in the School will be able to see this amazing full-length feature film, described below:
“The film, 'The First Annual San Francisco Farting Contest: The Movie' captures this entire historic event, from set-up to break-down and everything in between. Set at Ft. Mason in San Francisco in April, 1989, this is the event that put Farting on a national stage, and became one of the most controversial events in San Francisco's history.
Tad Baker, as Dr. Roberts Salubrius, is the Master of Ceremonies for this contest between some of America's Greatest Anal Blasters! The contestants for the fabled evening, a public event never performed in history, were the immortal and 5-time Grand National Champion, R. Roberti; the Farting Philosopher, Al Starr; the ass-blowing temptress, Joya McPhearson-Glenn, and a host of challengers all battling it out for the $500 Grand Prize.
In this near 2-hour documentary, follow the Institute of Absurdity as they construct the stage and setting for this historic event. Despite numerous protests against this 'rude, vulgar and offensive' contest, including several outraged protesters just outside the building, Baker and the Institute would pull off this outrageous yet thoroughly high-brow affair, which some critics have rightfully compared to the opening night of Jarry's Ubu Roi for the impact it had on the creative community of San Francisco, and beyond. There has never been anything like the First Annual San Francisco Farting Contest before or since, and the 'results' will surprise even the most dedicated fart enthusiast.”
We invite you to take a closer look at the event that galvanized public interest in Farting, and put the Institute of Absurdity, Tad Baker and Demetrius Toteras on the map!
Friends, Tad has decided to release the original 3 minute phone message from 1989, which sent interest in our Farting Contest through the roof after Howard Stern played it on his radio show; take a listen: