You probably remember the (what else can I call it?) legendary farting video edited from clips from Robert Tilton’s former TV program. It was made a long time ago (who created it I have no idea), and while there are a multitude of variations now, at least one has racked up more than two million views. I bring it up because that notorious video popped up in a surprising place recently. The Hollywood Reporter featured a roundtable discussion with the producers of some of the most popular comedy shows on TV right now. In the middle of the discussion, the Tilton farting video came up. You can read the entire interview here (warning: adult conversation), but here’s the section worth noting:
CHUCK LORRE: I remember seeing Frog Baseball and laughing my a*s off.
MIKE JUDGE: Oh, thanks. It was very weird. I’d just been animating things in my house outside of Dallas. I would send them out on tape — I hadn’t seen them play in front of an audience. I think the “viral” concept sort of happened back then, too. You’d get a VHS that had been copied a million times. Like that preacher, Robert Tilton.
MARC MARON: The farting one?
JUDGE: Yeah, everybody had a copy of it.
MARON: I remember the first time I saw it. Louis C.K. took this VHS out of a drawer, put it in, and we laughed hysterically. He put it back in the drawer and said, “That’s the last time I’m going to watch this for a few months. I want it to stay funny.”
JUDGE: I remember when MTV was starting a new show — we were in the second or third season of Beavis and Butt-head — called The Brothers Grunt. The producer also worked on Beavis. He played like a 10-minute video of the show for us at lunch. Everyone was like, “Oh.” Then someone goes, “Put in the Robert Tilton fart tape!” And it was through-the-roof [funny]. They were like, “How much did we just spend on The Brothers Grunt?”
Obviously Robert Tilton didn’t create the farting video, but his program was excessive enough that it was an easy edit to produce. And even though he’s certainly not a mainstream ministry by any evaluation (this is his current book), in Hollywood and other places, all “Christians” get lumped into the same bucket. While it would be nice if we had the authority to keep a lid on these outside the box pastors and evangelists, in a free country that can’t be done.
So what do we do? How do we as a Christian community overcome the image and perception these types of incidents leave on the culture?
I’d love to know your thoughts…