REMEMBERED FOR FART
A NEWSCASTER steps into a spotlight. He reads an obituary out
Obituary for September 15, 2009. Marty Carlyle, 92, a
lifelong educator in the town of Danbury, CT, who helped cement proper
enforcement of the American for Disabilities Act and was a father of ten, died
today of a heart attack. He was best known for having loud flatulence on live
television in front of the President of the United States.
Mr. Carlyle was a respected teacher, principal and eventual
superintendent in Danbury, where he was born in 1917. A popular and respected
man, he spent much of the 1970s lobbying for the city to spend necessary money
to install wheelchair-accessible ramps in all of its public schools - an
unpopular initiative at that time. His success in this led him to be thanked by
then President Jimmy Carter on national television, during which Mr. Carlyle
experienced pointedly loud flatulence as the president shook his hand.
Although the unfortunate flatulence lasted just a few
seconds, it cemented itself into America's pop culture almost immediately. Mr.
Carlyle soon became known as "Farty Marty," Ridiculed nightly on such comedy
shows as The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Carol Burnett and even the
drama The Waltons.
References to Mr. Carlyle were pervasive throughout all media
-- he was parodied in commercials such as Xerox, in which two monks copying the
Bible by hand shake each other's hand and then experience flatulence, or on the
television comedy Welcome Back Kotter, when the character Horseshack meets his
long-lost father only to experience flatulence while shaking his hand.
Perhaps the most notable evidence of Mr. Carlyle's fame was
when Anwar Sadat and the Shah of Iran re-created the moment during a press
conference announcing a new Middle East peace initiative. Mr. Sadat and the
Shah shook hands for the cameras and during that moment each made
flatulence-like noises with their mouths.
Mr. Carlyle reached the peak of his fame in 1981, when
astronaut Roger Butron became near-fatally injured while piloting the space
shuttle Columbia and passed out. Unable to rouse the pilot, technicians in
Houston eventually found through trial and error that Butron would respond to
transmissions of Mr. Carlyle's famous flatulence. The pilot woke up and safely
landed the shuttle. NASA technicians continue to use this strategy for
incapacitated astronauts today.
Besides his status as inadvertent pop culture icon, Mr.
Carlyle continued to somberly campaign for ADA compliance. He won Teacher of
the Year several times and worked for the school system throughout his
Mr. Carlyle famously would not comment on his accidental
flatulence despite thousands up thousands of requests for intervies or public
appearances. He refused to acknowlegde it or to draw any more attention to that
day. Still, "Farty Marty" wsa named the number two most memorable moment on
telvision, just ahead of the Moon Landing and just behind Walter Cronkite's
report of the Kennedy assassination.
Mr. Carlyle's last words are not known. As he expired, a
reporter for Variety was on his deathbed playing for him a tape of the moment
he farted in front of President Carter.
He is survived by ten children and 14 grand-children. He
farted in front of President Carter. He farted in front of President Carter. He
farted in front of President Carter.