When it comes to practical jokes there is but one device known to make a man fall to his knees with laughter. The Whoopee cushion has been using flatulence humor to make people laugh since 1930. What we know as the Whoopee cushion today was invented by employees of the JEM Rubber company, located in Canada.
The legend of the Whoopee cushion is that JEM Rubber employees were experimenting with leftover sheets of rubber. By gluing 2 sheets of rubber together and leaving an opening, the employees were able to create the perfect fart-making cushion. With the Whoopee cushion made, JEM sales reps made pitches to various novelty toy companies. One such company, Johnson Smith & Co, found the toy comical not vulgar, and as a result, their sales skyrocketed when they began manufacturing the Whoopee cushion.
As these things usually go, many companies who initially didn’t jump on the Whoopee bandwagon were shocked by the success of the Whoopee cushion. In fact, a Mr Samuel Adams of S.S. Adams Co. bought the rights to his own cushion, named the Razzberry Cushion. Despite the name change, nothing has been able to compare to the success of the original Whoopee cushion.
The Joke of the Whoopee
The Whoopee cushion works by using the element of surprise. The cushion is placed on a seat, preferably hidden by a blanket or other soft object, and the laughter begins when the butt of the joke (no pun intended) sits down to make the entire room think he or she ‘let one rip’.
One Sound, Many Versions
The world has experienced many technological advances since the Whoopee cushion was invented in 1930, and some of that technology has come to the Whoopee cushion.
For the prankster who likes to watch jokes unfold in hiding, there is now the self-inflating whoopee cushion. This self-inflating cushion allows jokesters to prank multiple people without resetting the cushion. Pranksters who love gadgets prefer the remote-controlled Whoopee cushions that allow the cushion to be ‘activated’ from a distance of 100 feet!
Whoopee cushions now produce louder flatulent sounds, with some giving operators the choice of 15 different fart noises. With the addition of batteries, Whoopee cushions have become even more embarrassing for unsuspecting friends.
Whoopee cushion traditionalists shun the electronic versions, but recently found something to celebrate with the invention of The Big Ripper. The Big Ripper is twelve inches in diameter, and has the distinction of being the largest Whoopee cushion in the world!
The humor of farts is difficult to understand for most of us, yet we all laugh hysterically whenever we hear the pffffffft of a Whoopee cushion being sat upon. Such a simple toy with an all too familiar sound has been labeled a classic, and will continue to sprout laughter from any unsuspecting victim and prankster for many more years to come.