A while back I wrote an article about Mira Craig, who became famous overnight because of her infamous stage dive.

This time I will tell you about how fast fame can go in the opposite direction.

17 years ago Erik Hartman hosted a Belgian Television show called Boumerang. The program was followed by many with Argus eyes, because it raised controversial topics for its time.

In a program about medical failures, everything went wrong for Erik Hartman.

On that particular show, Hartman had two guests in the studio, who suffered from disabilities due to botched medical procedures. Marijke, a woman, had been paralyzed from a injury to her spine, and Velerej, a man, had his voice cords damaged in a routine surgery.

Because Valerej's voice had become very high pitched due to his surgery, Hartman struggled to remain serious, and eventually he lost all self control, which unfortunately for him, resulted in his continuous laughter.

This episode led to Erik Hartman being fired and the program was canceled.

In this interview he tells us his side of the story and the fatal clip from the TV show appears. Please watch the video before you read on.

Attention: If you are sensitive or offended by sarcasm please think twice before you watch the video.

What's the big difference between Mira Craig and Erik Hartman?

First and foremost, you may safely conclude that for Mira Craig, she became an overnight success, even though her escapade was terribly embarrassing, while for Erik Hartman, it became the tragic end of his TV career. His TV guests were ridiculously treated in a tragicomic setting. In other words, an overnight failure.

At least that was my opinion, until I recently found out that I'd been fooled.

Yes, I and many other have been fooled like idiots for several years, because the video you just watched is a fake. Or, more correctly, it's a sketch that was made for a Belgian Satire show called "In De Gloria". Erik Hartman is portrayed by the actor Tom Van Dyck, Valerej by Lucas Van Den Eynden, and An Miller plays Marijke.

Visit Wikipedia to read more about In De Gloria

In hindsight, I admit to have laughed at this video many times. It's a relief for my conscience to realize this was only a sketch and not real. Actually upon further introspection, I'm now asking myself, how could a professional T.V. host like Erik Hartman, have lost all sense and sensibility?

Please excuse my bizarre sense of humor - years of extreme sports have had a damaging impact upon my finer sensibilities!



Almond said... @ November 17, 2008 at 8:44 PM

Lisa, here is an excerpt from my book, Patchwork and So Forth that is a slow build up to something that I hope will make you laugh aloud for a few minutes. -- Jim George

"All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages." Jacques, As You Like It, Shakespeare
Miss Denman was my fourth grade teacher. One of her specialties was to introduce us to fine literature and drama. Grasping the likes of William Shakespeare from the context of my being an outdoors boy whose closest brush with literature was Boys Life magazine was a tall order.
Why did she select As You Like It? Did she think that I and the other boys would relate somehow to being in love with a girl? Heck, we weren’t thinking anything about girls. What’s the story about Lords and Ladies and such pinning poetry to trees? This was our first exposure to learning anything about the class system in England.
Want to introduce a boy to literature, start with Macbeth where there are swords and witches, perhaps. If we can’t understand the language and ideas, we can at least be entertained by saber rattling, blood pouring, and witches ranting over a pot of brew.
We had several weeks in which to learn parts in the play. When asked what parts we wanted to act, not a single one of us boys raised our hands. The girls were clamoring for parts by contrast.
By the fourth grade, I was much subdued over my prior years in public education. Miss Denman was the perfect teacher to usher my transformation to a quiet gentleman. She knew my parents. She was calm and deliberate. I understood my assignments and I was learning from this teacher. Even literature was within grasp because she made it interesting with her explanations that included comparing things to our local place and time.
Jacques, she said, was supposed to take care of his brother, Orlando. Instead, Jacques attended school and took good care of himself while neglecting Orlando and leaving him to simple chores and without schooling. Wow, attending school was a privilege and staying home to wander the creek was not. Jacques took the best horse, and Orlando got the swayback.
I did not volunteer nor was I selected for a part in this play. I had the role of being in the audience and that was fine with me.
Unfortunately, this placid role would not last as Miss Denman insisted that boys participate, and she looked at me and gave to me a new name, “Orlando. Jimmy, you will play Orlando.”
She said that I would play opposite Judi Schrack who would play Rosalind. Since Judi was my friend, this was alright. Her mother was from England and Judi spoke perfect English with a slight accent. If anyone could help me through this ordeal, it would be she.
The play would be a performance before an audience of parents who would come to class in several weeks. Each day we would read parts and walk through scenes. Expected was that every night I would be at home studying my lines as the abbreviated script would be delivered from memory, a feat that I had not accomplished before with the exception of learning some songs in music class.
Every night when I got home, I did my homework and by the time that was done, I was too tired to read Shakespeare. So, I relied on my in-class experience as practice enough.
As performance day approached, it was obvious that I was not getting the hang of it. I struggled to read my lines, much less remember them. I was confused about where to stand and when and where to exit. Judi did her best to help, and Miss Denman encouraged this.
The day before the performance, I promised Judi that I would study my lines real hard. However, just in case I did not succeed, I had a back-up plan. I asked Judi to read my lines off stage where I could hear her, and then I would repeat them. That was a sure fire solution that gave to me much confidence.
Now, the performance was upon us. We had costumes of sort to wear. The stage was set. Parents arrived including my Mother who sat in the front row. I tried to ask her to move back, but she insisted that she liked her seat. Oh my.
I was sweating and red faced and we were just beginning. At the last minute, I realized that having Judi read my part off stage was a bad idea because she would be on stage with me most of the time. The back-up plan was no help at all.
Sure, I memorized a few opening lines, but after that, I needed the script. Heaven help me. During the performance when I had run out of memorized lines, Miss Denman handed to me the script, and I was able to read my way through it just as in practice.
Acting was not for me. I did not understand the story I was supposed to be delivering and if it weren’t for my friend Judi, I may well have collapsed.
I can live no longer by thinking.

I will weary you then no longer with idle talking.”

I shared this and other stories with Bill Calhoun who is now a lawyer in the State of Tennessee. There are a couple of ladies from Mt. Gilead living in Tennessee as well, Mary Petrie and Renee Sims. Via email exchange, they all looked at the stories and had comments as I hoped they might.

I did not expect what I heard from Mary and Renee who had quite different views and experiences about Miss Denman. I am sharing their conversation because on one hand it validates my being there as I did not make up these stories, and second, as I said earlier, everyone has a different view of the same events.

“How utterly amazing the difference in one's recollections of a situations as compared to another’s! I recall my school year with Miss Denman aka Mrs. Salyer as the longest nightmare of my elementary school life, as does Renee! We have been reminiscing our shared ‘dark days’ in her classroom as one might recollect a mild form of child abuse, never reported nor dealt with appropriately. It is a blessing that somehow you came through her fourth grade unscathed, with such positive little snippets enabling you to write pleasantries about "those good old days". I sincerely mean that. The clowns and laughter residing in your 'fourth grade locker' certainly trump the skeletons that seem to fall from ours when we dare open ours!

‘Please recognize the humor here.....neither of us has required therapy, although during Renee's year with Mrs. Salyer, she had to be medicated for a severe stomach problem caused by stress. I unfortunately just had stomach aches and headaches frequently, finding it nearly impossible to concentrate. Don't you recall that she often would come into the classroom, give us a reading assignment, and then she would lay her head down on her desk and cry for what seemed like forever? I vividly recall that in the year we had her, not only did her husband die, but her beloved parakeet also passed away-----which further caused her to cry at a moment's notice. And Renee and I recall feeling so confused, and helpless, and stressed during these ‘episodes’ of hers. And you may have forgotten the unbelievable ‘Jerry Rawles I need to puke saga’ obviously! How is this possible? LOL’

“Here 'tis:

Jerry raised his arm, as we were supposed to when we needed to ask permission from our teacher. When she finally called on Jerry, he said to her, ”Mrs. Salyer, I gotta puke"! Her response to him was, "You go stand in the corner immediately"! Which he of course did.....for a very long time....slowly sinking into the wall....as he became a pale grey color....and he once again held up his arm.....for an even longer time. When she finally....finally asked him very hatefully, and loudly, ‘what now!?’, he repeated that he REALLY had to puke, to which she responded, "we don't talk that way in this class". She went back to him, and slapped his face repeatedly, asking him once more, "What do you have to do?" His answer was unchanged. This went on for eternity it seemed......until God, in all His mercy, enabled Jerry Rawles to spew his ugly stuff over every inch of that corner & the floor------and inside myself I cheered so fervently I bet the roof of that school moved just a little! Naturally, Mrs. Salyer was horrified, and angry at Jerry, and screamed at him, asking "why did you DO that?" to which he replied, "I told you I had to puke"......and that crazy woman, who was no more cut out to teach school than be a rocket scientist screamed back at him, "the word is VOMIT Jerry, the word is VOMIT!" Poor Jerry, his mother was a deaf mute, his father did the best he could do to raise two sons by himself, and unfortunately at home they undoubtedly used the word puke rather than vomit, and little Jerry just had never heard the word, and so, wasn't allowed to go to the restroom and relieve himself in the dignified way....Mrs. Salyer made sure of that. What a fine lady she was! So intuitive, and kind, and patient, and gee......my coffee will get cold should I go on about how much I DID NOT like that woman Jim! Empathy is the best I can give her, only because I feel certain that she should have been in heavy duty therapy of some sort rather than in our fourth grade room, pretending to be a teacher.

Just wanted you to hear, as a famous radio host often says...............’....the rest of the story....’

Don't know if you remember me.......but regardless, I remain, Sincerely,

Mary Petrie Ramsey

P.S. I also enjoy writing....but just for my own pleasure!

P.P.S. If that beautiful black horse was down at the end of Bank Street, in the ravine off to the left.....its name was Thunder! What a beautiful mare. I used to dream that someday, somehow, she would be mine! LOL Lots of our apples went into her stomach!! Good luck with your writing.

Thank you Mary and Renee!

Daisy said... @ November 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Lisa, I had seen the original clip before of the show where he laughs, but I had not seen the one you have here where he tells "his side" of the story. I was also fooled and thought it all was real. HA! Fun post. :D

Speedcat Hollydale said... @ November 23, 2008 at 12:55 AM

That was freaky ... and kind of funny too after understanding the story.

When others laugh, I think it is just contagious!

Hello from SpeedyCat ... I saw you at Daisy's blog :-)

Lisa said... @ November 26, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Almond, you have a lot on your mind and you say it well :o)

Daisy, like you I had only seen clips earlier and believed it was for real. Then I found this video, did some research and viola... :o)

SpeedyCat, hello and thanks for leaving a comment - I will come over to your place for coffee and entertainment soon :o)

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