You Poop About a Pound a Day, and 4 More Things We Learned From the New Comedy-Doc 'Poop Talk'
We're so glad this hilarious take on a taboo topic exists.
While poop is a taboo topic for some, here at Health we’re not afraid to talk about going #2. After all, everybody does it. And your bathroom habits can tell you a lot about your overall health. (Plus, where else are you going to find the answers to your most embarrassing poo questions—like why it suddenly looks pink—than on the anonymous Internet?)
So we were pretty excited to hear about the new comedy-slash-documentary Poop Talk, which hits theaters tomorrow. (It will also be available on iTunes if you prefer to watch in the privacy of your own home.) The film includes everything from poop-related anecdotes from some of our favorite comedians—like Nikki Glaser and Kumail Nanjiani—to actual medical explanations from real-life doctors.
We had the pleasure of watching this masterpiece early. Here are our top five takeaways.
Poop isn’t just excess food
Nanjiani shares a story from when he was a kid that’s one of our favorite moments in the whole film. It’d be worth watching just for the adorable childhood photo of him alone, but then he spills this gem: “I just hated pooping so much,” he says. “I figured it’s all the stuff that your body doesn’t need, so if I could figure out the formula and just eat what my body needs, it would all get absorbed into me and then I wouldn’t ever have to poop, right?” It was a while before he figured out that's not exactly how things work. “For years I was a little obsessed with trying to eat the right amount," he says, "but then I would still poop, and I was like, What’s it gonna take?!”
RELATED: 15 Foods That Help You Poop
The average person poops about a pound a day
We know, we're shocked too. One of the expert voices interspersed among the comedians is gastroenterologist John Vainder, MD. Before detailing the process of digestion, he surprised us with this nugget: “The average poop is a pound a day,” he says, “so that comes out to 360 pounds of poop a year.”
That’s…. a lot. “When you really think about it, it’s a biological marvel!” reflects comedian Rob Corddry.
People follow different pooping rituals in different countries
About halfway through Poop Talk, a handful of comedians talk about their experiences pooping in countries other than the U.S. If you’ve never squatted over a toilet in India or Pakistan or South Korea, you’ll no doubt find the details fascinating. Comedian Bobby Lee shares a story about the house where his mother grew up in Seoul, which simply had a giant hole in the ground where everyone pooped. “Whenever you shit there,” he says, “you think, My great-great-grandfather’s shit is somewhere down there!”
How we talk about poop can be a little sexist
A few too many male comedians stuck to the tired trope that men don’t want to think about women pooping. You know what? We don’t want to think about men pooping either! Luckily, actor Aisha Tyler has our backs: “A dude will be like, ‘I don’t want to know that my girlfriend poops,’ but then he’ll just literally destroy a bathroom and then fling the door open with his hands on his hips like, ‘This is Sparta!’” she says. “I don’t know why you think that makes us want to fuck you!”
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Talking about poop more might help lessen the stigma for people with digestive diseases
In a rare serious moment, Glaser addresses bonafide digestive conditions that wreak havoc on people’s pooping habits. “I wish more people were open about it just for the sake of people who have IBS and Crohn’s and colitis,” she says empathetically. “It’s gotta be torture, because there’s this huge stigma about it, but so many people suffer with these things!”
See, talking and learning more about poop isn’t gross—it’s helpful! Our bowel movements don't make us any less of the magical beings we are. “Even though I am divine and can be enlightened and can be glorious,” comedian Pete Holmes quips with a shrug, “I also poop.”