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TRACI SKENE has appeared on VH-1's Standup Spotlight, A&E's Comedy On The Road and Lifetime's Girls Night Out, all of which has done her absolutely no good.

Traci Skene


Traci Skene

SHECKYmagazine Chief

Show And Tell

I was onstage recently in Sheridan, Wyoming, waiting for the laughs from joke #2 to die down before launching into the setup for joke #3, when out of the darkness I heard the all too familiar voice of an inebriated male between the age of 18-35 yell out in his best I-hate-women- and-I-don't-care- who-knows-it-voice, "Show us your tits!"

Unfortunately, this was not the first time I had been on the receiving end of such a demand. Over the past 18 years, I have encountered the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy so often that even my breasts are bored by this utterly-- or is it udderly-- typical outburst. And why is it always tits, my tits wonder? Why couldn't he yell, "Show us your breasts!" "Show us your milk ducts!" "Show us your areola which contains small sebaceous, or lubricating, glands that keep the nipple supple!" The sad truth is, if I had a nickle for every time a man yelled, "Show us your tits!" during one of my sets, I'd have enough money for a top-of-the-line boob job.

The first time I encountered the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy, I was an open-miker and, I must admit, I was not prepared for the situation. Let me tell you what usually happens when a man yells "Show us your tits" in a comedy club full of people. Half the audience-- usually the single men-- cheer and high-five, the other half-- most likely the women and the married men-- boo and hiss. All of them, however, turn to the female comic onstage to see how she will respond to such a request.

That first time I handled it badly. I think the phrase "Screw you" or "Bite me" or some other verb/pronoun combination squeezed out through my clenched teeth. By taking his remarks personally, I lost control of both my temper and the audience, leaving all involved-- including my breasts-- feeling deflated.

Back then, I hadn't yet discovered that the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy isn't really interested in my tits at all. The "Show Us Your Tits" Guy is only concerned with exerting power and control over a woman in a very public setting. The possibility of getting laughs or seeing naked boobies is merely an added bonus.

Like most hecklers, the key to handling the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy is to maintain control. Unlike with most hecklers, however, you only have one chance to nail him and you have to put him down without insulting every male in the universe. If you do it correctly, you make the other men feel superior, the women feel vindicated and the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy feel like a puppy who's just been caught peeing on the Persian rug.

In order to acheive this goal, you can take several approaches: deflect the line, appear self-deprecating or be vicious and cruel. Which trusted line I choose usually depends on my mood.


Him: "Show us your tits!"

Me: "Dad, is that you?"


Him: "Show us your tits!"

Me: "Sir, it looks like you have bigger tits that I do."

Viscious and Cruel:

Him: "Show us your tits!"

Me: "Why don't you show us your penis? I'm sure it'll get a bigger laugh."

I suppose another way to defuse the situation would be to just show the loser my tits. I have yet to see if this works.

For some reason when the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy visited me in Wyoming I decided not to use one of my standard comeback lines. Instead I sighed deeply, stared down at the tops of my breasts and said weerily, "Sir, I'm 37. You don't want to see these. Trust me." The room exploded. The reaction was so out of proportion to the relative funnyness of my retort that I quickly looked around to see if perhaps Tom Hanks had decided to drop by for a cameo appearance. When the two-time Oscar winner was nowhere to be found, I concluded that the audience was cheering for me. So I continued, "Ten years ago, I would have whipped these babies out." Even the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy was laughing.

Then it hit me. The only reason the crowd was laughing is because I'm finally old enough to have humorous breasts. To put this into perspective, I was only 19 when the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy and I first met. Imagine if I had tried to use this very line way back then. "Sir, I'm 19. You don't want to see these. Trust me." Even the women in the audience would have thought I was insane. Now, see how awful the second line would have appeared. "Ten years ago, I would have whipped these babies out." Ten years prior, I would have been nine. Can you think of anything more disturbing than a nine-year-old whipping out her nine-year-old knockers?

Then I was hit again. There will come a day when I will be so old that the "Show Us Your Tits" Guy will no longer scream "Show Us Your Tits" for fear that I will actually take him up on his offer.

Then I was hit a third time. When I'm onstage twenty years from now, will I pause between the laugh from joke #2 and the set-up from joke #3 just to yell to the inebriated men in the darkness, "Would anybody like me to show him my tits?!" HOME Back to the Top