man with the big balls

The Man With Big Balls – Offensive Comedy – Is It OK?

Can someone who is offensive as part of their act actually be a good entertainer? When you cast your mind’s eye around you may come up with names such as Roy Chubby Brown or Jim Davidson. But these are acts you choose to go see. What about street entertainers who don’t choose to encounter? You and your children are exposed to them and their offensive brand of unwittingly.

We were in York this past weekend visiting York’s Chocolate Story. We know York is awash with street entertainers, especially on a hot summers day like it was. And we also know that Kings Square, where the chocolate story is located, provides a natural theatre to street entertainers. It was no surprise as we arrive there that one such entertainer was just setting up his act.


What I noticed immediately with this guy, who was European with a possible German/Austrian accent, was his innuendo. For a start, his act is called “MAN WITH BIG BALLS”. But his banter with the assembling audience was peppered with it too. I laughed, I admit it. I found him humorous. Innuendo in itself isn’t wrong and can be funny so I’m not fussed about that.

At one point a couple walking past caught his eye. “Italianos! You want to watch the show again? She held my balls yesterday that Italian woman. That’s why she still smiling 24 hours later.” I have to admit this raised more than a chuckle from the adults in the audience.

Cultural offence

One of his footballs rolled away. A Chinese man retrieved it and placed it back where it needed to be. Mr Balls (I don’t really know how else to refer to him) thanks him in what I assume to be Chinese or Mandarin. The Chinese gentleman appeared to correct him in English, but Mr Balls was adamant HE was correct and called the man “the crazy one”. People laughed, I didn’t. I am fairly certain that the Chinese chap has a better grasp of his own language. At worst it was just a misunderstanding and no reason to try and get a laugh from it.

Again, I did laugh at the next one. He approached a gentleman and as if he was French. The man replied that he was not to which Mr Balls retorted “I didn’t think so, you aren’t arrogant enough”. We all know the gag that the French as supposedly arrogant, which I guess made me laugh.

Was it funny?

It’s only afterwards, after talking with Helen and another chap in the chocolate story, that I questioned whether Mr Balls was actually funny.

I’ve given some tame examples of his comedy here. But in the 10 minutes we were watching managed to take a swipe and a good cross-section of the audience. Even I was called out. He wanted a volunteer and Verity put her hand up. As we had just 10 minutes before our slot at the chocolate story I said she couldn’t. He questioned my decision. He asked what time our booking was and then when I told him he accused me of lying. In the end, she ended up taking part as I didn’t want her to be upset or embarrassed.

We only saw the 10 minutes or so of his setup and not his actually ball-balancing-juggling act. I’m sure he was very good at it. But on reflection, I don’t think he was actually that funny.

I’m not one for using insults to make people laugh and I actually feel a little ashamed that I did laugh at a few of his lines.

Am I overreacting? Am I being too sensitive or should I actually be standing up and saying this isn’t okay? I certainly don’t want my girls growing up believing you have to insult people to get a laugh.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

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27 thoughts on “The Man With Big Balls – Offensive Comedy – Is It OK?”

  1. Hi Yorkshire Dad of Four, we saw him today 13.08.19 in the same place and he was funny, he seemed to understand various languages and could speak to the various people around the square in there native tongue, mainly Norwegian, Chinese, Italian, French and English. It was nearing the end of his act he started to loose people in that he said he did it for a living and had been doing it for some 24 years, he needed to provide for his family and if you went to the Chocolate Factory it would cost you £13 per adult and £10 per child, so could you put in his hat say £5 each or £10 a couple etc. One guy and his partner started to leave and the GWBB said “don’t go you tight b*****d” in front of all the audience including children, he carried on “try and put something in if only a quid, if you don’t have any money don’t worry, there’s a cash machine across the road”!! We gave our son a £1 to put in and I think he might have killed of more donations as people might have felt he went to far. On a lighter note. what a fantastic City York is, we stayed at The Crescent Guest House and walked around York for 2 days without using the car… But wow the car parks are expensive!!

    1. Hi. Saw this street performer, man with big balls, August 2021 in York. I couldn’t believe the bully tactic this street performer used at the end of his show, anyone who walked away without giving him money had abuse directed at them, even families with young children. This is a strategic move that makes other viewers too scared to turn and walk but instead walk forward to put money in his bag, too scared to risk a public roasting. Don’t let this put you off York though, fantastic city, loved our week there.

      1. We visit York quite often and I recently observed his act again. It was the same routine with the same abuse handed out just as you described. The thing is, I generally give to street performers but there was something about this guy that put me off doing so. If you look in the comments on this post he clearly Googles himself as he replied to the post last year during the first lockdown, getting on for 18 months after I wrote this article. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your opinion though, I appreciate it. We all have opinions and some choose to share them and some not – I do share where I feel appropriate but was never quite sure if I’d got this one quite right.

        1. I did find him funny but some of his humor was a but awkward asking if some guy was grooming his son prompted a young boy near me to ask his mum what that meant.
          I was also a little confused that I watched his last ever show on Saturday, then saw him there again on Sunday.

          1. We encountered this man yesterday (21st Feb 2022), so it is good to see his last ever performance is still going.
            My wife and I hated it. My 14 year old though it was ‘rubbish’. The only reason we stayed was because my 9 year old wanted to get called up to the stage.
            Then he did!!!
            Only to be told he was not strong enough and was sent back to us in place of an adult. He did not understand why he would get called up to then be sent back.
            We decided to leave straight after the performance to then be subjected to a remark from the performer. The remark was along the lines of ‘that family have watched from the start and now buggering off without paying’.
            I was all set to have a debate with him but was pulled back by my wife.
            Here is what we didn’t like about the act:-
            1. It actually wasn’t that impressive. All talk and not much action. He juggled 3 balls, then 5 balls and then stood on a ball for 3 minutes.
            2. The jokes were appalling, not audience specific as kids were watching and bordered being racist.
            3. He actively called people out that were not clapping or engaging.

            I am quite a level headed individual, but this guy drew out the worst in me. I sincerely hope he does not reflect York as it seems to be a great city.
            The fact that people have googled him to come here speaks volumes. Noting his comments above as well draws a bigger but worse picture of the guy.
            Simon Cowell would have a field day with this act.
            1 out of 10

          2. When I wrote this post I really never expected it to get so much attention – not least from the man himself when he responded a couple of years ago.
            I suppose his divisiveness and his “distinct” sense of humour are what make some people happy. There are a few acts that use that space in Kings Square and without a doubt, in my mind, this guy is the worst of them all. Art, and thus performing arts, is subjective.
            Other than this experience, I hope you have enjoyed your visit to York.

        2. He is such a horid man very rude portrays himself to be a street entertainer has been for thirty years maybe he should get some real balls and stop trying to be little the Inocent people trying to enjoy york with small children and what I witnessed today he was vile

  2. Always interesting to find blog posts like this on my street shows….during this covid time I’m reflecting greatly on my past 25 years travelling & performing on the streets of our beautiful world…. what’s really interesting to me is you have made comments, spent the time to opinionate & seemingly come to a conclusion of me, my character, my style of performing etc from Ten Minutes of watching me….i am very aware of my performances as Mr Yellow, teaching in schools & corporate companies, performing my ManWithBigBalls act in over 20countries…talking with my 21year old son about the countless varieties of interactions I’ve had in all my performances…to keep this short, from one Yorkshire dad of 1, to a Yorkshire Dad of 4….my 25 years of street performing is grounded in Love & Laughter….I may not always express such simplistvalues, life has its challenges, but if the ten minutes of your life watching just ten minutes of my 25years worth of performing made you react this way…well I got a reaction, I made you think, I made you feel something, I made you express an opinion….now please go amplify all those emotive sensations towards Boris..Trump..Buddha..the Rothchilds..your Bank..or better still..give every thought, emotion creative desire to your four children… Much Love, Mark Wallis aka ManWithBigBalls X

    1. I came to York last Friday with my grandchildren. – Jude and Matilda. We thoroughly enjoyed your show – you may remember Matilda volunteered to steady the large circus ball only to be told by you that the last child to do this was a French boy who was killed. Matilda’s only 5 but she appreciated your humour.
      Those who complain have little knowledge of how hard street performers work and know even less about the historical importance of ‘bawdy’ humour.
      We live in Hessle and this is the 3rd act we have seen in 3 visits. The grandchildren look out for this entertainment and ask to go to King’s Square.

  3. I saw this guy on 12 September 21
    Vile. He is racist homophobic and called me “woke” when I called him out when he said “what about you gay boys are you going to donate”

    Horrid man that needs to be banned from performing. He’s dragging your City down. I have emailed the council as I fully believe this guy is offensive and needs to be got rid of from the otherwise pleasant streets

    1. I can’t speak for the guy himself but personally I’m sorry you had to experience. York is such a vibrant and multicultural city that is home to some truly wonderful people, this guy doesn’t represent York. I was out and about in the city with my camera just yesterday and I noticed two different performers in this guys usual spot. They were great!

      1. I totally agree with all these, I saw him about a month ago and he must have got to me for me to still be thinking about him this long after, I thought he was a bully who tries to manipulate his audience into giving money, his act was boring which is why he needs to use these techniques to earn a living he should try having a nice attitude and a talent, people might be more willing part with their cash then.

  4. We actually found him quite amusing, sorry! However, what wasn’t on was how he treated my daughter. Even though she’d desperately tried to volunteer for a part in the show and didn’t get picked (even though he could clearly see her hand up and others weren’t so obliging), she enjoyed it so much she decided off her own back to give him £5 of her own spending money. He didn’t even say thank you despite seeing the money and seeing how others gave only coins. Then she helped to pick up some props at the end as she’s super helpful, only to get a “No don’t do that, I’ll do it myself” from him. Thankfully she didn’t notice, but had it not been for her being there and being blissfully happily ignorant to his rudeness, we’d have demanded our money back!! Not on Mr Wallis, not cool at all!!!

    1. No need to apologise. All art and art forms are subjective and the world would be a boring place if we all like and disliked the same things.
      He’s clearly a talented man, I certainly couldn’t perform his act, that’s for sure. He works the crowd but for my taste, he just goes a bit too far sometimes. What I do think is that it is his attitude towards the public that lets him down, as you found out, sadly.

  5. My girlfriend and I and my 12 year old son and his friend went to York today for a day out.We could hear the sound of entertainment so decided to check it out.It was the man with big balls 😊 He cleverly dressed the audience with his well timed jokes and involved many of the audience members young and old.His juggling skills were very clever and we all enjoyed the act.It was great to watch something different than the usual singer or musician.Mr big balls’s jokes about his balls were the highlight of his vocal performance and my Girlfriend and I with the 12 year olds giggled and laughed all the way through,he said today that it was his last time he was performing and that he had been on the streets all over the World since 1995 which showed through his proffesionalism. Ive read the above comments and respect that everyone’s entitled to their own opinions,my opinion is “if I comedy act does contain light adult material and the child doesn’t understand the humour or the content of the joke then surely it doesn’t raise any concerns and if the child does understand the joke then they are already learning and are at the stage of adult humour understanding which in the modern world with Internet social networks and video sites like YouTube its understanding these days.”His act contains himself juggling and playing with his balls so why shouldn’t he do them jokes? After all “he as the balls to do it.”🤣 So if you get the chance to see The man with the big balls (enjoy) and if your reading this Mr Big Balls then I was the man with the beard who shook your hand and gave you the £5 and said I thought you was brilliant..Thanks for the entertainment 👍❤

    1. This is the great thing about all arts and forms of entertainment – it’s so subjective.
      There are comedians out there that I simply don’t find funny, yet others belly laugh at. People have different senses of humour and life would be ever so boring if we were all the same.
      There’s no doubting this guys skills at all. For me, and my tastes (especially with children), he takes it just a little far for his broad mix of audience members. Insulting people as a form of entertainment to raise a laugh just isn’t for me. Aside from the time I wrote about here I have observed him numerous times in the same spot in York – Kings Square, and always come to the same thought about his whole act.
      We all enjoy different things – that’s what’s great. It’s great that you paid him as street entertainers make their living doing this and deserve to be paid if people have been entertained.

  6. My daughter and I have just came back from a day trip to York, we came across Mr Big Balls act at the start of our day, my daughter was asked to help with the act, the performer introduced her to the crowd and they all clapped, she loved it, we have been through a really tough time lately and this was the reason for the trip, we were entertained and it was a good start to our day, my daughter gave money from her savings saying the performer made her laugh and smile. If you read this Mr Big Balls, we enjoyed your performance, thank you for making us laugh and entertaining us ❤️

  7. I saw him today – August 2022 – with my nine year old and had all the same questions.
    Agree on the above thoughts around the constant innuendo, the presence of children, the comparison to the Chocolate Story (which we enjoyed) and ‘last show ever’. Overall, an odd experience.

    We stayed for a lot of it, too, mainly because my child liked the juggling and seemed content to ignore the other stuff.

    Later ‘Andy Something’ was up – similar ideas but without the innuendo. Or insults. That allowed me to explore with my 9 year old the difference.

  8. Juggling skills fair play as a positive. Keep to this. This was good and clever.

    But for a family show it is a disgrace. Totally inappropriate getting a man to bend down into his crutch and shows off a sexular show while he wife videos. Constant sex jokes. constant attacking the audience to watch him and clap. Not for a family show. He bullied our kids and bullies the audience.

    He swears several times and even our kids point out he is swearing.
    He starts talking to kids about asking and getting drugs for him. Seriously…. Terrible. not appropriate in public daylight. People may say this is over the top. But we all left thinking we should never have seen this. And our kids came home upset by the show. not clever.

    Stick to the juggling. Sorry for the above but it is the worst show I have ever seen in front of kids. And swearing like that in broad daylight constantly is not acceptable.

  9. Was in York city centre on tues 16th august 2022 and came across “man with big balls “
    Absolutely loved his show , everyone around us seemed to love it too .
    Loved the way he engaged with all ages of his audience, just fantastic to watch, could not walk away . However it’s an open area and if you do not like the show ,you are free to walk away .
    Really brightened our day , thank you .

    1. Everyone has different tastes, and everyone is welcome to that freedom. It’s a personal opinion, and a number of comments here seem to fall on the side of my views. You are free to walk away, but what about just walking past? I visit York regularly, and I’ve seem him abuse people walking past.

  10. Crude and unintelligent comedy combined with so-so juggling. Not sure how he hasn’t been in trouble with the law given that he trades in racial and religious stereotypes, and seems determined to sexualise the discourse around children. Disturbing, and bad for York’s image as a place for a family day out.

  11. Experienced this guy today in York. He wouldn’t take no for a answer when I declined to join in. He asked members of the audience to shout at me and push me in. I said no for a reason I’m disabled and felt so uncomfortable. After more than 10 polite no’s I understood this guy didn’t respect me so I walked away only to be shouted at and be told I’m not a nice woman all got saying no. After his show I went back to explain why he should respect the word no, he wouldn’t listen, laughed in my face but later appologised to my husband. Big balls!! More like no balls. Making a few quid at the expense of destroying someone’s mental health is not ok! I get the acts rude but he took it too far! The fact he couldn’t even have the decency to listen to me when I tried to explain shows exactly what a man he is! I hope this man learns to accept it when someone says no

    1. So I take it he’s not retired yet?
      Fortunately, on my recent visits to York I’ve not had to suffer this intolerable act. Yes, it’s an act.

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