TikTok Won’t Let Bobby Lee Forget That He Couldn’t Stop Telling Podcasters He Had Sex with a Young Girl in Tijuana
“I’m going to be completely honest with you, this story could ruin my career.”
Stretching back to 2014, MADtv alumnus Bobby Lee has told the same story on at least three podcasts and one SiriusXM show, and the anecdote hit the same beats in every iteration — Lee, long before he was famous, goes on a trip to Tijuana as a sex tourist. He walks down a dimly lit backstreet called “Hooker Alley,” where sex workers commonly proposition American visitors. “You don’t know how old they are,” he tells his hosts. At the end of the alley, he sees a young sex worker shyly facing a brick wall. He approaches her, and describes her appearance as “like Natalie Portman in The Professional.”
Lee takes the young girl to the Miami Hotel, where he pays $10 for a room and is handed a towel with a condom and lubricant. Once in the room, Lee describes his companion as “cold” and “shaking” before he penetrates her, saying that, in the moonlight, “I see her face, and I can see tears coming down her face and snot bubbles in her nose.” Then, the payoff: “I did what anyone else would do — I power-fucked her.”
Lee has told this exact story on the Opie and Anthony SiriusXM show, DVDASA, Theo Von’s This Past Weekend and on his own podcast, TigerBelly. The story was retroactively removed from the DVDASA and TigerBelly episodes, but unofficial fan channels have continuously re-uploaded the clip from those podcasts in its entirety before the videos are inevitably removed.
Though some of these recitations are separated by almost a decade, the story stays the same — Lee, then a waiter in his early 20s, is despondent over his lack of dating success, so he and his co-workers make regular trips to Tijuana to buy sex. Each time, Lee makes a point to describe the girl’s trepidation and her very young appearance, including the reference to a 13-year-old Portman, but later backpedals and insists that she was an adult, despite his constant declaration that he “doesn’t know how old she is.” In every retelling, the girl cries.
The story has received significant attention in online communities since Lee first started testing it on the podcast circuit. The common defense among Lee’s fans when a breakdown of the story goes viral on Reddit, YouTube, Twitter or TikTok is to claim that it’s a fabrication created by a stand-up comedian on a comedy podcast to get laughs. However, nothing about Lee's cautious buildup to the story in any of these instances clearly indicates that he’s “doing a bit,” and he even asked his hosts on DVDASA, “Why are you laughing?” when he described the scene in the hotel room.
In only one telling of the story does Lee receive notable pushback — Von on This Past Weekend listened to the story with visible discomfort, recoiling at the “power-fuck” punchline. When Von started to press Lee on the details of the story, Lee seemed to grow defensive. Von called out Lee for describing the sex worker as a “girl” at the beginning of the account while fixating on her youthful appearance, a point which Von’s producer corroborates. In the video clip of the episode, Lee’s demeanor visibly changed as he repeatedly insisted that the prostitute was “of age.”
Still, the only account of anything that may or may not have transpired in Mexico has come from Lee himself, who has since claimed that the story was a comical fabrication. Back in January, Lee’s friend and collaborator Ethan Klein of the H3H3 podcast said that he confronted Lee after clips of the story that Lee had been telling for nearly a decade began to go viral, saying that Lee told him, “It was a joke. … It was the weird kind of dark, fucked-up comedy.”
“What can I actually do?” Klein asked his audience. “The only source of this information is from Bobby.”
Despite Lee’s backtracking following the backlash and the apparent attempts to scrub the story from multiple podcast archives, the Tijuana story isn’t going anywhere — compilations of his numerous accounts continue to circulate on social media, with many users attempting to draw parallels between Lee’s story and the documented attempts by his friend and former collaborator Chris D’Elia to elicit sexually suggestive photos from underage girls.
Whether or not Lee’s story was true, it’s frustrating that none of the hosts on these shows pressed Lee to any meaningful degree to clarify the facts except for Von’s uncomfortable questioning. If this was just a bit of black comedy played uncomfortably seriously, Lee could have elucidated the story as creative fiction on air, instead of backtracking years later with an explanation that some members of the comedy community have clearly found unconvincing.