Times change. Standards evolve. What was acceptable in one era becomes unacceptable in the next. Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine a city in 2018 dragging an exotic dancer to court because of her excessive “rump cleavage.” Imagine a member of the city’s vice squad taking the stand and saying things like, “The cleavage…of the buttocks…is from where the buttocks meet…where you would see more or less a valley.” Imagine the dancer stripping down and performing “under simulated working conditions” while in court. Now imagine the whole thing being covered by the local news, complete with winking asides like, “And then she was called to exhibit…her exhibits!”

Well, you get all that—and much, much more—in this wonderfully of-its-time WISN-TV clip from 1979. “It might have been a good idea that children weren’t allowed in the Milwaukee municipal court rooms today,” begins reporter Al Owens. “That’s because one of the main topics of discussion…was cleavage!” It only gets zanier from there:

Some other highlights:

• “Today was the trial when the question of cleavage of one’s rump was examined…literally.”

• The owner of The Camelot, explaining the science behind thongs: “If a girl is larger she has a little bit larger one. If a girl is skinny, then she doesn’t need such a large one because it looks like a diaper.”

• The dancer saying a lot of people in the courtroom “looked familiar.”

• The judge leaving the courtroom during the “exhibit.”

• The Camelot getting fined $500 anyway.

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.