2024 Convention Headliner

Kelly Ballagh

Growing up in California, Kelly was a very shy kid. Nobody who meets him today believes that, but he swears it’s true! Then came the slow, progressive slide into the comedic arts. First came art. Kelly would spend Sunday mornings in church drawing whatever came to mind inside his sketchbooks. He chooses to think that it was divine guidance at work. As he got older, Kelly realized he should look for a career that would actually pay, so he joined a traveling Christian puppetry tour.  Here he utilizing the puppetry skills that he’d honed over countless years as a hometown puppeteer, inspired by his love of the Muppets. Then, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus came into the picture. During his puppetry travels Kelly met some Ringling clowns who saw the potential “clown” within him. Long story short… Kelly was offered the chance to literally “run away and join the circus”, and he DID! During his 3-ring career that spanned 7 years traveling with the Greatest Show on Earth, Kelly eventually became Boss Clown for the Red Unit.  With this job, he training, managing, and organizing all the clowns on the show. That’s right… I said “organizing” clowns! You think herding cats is tough?


Today Kelly is a corporate entertainer, clown, actor, physical comedian, puppeteer, artist and all-around good guy.