Morganna Night, Kil-Kare Speedway, Jun 3, 1988
Morganna was born on July 4, 1954, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was a baseball fan from a young age, as her grandfather took her to see the Louisville team. She grew up in a poor family; her mother Jane disowned Morganna as a baby, which led to her grandmother Virginia's taking care of Morganna for six years. Morganna was then sent to Mount Mercy Catholic Boarding School just outside Louisville. She initially wanted to be a nun but ran away from the school at age 13, hitchhiking with a friend to Baltimore, where she begged shop owners for a job while living on the street and eating out of garbage cans. She was unable to find work because she was too young to get a work permit.
After a month, Morganna came across an ad in the window of the Flamingo Club for a "Cigarette Girl or Camera Girl. Must be 18". She told the owner she was 18, and he quickly decided she would be better employed as an exotic dancer. Morgana had no idea what that was but said yes, thinking "it had something to do with a camel and veils". Her first appearance on stage did not go well; she could not walk in her high heels, and as she danced, the men in the audience kept shouting "Take it off". Thinking they were referring to her, she burst into tears and had to be led off the stage by the manager. After watching some of the other performers, however, she soon got the hang of it and was a well-established and successful exotic dancer by the time she was 17. Her act combined stripping with comedy, wearing two 10 gallon cowboy hats on her chest and impersonating the film critic Gene Shalit. She avoided singing, however, as "when I sing, people think the place is being raided."
She attracted particular attention for what the writer Hank Davis describes as "her ample physical development. Simply put, the woman makes Dolly Parton look developmentally delayed". She gave her measurements as 60"-23"-39", which she referred to as her "baseball stats". She frequently quipped that Parton was "flat-chested" compared to her. Morganna's famously well-endowed physique began developing when she was only nine and, according to her, by the time she was 12 she could pass for 18. She had to wear I cup bras, costing $50 each and custom-made by a firm in Columbus, Ohio: "People ask me where I get my bras and I always tell them the same people who make my bras made the domes for all the stadiums." She also had to spend $45 a month on aerobics classes to help strengthen her back to take the weight of what she called her "stage props." Nonetheless, she insisted: "I'm not a sex symbol. I'm a comedienne. I make folks smile. I make them laugh - and that makes my day. What are we here for, if not that?"