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Marian Kelly


Marian Kelly

Marian Kelly was "born in a merry hour." Legend has it that, when Marian's father learned he finally had a daughter, he hurried home and fed ice cream and cake to his sevens sons until they had stomach-aches. (Years later, this story inspired one of the boys to remark, "See, you've been making me sick since the day you were born.") A younger brother and sister followed, making Marian the 8th of 10 children. With a background like that, it's easy to see where she got her sense of humor – it was developed in self-defense!

A classic case of small-town-girl-makes-good, Marian, in three short years, went from open-mic night to headlining in comedy clubs and colleges nationwide. Prior to her first foray onstage, Marian worked for seven years in a TV station in Joplin, Missouri, directing newscasts, commercials and local programming. She took a public-relations job in Springfield because she heard there was comedy club there ("I thought I would get onstage once and get it out of my system."). After only a half-dozen spots on amateur night, a professional comedian told her, "You're going make a living at this."

Marian's act has been described as "very reality-based," and "a woman's perspective – without the worn-out clichés." She combines a Midwestern sensibility with quick-witted intelligence and the result is an articulate – and unusually clean – comedy show. Even though she touches on some adult topics, they are so carefully worded that, as Marian says, "I could probably do most of my act on the Disney Channel."

Marian Kelly refers to herself as a "late bloomer" because she never did stand-up until she was almost 30. "I wanted to be a comic from the time I was a little kid. Johnny Carson and George Carlin were my heroes. But I couldn't see moving to L.A. to take a shot at it. The comedy boom that brought clubs to smaller towns like Springfield, Missouri, is the reason I'm doing stand-up today."

Ironically, when she gave up a secure job to follow her dream, she met with unqualified encouragement from her family and friends. "I expected them to kind of shake their heads and say 'She's finally snapped a bungee cord,' but they've all been supportive. Everyone who knows me says I'm doing what I was meant to do."

Marian's television credits include "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and Lifetime's "Girls' Night Out."  She is a contributing writer for "The Tonight Show."

Sample material from Marian Kelly --

  • ...Being from a large family:
    "You can't take ten kids out in the street at the same time. They have a name for that, right? 'Unlawful assembly?'"

  • ...Driving long distances:
    "I didn't know I was goofy until I saw some cows grazing in a pasture, and I heard my own voice saying, 'Gee, I wonder what THEY'RE thinking about.'"

  • ...Olympic sports:
    "The biathlon is two events together - skiing and shooting. You have to give them credit - they figured out cross-country skiing is boring to watch, so they added weapons."

  • ...Hot air balloons:
    "You know the basket you ride in? It's a BASKET. The thing that keeps you from plummeting to your death is made of WICKER. I've got this stuff in my bathroom - it's not that sturdy."

What others say about Marian --

  • Unity Temple On The Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri
    "It was truly amazing how you could get that mix of people to laugh at the same thing without anybody feeling slighted or taking offense."  --  Duke Tufty

  • 7 Strong, Joplin, Missouri
    "When you have that type of universal appeal, entertaining everyone from the church deacon to the guy in the Motley Crue T-shirt, you’ve accomplished something." -- Danny Thomas, KOAM-TV,

  • YWCA of Topeka Kansas
    "I still hear rave reviews about your performance."  -- Bridget Koan
  • Mercy Health Center, Ft. Scott, Kansas
    "If the belly laughter of nearly 400 women is any gauge of your abilities, then we hit a home run."
    -- Carla Bryant Farmer

  • Mercy Medical Center, Sioux City, Iowa
    "Thank you very much for helping Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City offer over 1700 women a fantastic night out!"  --  Ann Boeke

  • Hookup, Joplin, Missouri
    "The audience held top executives as well as support staff, from a wide range of backgrounds. I did not hear ONE negative comment about your presentation."  --  Donna Roycraft
  • Standup For Cerebral Palsy
    "Your professional manner both on and off stage was refreshing to work with and you made my job much, much easier."  --  Aaron Gnirk, Executive Producer

Marian Kelly may be available for your next special event!

For booking information, click HERE!

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  • Based: Missouri / based nMissouri
      Seneca / based SenecaMO

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