She won ED’s Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award. Now find out how BJ McNaughty became the most famous clown in the showgirl industry, courtesy of!

BJ McNaughty spent more than a decade immersed in the gentlemen’s club industry, mostly at Portland’s Exotic Magazine, selling advertising, doing events and promotions, writing and editing. As a last hoorah, McNaughty was basking in the radiance of EXPO 2012—walking the tradeshow floor, rubbing and bending elbows with industry peers at any of the numerous parties, and watching the Overall Feature Entertainer of the Year nominees.

BJ McNaughty wins the ED Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award
BJ McNaughty wins the ED Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award

“When I wrote my article I posed a question: I see so many talented girls in Portland, why don’t any of you do this?,” says McNaughty. “I had stopped working at the magazine but was still bartending at a local strip club. Then as time went on and I was trying to figure out what my next career path was, I really started to think about it, and it turns out I wanted to become one of those girls!”

Immediately thereafter, McNaughty evaluated her strengths and recognized her limitations.

“Being a bit older and knowing I couldn’t do some of those crazy tricks I see some ladies doing, I really thought about it: how could I make a big impact in a short amount of time?” she says. “I thought, ‘What are my strengths?’ I know, I’m funny!’ Another weird fact is, I have been able to make balloon animals since high school. It quickly became clear to me: Clown! No one else was doing it, I would stand out and, honestly, it was great because I was still being myself! I had figured out a way to display my own talents in a way that summed me up as a person so perfectly!”

ED Magazine spoke with BJ, winner of the 2019 ED’s Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award, about how clubs have gotten down with the clown!

And don’t miss BJ’s personalized Spotify playlist, courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and!


ED: How long have you been a dancer in strip clubs? Where was the first club where you danced, and what was it like the first few times you went on stage in a club?

McNAUGHTY: While I had worked in strip clubs for a very long time holding almost every position from waitress to bartender to door girl to VIP host, I had only gone on stage a few times, usually for amateur nights, but would stay after work to do VIP dances. I wasn’t an actual dancer until five years ago. I started at the Kit Kat Club in Portland, Oregon, which is still my current home club. The Kit Kat Club is a show club, meaning the girls there do a feature set every night. Since my goal from the start of my dancing career was to feature, I knew this was the spot for me to start and build my career.

The first time I went on stage at the Kit Kat Club I was in full clown! My dancing career and BJ were born at the same time!

Of course, I was nervous, less so about the getting naked part, and more so about the dancing in front of people and the entertaining part. A few good friends showed up to support me and that made it easier because I could focus on them and that helped distract me from my nerves. I was excited to see them and share this new adventure with them! I was also nervous how it would be perceived and how good was I going to be at this entertaining thing as it was all new to me. I knew right away that I was pretty good at this!

ED: What was it like the first time you went on stage as BJ?

BJ McNaughty
BJ McNaughty

McNAUGHTY: The funny story about the first time I went on stage isn’t even the part about actually going on stage, but rather the preparations for it. Since Kit Kat is a show club I wanted to start off from the beginning with a show! I called my mom the night before and asked to come over to help me with something. My mom is so down she didn’t even ask what before arriving. Upon arrival, I pulled out all the underwear from my drawer and asked her to sew them all together for me. It was then I explained to her I needed this done because tomorrow I was going to try out something new I had been thinking about for a long time, I was going to become a stripper clown! She didn’t even question it; she’s been so supportive since day number one!

ED: What are some of the fun things that have happened on a booking/in a club where you were performing as BJ?

McNAUGHTY: Performing as BJ has created so many lasting memories! I’ve made so many real connections with customers and club staff. I’ve gotten to travel all over the US but also have gotten to travel to new countries like Jamaica! I can’t wait to see where featuring continues to take me abroad!

I’ve had a few epic stage performances I will never forget; one in particular was the time I was on stage with a midget and a 75-year-old porn star. All I could think about was how happy I was with my life decisions in that moment!

BJ hits Daryl Roberson square in the face!
BJ hits Daryl Roberson square in the face!

And then there are the pies … so many pies have been thrown over the years. But I’ll never forget my first pie! It was at EXPO in New Orleans, I was doing a showcase at Babes on Bourbon Street. Daryl Roberson, an industry DJ, was the lucky recipient and he got it hard! There were so many industry people there to witness it and I love that there are pictures to capture the moment!

ED: You won the ED’s Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year Award this year! What was it like for you to win this award? Do you think clubs have embraced the “clown”?

McNAUGHTY: I’m a “goal” digger! When I said I was inspired by those girls doing their thing on the main stage, I set that stage to be my goal! I had nothing to prove to anyone but myself, but when I set a goal, I do the work to make those goals happen. Winning this award to me was accomplishing big goals! I never set out to win an award, but winning this award got me on that stage, and that was the ultimate goal! And to be the favorite means that much more, because it tells me that people are really embracing the clown! That’s a huge deal to me because I’m just being my genuine self, so that means they like me for who I am! At first it was a hard sell, getting clubs to take a chance on something different, but over the years through my hard work and being myself I have won so many over! I’m constantly getting to new places and I have been lucky enough to be continually invited back most times! When I was sitting at the award show and they just announced my name in the list of nominees, the amount of applause was overwhelming. Then when they announced my name as the winner, I knew the industry as a whole is truly down to clown!

ED: What are your favorite types of music to dance to? Conversely, what music do you listen to when you aren’t working a club?

McNAUGHTY: I like dancing to hip-hop mostly, something with a bouncy beat, I like to refer to as something clowny! When I’m not working I usually like to slow it down, I still like my hip-hop but get more into slower jams and rhythm and blues.


ED: If you could see a concert of any musician or band, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

McNAUGHTY: Here is a little-known fact about me: I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan, so of course that would be my dream concert! I was so excited when my feature career allowed me to visit Graceland. I even have a hidden Elvis tattoo!

Here’s more about BJ!

Where do you hail from (born and raised): Portland
How many years have you been dancing: 5 years exactly in October 2019
How many years have you featured: 4
Favorite type of music: Hip-hop (rap/R&B)
Favorite recording artist: Ludacris
Favorite song to dance to: Rick James “Super Freak”
Favorite song to listen to: “No” by Prof
Favorite club manager: There are no managers at my home club because the owners are around every night so that makes it easy to not offend anyone there! I meet so many great and professional mangers on the road, it’s really hard to pinpoint just one! If I had to chose just one, it’s definitely coming out of the Déjà Vu pool because they are all so great! This is a huge compliment to Déjà Vu because they do such a great job not only picking managers but training them on how to be great! One of my recent new faves has to be Dan Wilhelm of Dream Girls Detroit and I have not even been to his club yet! He just drove hours to come make my night awesome in Kalamazzo as one of my biggest fans! Not only did we party hard in Vegas at EXPO, we did some actual business and came up with some amazing marketing ideas. Then he put them into action ASAP, I love a person who doesn’t just talk about it but is all about it! I will be appearing at his club in November with a brand new trick up my sleeve, stay tuned!

Since Kit Kat is a show club I wanted to start off from the beginning with a show! I called my mom the night before and asked to come over to help me with something. My mom is so down she didn’t even ask what before arriving. Upon arrival, I pulled out all the underwear from my drawer and asked her to sew them all together for me. It was then I explained to her I needed this done because tomorrow I was going to try out something new I had been thinking about for a long time, I was going to become a stripper clown! — BJ McNaughty

Favorite DJ or industry pro: Definitely a win for my home club here! John Voge is a long-time industry pro. He is not just the DJ at the Kit Kat Club in Portland, he has the title of Stage Manager because we run a full-on show there every night and it’s a hard job to manage all the shows, the rotation with girls jumping in and out to do dances, yet the show must go on. And then on top of that, dealing with so many personalities, attitudes and sometimes divas and yet doing so graciously and professionally always. He’s really good at his job and Kit Kat Club is lucky to have him!

As a touring feature entertainer, BJ loves the camaraderie with other dancers while on the road. Seen here with Janine Jericho at Expo 2019

Favorite part of your work night: When I’m home, it’s counting my money at the end of the night! Usually because that’s my time to unwind with the other girls in the dressing room and we kind of re-cap and de-stress, usually with humor, together building a sisterhood in stripping. When I’m on the road, I usually don’t count my money till I get to the hotel room, but still crave that camaraderie—I love going to the dressing room at some point in the night and just goofing around with the house girls, they always have so many questions and I try to answer them all. Maybe we’re taking selfies or sending out Snap(chats). I just like feeling like I’m one of them, as in it’s my home club for the weekend!
Pet working peeve: Girls who sit in the dressing room all night complaining about not making any money. There is NO money in the dressing room! DJs/clubs who won’t play what I want, or at least the type of music I like to dance to! And customers with the same, lame three questions (can we come up with some new one, please?): “What’s your real name?” If I wanted you to know I would have given you that name to begin with! “How old are you?” Don’t you know you should never ask a lady her age? “What do you like to do when you’re not here?” Clowning around!
Advice for new feature dancers: I said it in my speech when I went on stage (at the ED Awards Show in Las Vegas) and I really can’t say it enough: Be yourself! I’m living example that doing things my own way, on my own terms, no matter what others said works! But that can take time and a lot of energy to win people over, you can’t give up easily. Sometimes good things take perseverance! But also most importantly, be nice! It pays off in so many ways, being nice to the right people can get you really far in life, and let’s be honest, we never really know who the right people are! So just be nice to everybody! I know it’s hard sometimes and we all have our bad days, including myself, sometimes we got to fake it till we make it, but it’s the times I’m being genuinely nice that I’m making real connections and am having real fun!

So what tunes does the clown like to get down to? Don’t miss BJ McNaughty’s personalized Spotify playlist right here!

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