Heather Henderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heather Anne Henderson
Henderson in 2015
Born (1973-03-07) March 7, 1973 (age 50)
Other namesBaby Heather
Occupation(s)singer, actress, podcaster, model, filmmaker, skeptical activist
Years active1974–present
Known forlead singer in Penn Jillette's No God Band; co-host of Skeptically Yours and Ardent Atheist podcasts

Heather Henderson (born March 7, 1973) is a professional burlesque dancer, singer, model, filmmaker, producer, and podcast host who uses the stage name Baby Heather. She performs with Penn Jillette's No God Band. She is an advocate for skeptical inquiry and atheism and won the 2012 People's Choice Podcast Awards in the religion/inspiration category for her Ardent Atheist podcast. From 1989 to 1991, Henderson was a regular performer on the Dance Party USA television show. In her teens, she released a single, "Give It Up Baby Heather", which received a positive review from Billboard magazine.

Early life[edit]

Henderson was born on March 7, 1973, in Camden, New Jersey.[1] Her mother was a Hungarian Jew.[2] When Henderson was 10, in 1983, her father left the home.[2] She attended Camden City Public Schools for elementary, middle, and high school.[3] She describes herself as a "shy and quiet girl" who did not talk back and believed everything her mother told her.[4] Henderson's mother died when Heather was 23 in 1996.[4]

Henderson's father, Ed Henderson, was a self-taught musician[5] who worked as an EKG technician. He quit that job when Heather was seventeen in order to work full-time as a musician, singing and playing the guitar and banjo. Henderson started singing with her father when she was seven. She also played the violin.[6]

At age fifteen, she appeared on a nationwide teen dance show called Dance Party USA. She appeared on the show regularly for three years and went by the nickname Baby Heather.[4]

When Henderson's mother became involved with Jews for Jesus, they started attending progressive Christian churches. Henderson was very uncomfortable attending these churches because of how they treated the members. As soon as she was old enough, Henderson told her mother she would not attend church again.[4]

In 2011, Henderson moved to Los Angeles with friends.[7] In order to raise money to purchase a plane ticket, she organized a fundraiser for herself with burlesque friends who donated their talent for a one-night show.[4]

Film and television[edit]

Henderson was a regular dancer on the local television show Dancin' on Air and the nationally televised Dance Party USA from 1989 to 1991. In her last year, she became a co-host. Henderson has also appeared on Sesame Street, Nickelodeon's Double Dare,[3] in the film Mannequin Two: On the Move,[8] and on Disney's Annapolis.[9]

Music and recording career[edit]

Heather Henderson of the No God Band at Penn Jillette's Private Rock & Roll, Bacon & Doughnut Party during TAM 9 (The Amaz!ng Meeting) in Las Vegas, NV. Taken on July 15, 2011

In her teens, Henderson released a single called "Give It Up" using her Dance Party nickname “Baby Heather.”[4] Billboard gave the single a positive review.[10]

Penn Jillette asked Henderson to join his No God Band to perform music at the yearly James Randi skeptic convention, The Amaz!ng Meeting. She recorded background vocals for the songs, "Clay Aiken by Penn Jillette",[11] "I Quit My Job - Love Theme from Director's Cut",[12] and "Penn's Sunday School Theme".[13] The No God Band performed at The Amaz!ng Meeting from 2011-2014.[14]

Henderson sings in an atheist choir in Los Angeles called the Voices of Reason Choir.[4]

Burlesque career[edit]

Hollywood Burlesque Festival Dec. 6th 2013

Henderson worked from 1993 to 2010 in the erotica industry, doing stripping, burlesque, foot fetish parties, dominatrix work, and lap dancing.[15] Henderson got involved with burlesque after a friend who was doing a "variety" show asked her to sing background.[16]

In 2007, Henderson performed with the Peek-A-Boo Revue burlesque troupe and appeared at the monthly event Pousse Cafe' in Philadelphia.[17][18]

She left burlesque in 2010.[15] In 2013, Henderson returned to perform at the first Hollywood Burlesque Festival.[19] Time Out Los Angeles listed her as one of the "Best Burlesque" performers and called her "the singing emcee with 'ferocious vocals.'"[20]


Henderson was a model for Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Philadelphia chapter in 2008 and 2009. She has been painted by illustrator Julie Bell, and was pictured in her 2009 fantasy art wall calendar. She was on the cover of Heavy Metal Magazine with illustrations by Dave Palumbo.[21] Henderson has her own Magic: The Gathering card entitled "The Deft Duelist",[22] and in 2008 was the female model on the cover of Son of Hulk, published by Marvel Comics.[23] In 2013, Henderson was used as a model in Tony Marsico's Wild Things: Burlesque Beauties and the Pets they Love.[24]

Palumbo has used Henderson for a series of oil paintings.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

Film making[edit]

Henderson filmed several short fetish videos. Inspired by friend Norm Walker, her film PODONUTS features Walker eating cream-filled donuts off the feet of women (one of which is Henderson). Philadelphia Weekly states it "routinely wins over even the most squeamish spectators with its sex-positive message and thrillingly syncopated movement sequences.".[9]

Henderson's 2009 film Marcella and Sofia, a fetish film about a young couple being sexually corrupted by two female captors (one of which is Henderson), won a Claw Award for best cinematography from the Terror Film Festival.[31][32]


Recording Skeptically Yours 2014 Susan Gerbic, Mark Edward, Emery Emery and Heather Henderson

Henderson is the co-host of two podcasts with Emery Emery, Ardent Atheist and Skeptically Yours. They started producing the Ardent Atheist podcast in February 2011.[33][4]

Notable guests on Skeptically Yours include, Brian Dunning,[34] Mark Edward,[35] Ian Harris,[36] Dave Silverman,[37] and Matt Kirshen.[38]

In 2012, Ardent Atheist won best podcast in the religion inspiration category for The People's Choice Podcast Awards.[39] Notable guests on Ardent Atheist include, Richard Dawkins,[40] Neil deGrasse Tyson,[41] Paul Provenza,[41] Kelly Carlin,[41] Jamie Kilstein,[41]

From November 2012 to April 2013 Henderson appeared as a featured segment on the Skepticality podcast. Her segment was called News in Religion.[42]

At psychic John Edward Protest 2015


In 2014, Henderson, Wendy Hughes, Henderson's partner Emery Emery, Brian Hart, Ed Clint, and Paula formed Investigation Network, a Los Angeles-based skeptic group.[43]

In October 2014, Henderson joined Susan Gerbic's efforts to try and catch a psychic in a hot-read with "Operation Bumblebee". Henderson and friends attended a Chip Coffey event in Los Angeles.[44] Henderson had the lead role of the believer in "Operation Ice Cream Cone", in which Henderson portrayed the bereaved mother of a young boy. In November 2014, Henderson, with permission to record, had an hour reading with psychic Tim Brahn. He was able to clearly communicate with her non-existent sons, non-existent husband, and non-existent family.[45]

Other activities by the Investigation Network include protests and handing out flyers at various psychics' presentations including Theresa Caputo,[46] John Edward,[47] and James Van Praagh.

Personal life[edit]

Henderson is an official Friar (pastor) for the United Church of Bacon, which started in 2010 when friends gathered at the home of Penn Jillette. The Church's mission statement is "Hail Bacon, full of grease, the Lard is with thee." Their goal is to fight prejudices against non-believers, promote church and state separation, and raise money for secular causes.[48][49]

In April 2015, Henderson and other secular groups protested Wells Fargo bank in Las Vegas over what they felt was discrimination and insensitive treatment by an employee when a member of the United Church of Bacon was refused a notarization.[50]

In an interview with Apple magazine in July 2014, Henderson describes software and hardware she used for her films and podcasts.[16]


  1. ^ "Regular of the Month". Official Dance Party USA Newsletter. 1 (3). June–July 1990.
  2. ^ a b Gaudette, Bridget. "Shades of Black Atheism #9: Performer & Podcaster, Heather Henderson". Friendly Atheist. Patheos. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "New Name, New Everything". Courier-Post. Jan 23, 1987.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Brown, Christopher. "MTS: Meet Heather Henderson". Meet the Skeptics. Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  5. ^ "Eddie Henderson Promo Real". You Tube. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  6. ^ O'Connell, Kathy. "Ed & Heather Henderson on WXPN-FM's Kids Corner with Kathy O'Connell". YouTube. WXPN-FM. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Rael, John. "Heather Henderson interview (Be Skeptical episode 6)". IIG West. IIG. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  8. ^ Ellingsworth, Jen. "Soulamite in Spotlight at The Frogg Pond Feb 28-29". Cape Gazette. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  9. ^ a b McElhinney, Andrew Repasky. "The Short End of the Flick Anna Frangiosa and Heather Henderson define the new Philly avant-garde". Philadelphia Weekly. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Flick, Larry (May 1, 1993). "Dance Trax Single Reviews". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Clay Aiken by Penn Jillette by Penn Jillette Official Music Video". Penn's Sunday School. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "I QUIT MY JOB!". Make Penn Bad. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Reed, Cindi Moon. "Vegas Seven 07-17-2011". Vegas Seven. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  14. ^ Bowen, Justin (13 July 2011). "Is that Penn Jillette, rocking the bass guitar?!". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Murtha, Tara. "Sexy Issue: Erotica in Philly Exploring the other side of Philly's kinky side". Philadelphia Weekly. Archived from the original on March 17, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "I Use my Mac for... Showbiz!". Apple. Apple Profile Mac Format.com. July 2014.
  17. ^ Jaccoma, Richard. "Hide-And-Seek". Philadelphia Review.
  18. ^ Sherr, Sara. "Booming burlesque: Striptease troupes thriving in Philly". Daily News. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  19. ^ "Preformers". Hollywood Burlesque Festival. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Wertheimer, Kate. "Best burlesque performers in LA: Heather Henderson". Time Out Los Angeles. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  21. ^ "Table of Contents for November 2009". Heavy Metal Magazine. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  22. ^ "Deft Duelist". Magic the Gathering. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  23. ^ "Son of Hulk (2008) #14". Marvel. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  24. ^ Marsico, Tony. "Burlesque Beauties and the Pets they Love". Wild Things Book. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  25. ^ Palumbo, David. "Tranced". Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  26. ^ Palumbo, David. "Embarcadero". Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  27. ^ Palumbo, David. "Heather 5". Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  28. ^ Palumbo, David (26 February 2010). "Heather #6". Quickie - Postcard Nudes and other work. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  29. ^ Palumbo, David. "Unknown". Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  30. ^ Palumbo, David. "Heather #4". Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  31. ^ "Official 2009 Claw Award Winners & Nominees" (PDF). Terror Film Festival. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  32. ^ "JEKYLL AND HYDE ANNOUNCE THE 2009 CLAW AWARDS!" (PDF). Terror Film Festival. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  33. ^ "Episode List". Ardent Atheist. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  34. ^ "Skeptically Yours Ep 77 - Brian Dunning Pt 1". Skeptically Yours. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  35. ^ "Episode 79 - September 29, 2014". Skeptically Yours. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  36. ^ "Episode 80 - November 10, 2014". Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  37. ^ "Episode 2 - August 5, 2012". Skeptically Yours. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  38. ^ "Episode 14 - November 11, 2012". Skeptically Yours. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  39. ^ "Podcast Awards". The People's Choice Podcast Awards. Archived from the original on December 10, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  40. ^ "Richard Dawkins, Cristina Rad & Omar Discuss Islam On Ardent Atheist Episode 26". Ardent Atheist. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  41. ^ a b c d "Neil deGrasse Tyson, Paul Provenza, Kelly Carlin & Kilstein On Ardent Atheist Episode 25". Ardent Atheist. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  42. ^ "About the Show". Skeptically Yours. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  43. ^ "Investigation Network". Archived from the original on April 24, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  44. ^ Gerbic, Susan (5 February 2015). "Operation Bumblebee". CSI. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  45. ^ Gerbic, Susan (10 February 2015). "Operation Ice Cream Cone". CSI. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  46. ^ "Psychic Theresa Caputo Event Gets a Visit from Investigation Network". Investigative Network. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  47. ^ ""Psychic" John Edward Protest Draws Police". Investigation Network. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  48. ^ Pellot, Brian (8 August 2014). "United Church of Bacon: May the Lard be with you". Presbyterian Church. Presbyterian Church News. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  49. ^ "United Church of Bacon: May the Lard be with you". Religion News. Washington Post. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  50. ^ "Leaders of 7 National Secular Groups and More Protest Wells Fargo Discrimination Against Atheists". YouTube. Retrieved April 28, 2015.

External links[edit]