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It's Gay Out Here for a Pimp

 By: Alex S. Ammar

Jonny McGovern takes his pimpin' posse from the downtown underground to the media masses with a new album, podcast and TV show on Logo.

Like the Borat/Sacha Baron Cohen of gay culture (albeit with less body hair), Jonny McGovern and the Gay Pimp seem almost inextricably one. Both McGovern and the Gay Pimp wear trademark aviators, but McGovern takes his bling-encrusted specs off. Both have a hard time sitting still McGovern from his incessant determination to fag-ify and dominate mass media and the Pimp from the residual effects of a night of overindulgence. 


Let Isaiah Washington have his rehab; Jonny McGovern is reclaiming "faggot" as a good thing. "There are so many different layers of faggotiness," proclaims the Gay Pimp. "All the things that I loved back in the day. The Golden Girls, Chaka Khan's The Remix Project, rewinding scenes of movies to freeze-frame on somebody's butt” "those are all the things that make me faggoty!"    

Love yourself some muscles?      

"Cruise 'n' booze and flaunt your slutty self. Ironic or not, cool is cool.  So throw your hands in the air like you just don't care!" McGovern explain with one of his signature wink "I'm still funny and sassy and Gay Pimp-ish in real
life, but I don't get home and dive into a bowl of cocaine covered with nude guys all the time!" Even if he wanted to, McGovern would be hard-pressed to find the time. From television appearances to new music and podcasts, it's safe to say that both McGovern and his pimp-ish persona are getting around. 

McGovern is one of eight actors in the inaugural season of Logo's new six-show series The Big Gay Sketch Show, a half-hour MADtv -esque revue produced by Rosie O'Donnell and featuring a diverse ensemble cast of gay comedians. Though his Gay Pimp alter ego is not scheduled to make any appearances, McGovern will play a variety of characters including a gay werewolf and a transsexual nanny in " Tranny 911 ," a sketch that pokes fun at the Nanny 911 series on Fox. "It's definitely irreverent," he says, "cute and sexy and fun. It's gay people making fun of gay people!" 

Having originally moved to the Big Apple to put his Boston University acting degree to work, McGovern's widest acclaim has actually resulted from his tongue-in-cheek musical brand Dirty Gay Hits , a compilation of bubblegum pop that promotes the cuter points of gay life as seen through the eyes of the Gay Pimp.  "When I first did the Gay Pimp record, it was really inspired by that teen-pop thing," McGovern recalls, "the shine and the glimmer and the sound effects with your dance moves. I had to figure out a way I could evolve that character as well as the music."  Taking his cue from his two-month gig producing shows and writing songs for the now-defunct Spirit Sundays party, McGovern parlayed that song-writing experience with Linda James and Adam Joseph into an artistic rebirth. "What eventually came out of it was The East Village Mixtape ," he says, "our experiment with a housey sound mixed in with a little bit of hip-hop."  Soon after, Team Pimp was born, a conglomeration of McGovern, James, Joseph, Erickatoure Aviance and Maxine
Inniss. Their first single is the aptly titled " Somethin' for the Fellas (That Like the Fellas) ," a true testament to McGovern's self-described "fag pop."  "When I look at Team Pimp, it's the kind of group that if I were 16 and a homo, it'd be my favorite group ever!" McGovern gushes. "[It's right] in the middle of this magical faggoty universe I'm trying to share with everybody."  McGovern is also using Team Pimp as inspiration for his soon-to-be-released follow-up album, Gays Gone Wild, on his own imprint Gay/Nerd Music. "I think it's the gayest album anyone's ever made," McGovern says. "Very risque, in-your-face stuff sung through this magical pop-bubble machine that makes it sound really shiny."  The undeniable basis for the Gay Pimp is an attitude of confidence with your sexuality," McGovern elaborates, "confidence with liking really faggoty things and embracing the faggotiness of it all. That's sort of what we do on the

His podcast Gay Pimpin' with Jonny McGovern is a weekly education on gay life from its New York epicenter.   "A lot of times I feel like if you're not in the bubble that we're lucky enough to live in, you're more alone," McGovern says of his "little gay babies" who comprise his podcast audience. "Willi Ninja is one of my biggest heroes; he took something that was in a tiny corner of the world and literally blew it up worldwide that's what I feel my job is to do in my own way.  "Right now, more than ever, I'm so excited about New York and the people in it. Because of Logo and podcasting and the Internet in general, I think for the first time we can start to get immediate credit for the forward-thinking stuff that we're doing. New York could blow up even bigger gay-wise." 

Till then, McGovern continues to shuck and jive. "Underneath it all I'm a comedian—everything's about the wink," he confesses. "Every song is a wink. The podcast has a wink. Everything I'm doing has kind of a wink to it."  Though it might be fluffy, uninhibited gay fun, "it's also interesting to be able to explain how it happened, what the point is and what other things are behind it," he says.  And if you don't see those layers? "That's cool, too, because I know you were paying attention to that guy with that nice assand we all enjoy that!" (Wink!)