Jonny McGovern is more than a host. He's a fan, a stan and a huge personality in the drag world. His show 'Hey Qween' which he hosts with drag superstar Lady Red Couture, has boasted guests such as RuPaul, James St. James and Mathu Anderson, as well as our favourite drag queens.
We managed to get in touch with Jonny, currently over in Australia for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, about the show, his future plans and his favourite ever queen to interview!
Hi Jonny! A pleasure to speak with you. Where are you speaking to me from today?
Haaaay Qweeen! Coming to you from the Gold Coast stop on the Australian tour of Dita Von Teese’s The Art Of The Teese tour which I’m hosting. It is super fun and glamorous. The dudes of Australia are super sexy too so that’s a bonus.
Hey Qween was up for best web series at The Queerties this year, congratulations! Did you expect the show would be as big a hit as it has been?
Initially I thought I would do 8 episodes and talk to some cool LGBT artists I admired and then move onto my next project. But it really took on a life of its own. I feel lucky that the head of our studio believed in my vision and let me create the show I’d been imagining for years.
The show itself has a huge fan base, do you find it daunting, or is it all good fun for you guys?
It’s fun! We love what we’re doing and love that people love it. I’m thrilled to have been able to not only evolve and re-invent myself as a performer but to create a show that gives so many incredible artists, performers and activists a chance to tell their story in an in-depth way.
Yourself and Lady Red Couture, your co-host and fish queen of the gods, are very close, how did that friendship come to be?
I had seen her perform at clubs around LA and already loved her energy and talent. I knew she and I would have great chemistry and that having her join me on HQ would be one of the keys to a successful show. But we didn’t really know each other very well. We started to become close because in the beginning of the show she was going through a very challenging time where she was practically homeless, living out of motels but still showing up everyday at the studio and slaying it. I knew I had to help her and I moved her into my house. We’ve been best friends ever since. She’s a huge talent and has a great heart. We’ve both worked hard to make the show something special . I’m helping write and produce some of her upcoming album with our HQ music maestro Adam Joseph and it’s gonna be major!
Do you have a favourite guest you’ve interviewed?
The theme song goes “ Hey Qween come on and spill the T” and I love when our guests really open up and tell us things they’ve never shared before. Not only does it make great TV it can change how people perceive the artist. Laganja Estranja first appearance was really a game changer. She was just coming off her drag race season in which she was treated so harshly by drag race fans and mocked as fake and a joke. She shared how it felt to go through that experience at 22 years old, to get that kinda of hate, shed some tears and really showed her true lovely character. It was a redemption moment for her. She says it totally changed her career. I love moments like that.
The Look At Huh segments seem to be a fan favourite of the Hey Qween series. Ginger Minj shared a lot of personal things during her time on the show, did you expect her to share so much?
People love LOOK AT HUH. The concept is so simple but it can bring out so many unexpected things. Some funny or scandalous or some, like in Gingers case, very emotional. We never expected that showing Ginger a picture of Pearl would end up in her breaking down and expressing something so emotional, that we as Drag race fans never even knew happened between them. If you haven’t seen it… you know where to go.
What are your thoughts on the Season 10 queens?
Every year it’s very exciting. I’ve never seen a show that from the moment the cast is announced, turns people into stars OVERNIGHT. It’s fascinating. It’s thrilling when you see people become as famous or infamous as pop stars so quickly. How they handle it, their journey and who rises to the top is endlessly fascinating and it’s why they make such great interview subjects.I’m very excited to see Mayhem Miller in the season 10 cast. She’s worked with us at heyqween on a bunch of projects including a show with Morgan McMichaels called SURPRISE, BITCH! where they surprise each other with shady stories from their past. She is always glamorous, gorgeous and hilarious. I hope RPDR will wake up and smell the Lady Red Couture for season 11.
You are hanging out with Dita Von Teese at the moment, and you’re involved in her Art of the Teese show, how’s that going?
This is one of the most fun and exciting gigs I’ve ever had. At Hey Qween I’m hosting, editing, executive producing and directing so on tour it’s fun to be able to soley focus on performing and making the audience laugh. Dita is at the top of her game and onstage and off. The Art Of The Teese is burlesque at its highest most glamorous level. The audiences are wild! The entire cast and crew is mega talented and we’re having a blast playing for 2500 to 3000 people a night. I get to Host, tell jokes and sing I couldn’t ask fur more! We’re finishing up Australia, then doing a USA tour this spring and touring Europe in the fall. So between Dita and Hey Qween… I’m BOOKED!
You’re seen as quite a Daddy, with your Instagram handle reflecting that. Are you proud of the title?
I’ve embraced it. I’m a big hairy dude. I like younger guys. My boyfriends have been calling me Daddy since I was in my 20s. I’m a nurturing person to the people in my life. I’m certainly the daddy of the hey qween family. So I’m down with it. I’ll help ya out with yer daddy issues anytime.
Let’s do some quick-fire questions next! Favourite Spice Girl?
I’d prefer to say my favorite Kitty Girl…BeBe Zahara Benet. I’m currently obsessed with the rap she wrote for All Stars3. Rata ta titi tata I’m pussy bitch.
I Don’t Know Anybody Else by BlackBox featuring Martha Wash
Favourite Drag Race lipsync?
Dida Ritz vs The Princess doing Everlasting Love in front of the late great Natalie Cole
Bulge or butt?
Love a celebrity bulge online but more interested in that azzz in real life
And finally, what’s next for Jonny McGovern?
The new Hey Qween season is in full swing. We have some MAJORLY juicy episodes coming up including Detox and Vicky Vox, Candis Cayne, Trinity Taylor and more. Hey Qween and Hot T are both airing on broadcast tv in Canada airing after Drag Race on OUTTV. I wanna see it in that time slot around the world. We’re creating new programs for OUTTV including LGBT stand up specials. We’ve started a Hey Qween podcasting network. I’m working my ass off but it’s super fun and when I’m on the other side of the world and I’m getting recognized by Hey Qween fans in the street telling me how much they love the show I know it’s all worth it.
Go follow Jonny on his social media @JonnyMcGovernIsYourDaddy