Sorry, I Don’t Think Johnny McGovern Is Funny

There were a lot of reasons to be in a bad mood last night. The temperature was 40 degrees, and to us Florida boys, it meant ice cold toes in our cowboy boots. I also find little amusement in my city being overtaken by Super Bowl fever. I could care less that Paris Hilton is in town, and the three hundred other “celebrities” I’ve never heard of. The next set of lips to even whisper the words “V.I.P. Party” in my presence are going to get sewn shut, if they are lucky.

As grouchy and cold as I was, I could not resist doing a walk through Ybor City. At best, I could get a glimpse of Janet Jackson coming out of the Maxim Party. Unfortunately, Miss Jackson eluded me all evening, and by 1 a.m., I ended up at our good old local gay club.

The gay club was dreadfully packed. The cute guy we came with was paying more attention to my best friend than me. By 1:30, I was ready to go home.

Then the lights dimmed. It was then I realized why a makeshift V.I.P. area was created on the stage. Our beloved “gay pimp” Johnny McGovern was in our midst. “The Gay Pimp” is a character McGovern has created, best known for the club song “Soccer Practice.”

These thoughts are only about McGovern as a public persona.  I don’t know the real person.  I’d probably like him.  Johnny McGovern the person might be rad. He might be a great conversationalist. He might be a sincere friend. All of this aside, when Mr. McGovern started performing, my grouchiness accelerated quickly to inflammatory rage.

I understand “The Gay Pimp” is a creation. I understand the whole act is supposed to be camp. I understand I’m supposed to laugh at the joke and think it’s amazing. But I don’t.

The performance culminated with a lovely ditty about “bottom boys.” The misery I felt can only be expressed by Ruth Pointer’s face eight seconds into the “Jump (For My Love)” music video.

I felt like I was in fourth grade again. Back when the “Miss Susie Had a Steamboat” song really was still funny and shocking. The only problem was that I wasn’t in fourth grade, and neither was anyone else in that club. It made me angry to see how entertained people were by this crap. Will stupid low brow songs about gay sex always amuse people? Grown, mature men? It’s not clever. It’s not even quirky. It’s obvious. Listening to Johnny McGovern accentuate gay stereotypes to glee of almost everyone in that club thrilled me just as much as the drag queens who make “straight people” jokes. Enough already.

I do agree that everyone should be laughing at Johnny McGovern — only for a different reason than they are

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