Born in Brooklyn, Jonny grew up overseas in Thailand and Egypt where he satisfied his American pop culture cravings with bootleg videotapes of "The Golden Girls","227" and a subscription to US magazine. It was this mix of the American pop and the international surroundings that began to develop Jonny’s warped and whimsical point of view.
After earning his BFA in Acting from Boston University's School For The Arts Jonny returned to New York City to perform his first solo show, “Alter Egos”. Hailed by HX Magazine as "delightfully un-p.c." calling
Jonny "a one man mosh pit." it was nominated by The Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival
for Best Short Play. The next year, Alter Egos was included in a collection of one-acts from Dramatic
Jonny continued to immerse himself in the vibrant downtown NYC performance scene where he performed at venues including Dixon Place, NADA, Present Company, Collective Unconscious, The Tunnel, The Theater For The New City and the city’s premiere alternative comedy hotspot, Surf Reality. It was at Surf Reality that Jonny became a founding member of Grindhouse-A-Go-Go, an "all-star" collective of Surf Reality solo performers dedicated to creating a no rules, cartoon mix of theater, music, parody, political commentary and dirtiness. For entire year Grindhouse performed a new show every month (many written
by Jonny) and every Friday night at Midnight audiences packed themselves into Surf to see Jonny and the crew perform their cutting edge comedy.
In June of 2000, Jonny premiered Dirty Stuff, an expansion on the characters and concepts from Alter Egos and Grindhouse but this time drew its inspiration and setting from the energy and attitude of New York’s Gay club scene. The show was a sell out smash from the beginning and that same year also sold out a two month run at the prestigious Westbeth Theater Center. Time Out NYC said "Prepare for Jonny McGovern's Whirlwind…. truly, truly dirty stuff!"
Fall of 2000 brought a second season and a revamped cast and a new more polished style for GRINDHOUSE a-go-go. Written in collaboration with Martin Beauchamp and Brer Brian, the Techno Japanimation inspired "The Dirty Matrix” became the first in a line of dirty gay musicals, which were to become a gay pimp trademark. The trio's next collaboration started 2001 off with a bang, "The Wrong Fag to Fuck with: THE GAY PIMP vs. Eminem". Inspired by Eminem's blatant hateration of homos, Jonny thought the best way to fight back was not to whine but to send a message in a fierce and funny performance. The show broke attendance records at Surf Reality and was written about in publications from The Advocate to Time Out NYC. Show went on to transfer to The Kraine Theater for an extended run. Immediately following the success of "wrong fag". Jonny premiered a revamped "Dirty Stuff " at the famed NYC nightspot FEZ. The show now included new dirty gay music and a bevy of beefy soccer team go-go boys. The show was a critical and box office smash and helped bring Jonny to a whole new audience. "With Dirty Stuff, Jonny McGovern stakes his claim as writer, performer and, well, superstar" said critic Jonathan Warman. Dirty Stuff was nominated for Best Gay Themed play By HX and for a GLAAD media award as well as taking honors at The Leonardo Divinci Awards for Best Male Solo Performance.
Fall 2001 brought the focus on the "DIRTY GAY HITS". In collaboration with IDM producer, Secret Agent Gel, Jonny crafted a collection of Gay Pimp themed songs such as "Soccer Practice" "Girl I fucked Yo' Boyfriend " and "Hey Lil' Raver Boi" and created a "dirty gay teen pop" style nightclub act with a bevy of soccer and Raver Boi dancers, a gay rapper and fierce drag queen working tha' runway. Jonny headlined at HOMOCORPS at the legendary CBGB's, Larry Tee's CLUB BADD at Joe's Pub, Splash Bar NY, Kurfew, Berlinamsburg@LUXX and opened for Peaches and Chicks on Speed at The ELECTRO CLASH Festival.
In 2002, Jonny wrote and performed the third installment of his Grindhouse Musical trilogy with "The Velvet Rope Smack down: The Gay Pimp vs. Lizzie Grubman where he proclaimed "Niceness is the new glamour", started two of NYC's hottest parties with Dean Johnson (Triple XXX and Magnum at the Park) and premiered "Jonny McGovern's Lookin' Cute /Feelin' Cute: Dirty Gay Teen Pop Superstars In Concert" (a GAY PIMP version of a Janet /Madonna/Britney style arena concert) at P.S. 122 along with the official release of the DIRTY GAY HITS CD.
2003 is turning out to be the year of the Gay Pimp. Jonny has been featured on MTV2, Interview magazine and dirtied up the cover of NEXT magazine."Soccer Practice" was included on the red hot "BADD Inc" electro compilation from Larry Tee, the music video (directed by Peter Martinez) debuted in the top five of the national video club play chart and has been downloaded over 100,000 times on the internet. Jonny’s DIRTYSTUFF line of locker room inspired t-shirts is selling out at Patricia Field’s (of Sex & The City fame) Hotel Venus and he can be see every month at the legendary Caroline’s On Broadway in his own comedy/music/variety show, “You Go, Gay!”