NY Mirror

Downtown party thrower JONNY MCGOVERN—who performs locker-room rap as "the Gay Pimp"—has taken his mojo to Logo. He's a regular on that channel's The Big Gay Sketch Show, coming at you with lots of queen-itude and some major lesbo input too. ( ROSIE O'DONNELL's producing and AMANDA BEARSE directs.) On the Mad TV–ish series, McGovern plays a wide variety of characters, even some gay males. "I'm Chocolate Puddin'," he told me last week, "on a Trannie 911 sketch about trannies helping mothers deal with badly behaving children. I'm a JOHNNY DEPP–esque pirate on a lesbian cruise, trying to find sexy wenches on the wrong boat. And I play a gay TV host who shows how to make really obvious things like ice."

They're all facets of jazzy Jonny, who took producers into his private world of dimpled butt cheeks and sweaty pits to get the job. One boss had a preliminary meeting with him in the changing room at Boys Room, where they were surrounded by disrobing go-go gods. And the cast has gamely joined Jonny at his weekly Boys Gone Wild party at Mr. Black, where he asked them, "Are you ready for a whole lot of ass?" "They were!" the promoter-comic related to me, grinning.

Was he ready for a whole lot of Rosie? "When we were doing the pilot," he said, "she'd come in and give the emperor's thumbs up or down. Later on, we'd sometimes put a glass to the door when they were talking about sketches, to get the tougher side. But she was always pretty sweet and nice to us."

Jonny McGovern, icemaker extraordinaire
Chad Griffith
Jonny McGovern, icemaker extraordinaire

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He even got to go on a gala Rosie cruise, and rather than act like Johnny Depp, he was totally himself, gushing to Elaine Stritch, "We love you!" The legend's reply? "How's the food?"


HE GIVES GOOD BIRKHEAD
On another coast, the gay primp, BOBBY TRENDY, told me that LARRY BIRKHEAD was driving behind him recently on an L.A. freeway and threw him a rather fishy look. "It's because I'm the whistleblower!" crowed Trendy. (And JUDGE SEIDLIN was surely the hot-air blower. His nonstop distracting shtick made him a modern-day Rufus T. Firefly to compete with—in a parallel scandal—bewigged BRITNEY's Harpo Marx as the boozy chantoozy tried to steal headlines by becoming Anna Nicole if she'd lived.)

On a side note, the worst new blip on all the Anna Nicole coverage consists of media outlets doing stories with the angle, "Why so much coverage of this scandal? Isn't it excessive?" This is just a sneaky, disingenuous way for them to cover the story some more!

The next offbeat reality show? I'm assured it will feature MySpace personality JASON STAR. I guess he'll be living up to his name— Jason! (Kidding. I'm just jealous as usual.)

For a respite into some higher culture, I caught Journey's End, that stiff-upper-lip drama about the nobility of Brits in the trenches. But the night I saw it, the bombing effects were drowned out by a nearby couple who loudly wrestled with a plastic bag of candy for two and a half hours. I wish the Germans had gotten them.

Not a bomb at all, Dan Klores's potent documentary Crazy Love—about a guy who blinded his ex, then married her—was cutely introduced as "the ultimate date movie" at a screening last week. I guess the film proves that love is truly blind. I was alone at the event—thank God—so I schmoozed fellow press person CHRIS WILSON, who left Page Six for Maxim last year. "I miss the glamour," admitted Wilson, "but my liver's regenerating." Behind us, SAM ROCKWELL sipped water and told me he liked Babel, "but the Japanese girl was so hot I couldn't believe no one would sleep with her." Believe it, babe—it happens to me too!


NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Wait, did someone say Babel? Is that enough of a Pavlovian excuse to segue into my coverage of the Gay Olympics, the glittery Academy Awards bore-a-thon? No? Well, I'm doing so anyway, with this blow-by-blowjob account of what it was like to be trapped in my house watching them. And so:

8:37 p.m.: ELLEN's extremely relaxed. Barely conscious, in fact. But she's fully in control of what's basically a three-ring circus of unidentified film clips, modern dance, shadow puppets, and random quotes flashing on the screen (like "Hey, Stella!"—as if that wasn't technically from a play).

The ceremony is extra self- referential, with endless spotlighting of the nominees in the audience for salutes, ribbing, and humiliation. They're trying to go for the Golden Globes' freewheeling Hollywood party atmosphere, but that's not easy to pull off with regenerating livers and no booze. MARK WAHLBERG is even tortured barely two seconds after he loses. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Close your mouth, WILL SMITH.

8:42: Ellen mentions LEONARDO as an excuse to show his face on camera once again, because "I just thought the ladies want to look at him." The ladies? Don't Ellen and the ladies she knows want to look at PENÉLOPE CRUZ?

9:23: ALAN ARKIN wins. I guess Norbit's fart jokes left a bad smell for EDDIE MURPHY.

9:30: Right after the song from Cars comes "I Need to Wake Up," MELISSA ETHERIDGE's earnest tune about carbon emissions. She's gay, she survived cancer, she looks like HILLARY CLINTON, she can't lose. Besides, the environment is the least controversial issue of all time. No one could argue with wanting to stop the polar ice caps from melting, yet no one can get all that worked up over it. Give them some awards and maybe they'll shut up and let me enjoy my warm winter.

10:25: AL GORE looks like Divine. JACK NICHOLSON looks like DON RICKLES. PETER O'TOOLE looks like the Crypt Keeper. CATHERINE DENEUVE looks like Hillary Clinton. This dyke chic thing is really catching on.

JENNIFER HUDSON is very classy in her win, thanking JENNIFER HOLLIDAY even though Holliday just essentially said in an interview that Hudson copied her performance. Move on and take a holiday, Ms. Holliday. And you wonder why some people don't want to work with you?

11:14: Little Miss Sunshine claims original screenplay, which might be a good chance for me to finally state that the film is a tad overrated. When the once rebellious son insists, "Go give Mom a hug," you know it's gone strictly into formula land. And the ending just didn't work. But I'll shut up now.

By the way, this year's most prominent gay characters were in that film (suicidal), Notes on a Scandal (psycho), The Devil Wears Prada (superficial), and Borat ("You mean the man who tried to put rubber fist up my anus was a homosexual?") I hear Wild Hogs might not win Oscars next year, but—spoiler alert—it has definite gay elements, like William H. Macy developing a yen for JOHN TRAVOLTA, only to be repeatedly swatted away. Suddenly this little heifer wants to see Hogs.

11:20: The Dreamgirls medley! They're gonna show this clip at Pieces for the next 50 years! Hudson gets to sing along on "Listen" and shows BEYONCÉ up one more time, though our star then reclaims center stage, drawing upon the angst from her double-nomination dis to belt with some real rage. I just realized that in the movie, JAMIE FOXX dismisses two of the three nominated songs with, "We can't release this."

11:35: Closety Travolta and LATIFAH present the award to, sure enough, Melissa Etheridge, who kisses and then thanks her wife! Yay!

11:55: HELEN MIRREN wins Best Actress, duh. But the movie leaves out the fact that—am I crazy?—the Queen was no doubt thrilled when Di died and in fact I'm pretty sure she killed her! OLIVER STONE needs to remake this! MERYL STREEP was a good sport to not schedule knee surgery today.

12:05 a.m.: If SCORSESE and Alan Arkin weren't getting their sentimental wins, Peter O'Toole would be nabbing Best Actor. They can't have more than two lifetime-achievement-type choices on the same night. FOREST WHITAKER cops it.

12:08 a.m: This thing is dragging on so long that "I Need to Wake Up" is sounding more relevant than ever. Scorsese wins for lifetime, but also because for once he didn't try. The New York Post's capsule review of The Departed has long said, "Scorsese stops chasing Oscars long enough to return to his roots with a corking crime thriller." Bravo to Marty, the SUSAN LUCCI of corking crime thrillers. And how was the food at my house? Gorgeous—and I made my own ice.


musto@villagevoice.com

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