I got a chance to talk to one of the leaders in queer entertainment today.
There's nothing I love more than quality queer content.
Even with the influx of queer representation in Film/TV, there is still very few outlets that are garnered towards a queer audience. And while this is changing slowly, with RuPaul's Drag Race becoming more and more mainstream with each passing second - it's always good to remind everyone that quality queer content is out there and it's just fierce and amazing anything you can get on VH1.
Jonny McGovern is a talented queer comedian - he's worked tirelessly to bring Hey Qween!, both the show and the network - Hey Qween TV - to the spotlight. Now, they've garnered millions of views and had some amazing guests, including RuPaul, the qween of queens; Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova; and All Stars 2 winner, Alaska Thunderfuck! Not to mention, Hew Qween TV, was the birthplace of internet drag sensation, Dragula - a spooky drag competition questing for the next drag supermonster!
I got a chance to sit down and talk Jonny about his astounding success.
First off, hello! How does it feel to have one of the most popular queer-based media companies around?
Haaaay Qween! Well... the Hey Qween team and I have had a lot of fun and worked super hard for the last 5 years to grow the company and the show and feels great to see the reach and impact we are having worldwide. I'm currently in Australia and I'm getting stopped in the street by Hey Qween fans every day. Which is truly a gay delight.
What inspired you to start Hey Qween! ?
It was twofold. One, I was interested in telling stories of other LGBT artists especially drag queens, and wanted a place where they could share their journeys in an in-depth way. Secondly, I wanted to make the most kick-ass, fun, gayest talk show of all time.
As a queer man, I watch all the time Hey Qween! all the time. Do you think it's important to have shows that are specifically geared toward a queer audience?
Hey Qween can be enjoyed by anyone with an open mind and in fact can be mind-opening for someone who has never experienced gay culture. BUT first and foremost we are a queer show celebrating the artistry and creativity of queer people. I think it's important to use this platform to speak to queer youth. Through the stories of our guests and through the pride and positivity in which we conduct ourselves we hope to send the message that no matter how difficult the circumstances you can prevail and be a fabulous qween-whatever that means to you.
You've had some amazing guests on the show! Trixie and Katya are my personal faves - what are yours? What guest did you enjoy the most?
Trixie and Katya are great friends to the show. RuPaul was our 1st guest and that was a thrill as I have been a fan from her Starbooty days. We had my childhood comedy hero, Jackee Harry from 227 & Sister Sister who came and spilled major T and was just hilarious. Dita Von Teese came on last season and was so charming, candid and gorgeous and we hit it off so well that now I'm hosting her tours around the world. This season we just taped a two-part episode with Detox and Vicky Vox which was one of the juiciest episodes we've ever done. They came to slay!
What has it been like, growing Hey Qween! the talk show to Hey Qween TV, the network?
Initially, we started by spinning off aspects of the main show that people enjoyed. Look at Huh was originally a game in the main show which became so popular we spun it off. Fans love when we talked hot topics so we did a panel show called Hot T which allowed me to showcase some of my fave LGBT comedians. The Gogo boys got our take on a fitness show called He's Fit, Lady Red got her own court show called Judge Lady Red. Hey, Qween is the mothership and it started because the head of our studio believed in me and it's fun to create these other related projects that allow me to showcase talent and people I believe in.
On to Hey Qween TV's other amazing shows, it also helped birth one of the most new and exciting reality shows on the internet, Dragula, what was it like helping that show get off the ground?
Supporting queer talent is part of the Hey Qween mission. We happy to be able to share our platform in launching Dragula and proud of how successful the effort was. They found the right home with World of Wonder and we hope to bring that opportunity to other creators.
Finally, what does the future hold for Hey Qween TV? Is there anything new in the works?
We are going full steam ahead with the new season of Hey Qween which is now airing- not only on YouTube but on broadcast tv internationally. We are working with OUTTV in Canada to create original programming for them, we've started a podcasting network and we're working on a series of stand-up comedy specials..... just to name a few things. In other words, we're having a blast and everybody should come join in.
Shann Smith is a freelance writer, screenwriter, playwright, gamer, and film/TV lover. When he's not working on his columns for Popdust, he's doing his best to create and consume as much media as he can!
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