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Jonny Porkpie in “Dead Sexy: The Play” (Photo by David Byrd)

“I think I had six-pack abs for a week when I was 16,” says Jonny Porkpie with a laugh, pushing his long, brown hair behind his head.

For the past 14 or so years (he’s lost track), Jonny has immersed himself in the field of burlesque. With a background in theater, a burlesque-themed mystery thriller (The Corpse Wore Pasties) under his belt, and another novel on its way, he sees burlesque as the ultimate opportunity for creative expression.

Back when Jonny started in the early 2000s, the number of men on the local circuit could be counted on one hand. He can still remember the mother of a friend who told him, as he described his act, “Well, now, don’t take this the wrong way, but I think that’s just about the last thing I’d ever want to see.” But such reactions only motivated him.

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Jonny Porkpie and Jo “Boobs” Weldon in “Dead Sexy: The Play” (Photo by David Byrd)

Jonny had the drive and creativity to become a renowned local act. In 2007, New York magazine declared that Pinchbottom Burlesque, his show at Lower East Side underground venue Creative Unconscious, was the city’s best. It was “sexy, campy fun with just an insinuation of nudity (thanks, in part, to creative costuming).”

Today, Jonny is still a Lower East Side fixture, hosting Slippery Sundays every second Sunday at the Slipper Room. His performances usually have a clear narrative that draws in the audience– for example, the “Warrior Women” show he recently did with the Hubba Hubba Revue. “The concept of that is this guy inherits the objects of power from his twin sister who’s killed in battle because her armor’s too flimsy to protect her, so he gets the rings of power, the sword of power, the heels of power, the corset of power, and the brassiere of power,” said Jonny. A friend created a full bra and panty set that resembled breasts and labia, so that’s what the audience saw when he stripped.

His partner Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, said, “He always has a reason to take off his clothes for his numbers, whereas I’d just be taking off my clothes most of the time because I’m a stripper and that’s good enough reason for me.”

“I’ve never been overly fond of the male power structures inherent in our society,” Jonny explained. “I always preferred collaboration to competition, and especially in the early years, there was this feeling of collaboration. I think it helps to take off your clothes because then you’re in the trenches, you’re not in the power structure.”

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The cast of “Dead Sexy: The Play” (Photo by David Byrd)

On stage, he shows solidarity with women by wearing pasties over his nipples and on the tip of his, well, you know. As he sings Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” from Anything Goes, it’s hard not to absorb his confidence. “The thing about the negative reactions is most of the time it’s an opportunity,” said Jonny. “It’s a chance to make them question their preconceptions and that’s great.”

The self-declared Burlesque Mayor of NYC has been known to get overtly political as well. In 2009, during one of his performances at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, he announced that he was running for actual mayor. Singling out Williamsburg’s new condos and “any building with the name ‘Trump’ on it,” he declared, “What’s popping up in New York is embarrassing, ill-timed, ill-planned, and unfortunate: the kind of thing that should make us all want to head out of the room holding a textbook in front of our collective crotch.”

Needless to say, he wasn’t elected, but his criticism of Trump continues.

Jonny also criticized the “new Times Square” in that mayoral speech, but starting tonight, he and Jo will be doing a weekly show there, at the Elektra Theater. On October 16, 23, 29, and 30, Jonny will assume the identity of Dr. Johanny Porkenpie and will conduct “weekly experiments in striptease” in a Halloweeny work, “Dead Sexy: The Off-Broadway Play.” If you dare step into his evil laboratory to watch him try to revive his beloved from the dead, tickets are available here.