She’s been called everything from “The Madonna of Comedy” to “The Taboo Buster.” She’s gone against all odds by not only stepping into a career ruled mainly by men and becoming a success at it, but also becoming one of the only Asian-Americans in the field. She’s Margaret Cho: stand-up comic, “fag hag” at heart and social equalizer for life.
While Cho may be more well-known for such classic phrases as, “Hi, my name is Gwen. I’m here to wash your vagina.” and impersonating her Mother, sex and dick jokes aside, Cho is actually a pioneer in her field. One of the few stand-up comics who’s never shy about discussing the personal details of her life, Cho has made a career for herself by sharing life’s most intimate details with complete strangers. If she’s not poking fun of her Korean background, she’s discussing what it was like to be 17 and working at a lesbian/S&M store. If she’s not laughing at her father’s brief run-in with homosexuality, she’s talking about her own sexual curiosity and getting fisted by lesbian midgets. While many could simply dismiss these acts as typical stand-up fare, the jokes Cho’s told over the years have struck a cord with millions of individuals, and the result of her popularity is hard to ignore.
Over the past eight years, Cho has won numerous awards for her work both on-stage and off, including the Gracie Allen Award, the American Comedy Award for Female Comedian of the Year and GLAAD’s first-ever Golden Gate Award which honored Cho for her constant promotion of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Her first comedy-tour-turned-feature-film, “I’m the One That I Want!,” won “New York Magazine”‘s Performance of the Year Award, a MAC award and was named one of “Entertainment Weekly”‘s Great Performances of the Year. And even though her sitcom, “All-American Girl,” was short-lived, it had its place in history, marking the first network show ever to feature an all Asian-American cast. As if all this wasn’t enough, Cho has also gone on to co-star in several feature films, amongst them John Woo’s “Face/Off,” write and produce six visual essays for the PBS show “Life 360″ and even appear alongside one of the biggest celebrities of our time, Big Bird, on an episode of “Sesame Street.”
With Notorious C.H.O., Cho’s latest tour-turned-movie, Cho is back on stage doing what she does best — making people laugh. Ranting about everything from S&M clubs to colonics, gay marriage to personal self-esteem, Cho works hard to keep the audience in stitches while simultaneously opening their eyes to the issues the world faces today. When I sat down with Cho to discuss Notorious C.H.O., she was not only eager to talk about the process of bringing her latest tour to the big-screen, but also more than willing to discuss what she sees as some of the country’s most important problems. Above everything else though, she was happy to talk about her fans– people who, just like her, understand the importance of laughter as a healing force.
Get the interview in part two of THE NOTORIOUS MARGARET CHO>>>
Posted on July 2, 2002 in Interviews by Heather Wadowski
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