Q&A with Margaret Cho
What does your mom think about being the inspiration of your new stand-up, “Mother”?
She has seen it, and in a few different versions, and she is always trying to suggest things to put in the shows, different stories and jokes and sayings. I think it’s very fun for her, and it makes her quite the celebrity too. In my family, the women get quieter and more invisible as they get older, and here in this instance, it’s the opposite.
How has being an LGBT Asian-American woman affected you?
I get asked this a lot, but I am never sure how to answer, since I haven’t been anything else. I remember when I was starting out, people I worked with were concerned with my sexuality being at odds with my comedy and my goals for working in television, but that never made sense to me. Being an Asian American woman is simply what I have always been. I have had no experience as anything else so I can’t judge what has happened to me as being good or bad. It’s hard to know what makes for a good comic or a good performer, and I think that identity has less to do with it than anyone thinks.
Is there anything you would do differently if you “knew then what you know now”?
Probably – I think that I would just trust my instincts and if I could do things over, then it would be to make my own choices rather than the choices that were presented to me by others. But what is wonderful about life – and living a long time – is that you do get opportunities to do everything again, as if it were just a series of lessons that changed form yet taught the same things.
What do you love about being Korean-American?
Dduk (Korean rice cake), especially yaksik, understanding Korean movies and going to the Korean movie theatre in Los Angeles, spicy pollack roe, kim chee, banchan, ajumma life – I am such an ajumma – that is the best. I am going to get a perm and wear elastic waist pants and socks with sandals. I already have a visor.
What is one issue you see in the Asian-American community?
I think that families are very restrictive with allowing their kids to pursue their dreams, and they have too much influence over them, which forces them into careers they wouldn’t choose for themselves and leaves a lot of kids starting the work they really want to do in their 40s and 50s. This affects a lot of things.
Emmy and Grammy-nominated comedian and actress, Margaret Cho has returned to the road this fall with her new stand-up comedy show called “Mother”. Mother is a complicated and completely original take on sex, queer politics, drugs, guns, identity and madness, proving time and time again, boundaries uncrossed are meaningless. Nothing is sacred, least of all, this Mother.
The cornerstone of Mother revolves around Cho’s long-suffering Korean mom and a staple of her shows, Young-Hie Cho. “It’s great because I get to put a lot of emphasis on my own mother,” Cho explains.
“My mother did not prepare me for the world. First – I was named the poetic korean name “moran” which was perfect for the kids at school to call me “moron” and set me up for a good quarter century of therapy. However, I can clean a fish with my bare hands. So there are pros and cons of being from an Asian immigrant family.”
Her tv show, “Drop Dead Diva,” now in it’s fifth season will air brand new episodes thru the fall every Sunday on Lifetime while her new YouTube series, a dark comedy about three women fresh out of jail titled, “In Transition,” can be seen on Cho’s YouTube channel.
Margaretcho.com features some of the most sincere, fiery and laughout-loud funny blogs you will find on the Internet. A must-read! Find out what’s going on in the mind of Margaret Cho via her insightful blog posts. Her blogs are not only funny, but also smart and perceptive.