Margaret Cho

From Academic Kids

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Margaret Cho, with Prairie Dawn of Sesame Street

Margaret Cho (born Moran Cho on December 5, 1968 in San Francisco, California) is a Korean-American comedian and actress.



Cho won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian in 1994. She made television history by being the first Asian American (male or female) to have a television series based around her. The series, called All American Girl, was quickly canceled after suffering major content changes over the course of one season. The program was also problematic because much of the humor was based on broad Asian stereotypical portrayals of her relatives. Cho has discussed the fact that she was forced to lose a very large amount of weight in order to play what was essentially herself. She was also told she was "not Asian enough," and then later, "too Asian". Since then, she has had several successful one-woman shows. The first, called I'm the One That I Want, dealt with her difficulties breaking into show business due to her ethnicity and weight. The film version became the highest-grossing film in history in proportion to the number of prints ($1.4 million with only 9 prints).

The second, Notorious C.H.O. (the title a spoof on rap artist Lil' Kim's album The Notorious K.I.M., and that in turn being a tribute to Lil' Kim's late boyfriend's nickname "The Notorious B.I.G.") dealt with her having been raised in 1970s San Francisco and her own bisexuality. Both tours spawned live movie versions, albums and books.

Much of her comedy is quite sexually explicit; some of her favourite subjects include her fondness for gay men and proud identity as a "fag hag," sharp political commentary, descriptions of her problems with prejudice, substance abuse, and eating disorders, and her relationship with her mother, which she loves to satirize. She has comedically mentioned her plans to "cover her vagina with leaves" because of her belief that falling in to such a trap was the only way that someone would enter it. In the same vein, she has also remarked that if one doesn't have sex for a long time, say two years, then one's virginity is automatically earned back.

In 2003 filmed another comedy film, Revolution. She also began an internet presence with the advent of and her daily weblog. She began to draw intense fire from conservatives over her fiercely anti-Bush commentary; a live performance in Houston, Texas was threatened with picketing. Although protesters never showed up, she held a counter protest outside the club until security told her she had to go inside. Cho also started, a website promoting tolerance of homosexuality and the legalization of gay marriage in the United States. Additionally, a clothing line called "High Class Cho" ( was started; with it Cho hopes to bring attractive clothing to the market for plus sized women.

In 2004 Cho was performing at a corporate gig in a hotel when, after 10 minutes, her microphone was cut off and a band was instructed to begin playing. This was because the manager of the hotel was offended by anti-Bush-administration comments. Cho's payment, which was issued by way of check directly to a non-profit organization, West Memphis Three, initially bounced but was eventually honored.[1] ([2] ( In July 2004 during the Democratic National Convention, Cho was un-invited to speak at a Human Rights Campaign/National Stonewall Democrats fundraiser because of fear that her comments might cause controversy.

In late 2004 Cho began work on her first self-written and starring film role. The movie is called Bam Bam and Celeste and is a low-budget comedy about a fag hag and her gay best friend. The film co-stars Cho's friend and co-touring act Bruce Daniels. The film is currently in post-production.

Cho has dated Quentin Tarantino (who appeared on an episode of her sitcom as a favor), Chris Isaak and Garrett Wang. In 2003 she married Al Ridenour, a marriage she described as: "It's not a traditional situation. It's not a committed marriage. We're just friends who share space. My parents don't understand it. They just send us Yahoo E-cards wishing us well." Some offered criticism ( that Cho would marry a man while complaining about the discrimination inherent in not allowing gay couples to marry or have legal rights. Cho was outraged at the idea that her strong and constant efforts for gay rights would somehow be invalid just because she got married.

In 2005 Cho started promoting and touring with her new show "Assassin". The show will be turned into a live concert film which will premiere on the gay and lesbian premium cable network Here!. Posters feature Cho in paratrooper gear holding a microphone in the style of an automatic rifle.



I just don't get it. People come up to me and ask me where I'm from and it's such a loaded question. And I'll say 'I'm from San Francisco,' and they lean in and whisper 'No, I mean where are you REALLY from?' And then I have to say 'Well, my parents are originally from Korea.' And then I have to listen to stories about all of the Korean people they know, or some Korean food they ate once, or how they're not sure they're pronouncing a Korean word right. And it's like...I don't care. I don't get it! I never walk up to white people and say, like, 'Oh my God, are you from France? No, not recently, I mean like a couple thousand years ago? Oh my God I totally knew it! I love your fries!
I grew up in San Francisco... in the midst of Polk Street, hanky codes, poppers, San Francisco. ... My parents owned a book store on Polk Street, and my mother was in charge of the gay porn. Which is like crazy. She would pull out these books and show me to talk about them. 'Dese book? Dass call' Ass Mastuh. Wha is Ass Mastuh? ... Dis is a gay, a book for gay, because Mommy know about de gay. De gay... dey like-uh ass. They like-uh ass soooooo much. ... But dey like-uh ass too much. You have to have-uh ass in moderation. You canno' have-uh ass all da time. Because-uh if you have ass all da time, den it not special. ... Dere is a boy, and his name is Paul. And Mommy like Paul. He's a nice, nice boy but he's-uh gay, and he only like two sings. He like-uh ass...and Judy Garland, and dass all. What kind of-uh life is it like dat? Dere's-uh ass, and ass-over-the-rainbow, and dass all.


  • I'm the One That I Want (2000)


  • Sweethearts (1996)
  • Face/Off (1997)
  • I'm the One That I Want (2000)
  • The Notorious C.H.O. (2001)
  • Revolution (2003)


  • Drunk With Power (1997)
  • I'm the One That I Want (2000)
  • Notorious C.H.O. (2001)
  • Revolution (2003)

External links


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