|CAPE COD TIMES|
Cho pushes the envelope to audience’s delight
By K.C. Myers
Posted Aug 13, 2017 at 6:53 PMUpdated Aug 13, 2017 at 6:53 PM
PROVINCETOWN — What can be said about Margaret Cho’s comedy act Saturday night at Provincetown Town Hall is that it was hysterical.
The comedian got a standing ovation and almost nonstop laughs during her single-night performance in Provincetown, a town the bisexual comedian has frequented since the 1980s.
What cannot be mentioned in a family newspaper is nearly every single one of her jokes. During a raucous hour, a packed house of Cho fans went through the three stages of her comedic genius: shock, embarrassment and laughter.
Taboo topics were on the table: Asian jokes, including a brutal rendition of the accent, played a small but memorable role. That, of course, is to be expected, because Cho is of Korean descent — that’s her turf. Yet, she kept the audience guessing on just how far she would go.
She riffed on the stereotypical Asian suicidal tendancies as a reaction to nearly everything embarrassing or shameful, like when Cho told her mother she wanted to be a comedian and her mother, who arrived in the U.S. in 1964, said something like, “Maybe it would be better if you were dead.”
As for Asian thinness, Cho described herself as “Hollywood obese.”
Then she mixed the knee-jerk suicidal tendencies with a weight joke. It was so funny and endearing that someone in the audience, after catching their breath from laughter, yelled out, “I love you.”
Aside from these racial themes, it’s a struggle to delve into her other topics. The word sex may never have been mentioned, but every other word related to this theme. Biological functions, body parts, gayness and several positions of the Kama Sutra were mined with impressive imagination.
You had to be there to see the different ways she used facial expressions to say so much. She shaped her face to mimic how a gay man might gin himself up to eat something (not food) if it would end world hunger, provide clean water to children in Flint, Michigan, and make Hillary Clinton president.
Of course, the feminist, outspoken Cho had lots of material about President Donald Trump. She told the audience she worked for Clinton during her unsuccessful presidential campaign.
Those Trump jokes were strictly for mature audiences, involving what Melania Trump — “the hardest working immigrant in this country” — may have to do as Trump’s wife.
The act opened with Cho, in satiny shorts and tights, twerking stiffly.
“I have to lean on something when I twerk,” said the 48-year-old. “Like a walker.”
Margaret Cho has been doing standup comedy since she was a teenager growing up in San Francisco, where her parents owned a gay bookstore, she told the audience. She hit it big beginning in the 1990s. After seeing her standup live Saturday, it’s clear her twerking may be rusty, but the comedy is fresh as ever.