Review: Margaret Cho — Fresh Off The Bloat

by Sharon LougherPublished November 27, 2017

Margaret Cho — Fresh Off The Bloat

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh


MARGARET CHO has some bold advice for the Harvey Weinsteins and Kevin Spaceys of this world. Either target someone worse looking than you… or use professionals. This, from a comedian who claims she was raped by her uncle when she was a child. She can be flippant about her own experience, she says, because she simply doesn’t care.

If you don’t know Margaret Cho, think of her as like a Korean Joan Rivers: savage, self-deprecating and fearless. She’s a big name in the US (she grew up in 1970s San Francisco, where her parents ran a book store that sold gay literature), is an LGBT and diversity campaigner and has a clutch of Emmy and Grammy nominations.

The Hollywood sex scandals seem to have revitalised her, providing a jumping off point for troubles and misadventures of her own. Brace yourself for a romp through graphic and grubbily hilarious bisexual encounters and rock’n’roll stories of her drug-addled days that come injected with celebs and folly. It is all much more skilfully crafted and far edgier than you’d get from the likes of Amy Schumer.

As her resurrection of her gripe with Tilda Swinton proves — the two had an email exchange over whitewashing in Hollywood after Swinton was cast in the movie Dr Strange, an exchange Swinton requested remain private — this is daring, considered comedy from someone who refuses to play the game… and the appetite for that couldn’t be greater.

As they say in showbiz, it’s Cho time.