INTERVIEW: Comedian Margaret Cho talks about her dream role and why Donald Trump is so embarrassingly funny
By Sutrishna Ghosh · 09:04 PST, 9 Apr 2018
Amidst the crop of funny people in the recent times, Margaret Cho stands out with her brand of Asian-American humor.
The fact that she is a female comedian, successful in her own right and of Korean descent only add to the intrigue of the success surrounding her.
In her career, spanning over two decades, the American actress-cum-comedian has tried multiple art forms - she has ventured into the field of stand-up comedy, tried her luck with acting, published an autobiographical book, spearheaded multiple Tv shows and even had her name associated with a slew of awareness campaigns.
Keeping all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Cho has, rightfully, earned herself multiple Grammy nominations and also an Emmy nomination for her guest-starring role as Dictator Kim Jong-il on '30 Rock'.
Come May 11, however, Cho will be embarking on yet another journey - she is all set to bring her 'Fresh Off The Bloat' comedy tour to the HGH Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Ahead of the jig, Cho, in an exclusive chat with Meaww, discussed her brand of humor, the current political climate, and her dream role in a thriller.
"I just enjoy working," the multi-hyphenated performer tells us, dishing on the secrets of how she juggles between her different roles, "and this takes into account many aspects, whether it is doing comedy, theatre, music, or even acting - there is always something fun to get into and always something to finish."
"Business is great for me because I have so many ambitions," the proud artist, who has charted her way to the top of the ladder over the course of time, says.
And business and work bring us straight to her upcoming comedy tour, which for sure is going to be a unique experience of sorts for the audience.
Opening up about her style, the 49-year-old candidly explained that her pieces, if anything, are "very raw and honest".
"There will be lots of talk about the #MeToo movement, race, politics, sexism, whitewashing - all my favorite topics," she adds, touching base on all the current issues dominating headlines.
And while using current affairs in manners of wit and sarcasm to drive home the message is not a novel concept altogether - after all popular TV comedians have been resorting to this means every now and then - Cho intends to accentuate her content with a healthy dose of honesty.
"It's about using shock to get closer to a subject and trying to find what is funny and what is true. I think honesty is an important tool and can be a weapon. I've always been brutally honest in my stand-up work," the All-American Girl star quips.
Surprisingly, Cho had kept unusually quiet when it comes to her criticism of the American politics and President Donald Trump in the initial days. But with her stand-up tour in full swing, the Notorious C.H.O. star is not mincing her words anymore.
She says, "It's just so absurd and embarrassing to have Trump as our President... So that alone is funny." Adding how she plans to tackle the perturbing state of the affair through her art, Cho tells us, "There are many nuances and subtleties too, adding to it a very big change in the way we look at women's rights. it's a crazy time but a great time."
"I think you can disarm people with humor and then you can show them the underside of something - which is what comedy is about. it is a great tool for change!" the star of the stand-up film, Revolution, suggests.
As colorful and intriguing as her stand-up scene is, Cho's other endeavors have followed a similar suit. She has appeared on numerous shows and films, in big and small roles - some of which include 1992's Golden Girls spinoff, All-American Girl (from 1994-95), The Cho Show in 2008, and Margaret Cho: Beautiful in 2009.
However, it wasn't until 2011, when the comedian starred on 30 Rock's episode - 'Everything Sunny All the Time Always' - that she secured her first Emmy nominations in "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" category. The played both Kim Jong-Il, the then-leader of North Korea, and his son, current Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
Reminiscing her time on the show, Cho says, "It was really fun and ridiculous. Also, it required almost no makeup. It is easier to turn me into Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un, that it is for me to be just me!"
Along with her stint on TV, the Korean American artist has spent her time venturing into fashion as well. While the co-founder of High Class Cho, may have hung up her hat in favor of dedicating time to comedy, she continues to use her stardom for numerous causes.
"I work with lots of different organizations from friendly house, which offers drug and alcohol rehab for low-income women as well as homeless outreach done through my BEROBIN campaign, a charity founded to honor the philanthropic life of Robin Williams," the comedian-turned-fashion designer tells us.
She adds, "I am also involved in many LGBT political causes and youth outreach." After all, Cho has never shied away from discussing her own issues - her comedy routines, in fact, have explicitly covered Asian American stereotypes, her sexuality, her struggles with addiction, and her advocacy for the LGBT community.
Surprisingly, despite the ups and downs, the multi-talented artist holds no complaints, at least professionally speaking.
"I am very grateful to have been able to do comedy for as long as I have. I am amazed that I am able to still get out there and perform and I really want to continue for as long as possible," the Drop Dead Diva alum tells us, adding, "I have no plans to retire!"
Given her strong will to continue in showbiz and never give up being the entertainer that she is, we couldn't help wondering which is that one character that she aspires to portray.
Cho says, "Park Geun Hye the former President of South Korea in a thriller about astrology and scandal!"
Given how she aced playing the North Korean leaders despite the gender disparity, we have no doubt she will nail the character of the disgraced South Korean leader.