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MARGARET CHO

Comedy Lifer | Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho is on her “Fresh Off the Bloat” tour, which will be coming to St. Louis on June 1st and 2nd at the Helium Comedy Club.

I saw her the last time she was in town and her show was so raw and exposed, talking about rape, sexual harassment, and mental illness. Her work was very powerful, a little uncomfortable (in a good way) and still very funny. I really wanted to give her a hug afterwards.

Since then, she seems (from media impressions) to be happier and more centered while still being a voice for so many marginalized communities. When we spoke, she was eating at an airport, and I’m so happy she was able to take a few minutes to talk to us.

Is it difficult to share things that are so personal?

I think that if you have a good story about a thing? It makes it all worth it. It’s great to share. So I don’t think it’s hard. I’ve been doing this for so long, I don’t know if it’s normal? But I look at it as if it’s very normal.

I think it’s revolutionary in that it’s very helpful for people, that it gives people a pathway to laugh about it.

Yeah, absolutely—it’s really important. It’s really cathartic.

Did taking on dance like burlesque influence your stand up and performance style?

Oh, absolutely! Burlesque itself is a classic form of comedy and social commentary and has always been that. The dancers that I know are really funny and help incorporate visual jokes into their show and into their dancing. I love that.

One of my friends said that you made him laugh so hard during one of your shows that he literally fell out of his chair. This happened about ten years ago, and he said just thinking about it still makes him laugh. Does it ever hit you that you have that kind of impact on people?

Oh, I love that! I think that’s wonderful. That’s a really amazing thing.  It’s what you try to do—you want people to physically fall over. That’s really so cool. I love that.

Who are those people for you?

Tig Notaro. She’s amazing. She really makes me laugh a lot. Mitch Hedburg, who’s no longer with us. I love Kathy Griffin—she’s amazing, too. There are just so many. Oh, Wanda Sykes for sure. They’re all my friends, which is a plus, because you get to laugh with them and have fun.

How do the -ism’s help and motivate you in your work? Sexism, racism, etc.

I get inspired by everything that’s happening. It’s really important to talk about those things that are really charged and it really affects me. Especially right now with the Me, Too movement, sexual harassment and all of my stories about that…we have a lot to say. You want to be able to think about it and honor it.

What is something that you would like people to know about you?

I think to know that I’m a lifer. That this is my whole life and this is something that I love and will always do. It’s a continual part of my life.

How do you maintain your stone-cold foxiness over the years? Are you a wizard?

That’s so nice, and yes, I am. Maybe I’m just lucky. | Melissa Cynova

Margaret Cho will be performing at Helium Comedy Club in Clayton on June 1 and June 2nd. Tour dates:

 

THU 26 APRIL

Goodnights Comedy Club Raleigh, NC, US

 

FRI 27 APRIL

Goodnights Comedy Club Raleigh, NC, US

 

SAT 28 APRIL

Goodnights Comedy Club Raleigh, NC, US

 

FRI 11 MAY

HGH Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

SUN 13 MAY

Rotunda 3, KITEC Kowloon, China

 

MON 14 MAY

NTUH International Convention Center Taipei, Taiwan

 

TUE 15 MAY

Kallang Theatre Singapore, Singapore

 

FRI 18 MAY

The Improv Washington, DC, US

 

SAT 19 MAY

The Improv Washington, DC, US

 

THU 31 MAY

Buskirk-Chumley Theater Bloomington, IN, US

 

FRI 1 JUNE

Helium Comedy Club – St. Louis St Louis, MO, US

 

SAT 2 JUNE

Helium Comedy Club – St. Louis St Louis, MO, US

 

THU 30 AUGUST

Helium Comedy Club Portland, OR, US

 

FRI 31 AUGUST

Helium Comedy Club Portland, OR, US

 

SAT 1 SEPTEMBER

Helium Comedy Club Portland, OR, US

 

SUN 2 SEPTEMBER

Helium Comedy Club Portland, OR, US