Comedian Margaret Cho to perform in Fort Collins

Margaret Cho has made a career out of being controversial in her stand-up routine, but, she never intended to make a name for herself that way.

“I’ve never really considered myself a controversial person,” she said. “But, there are challenging topics out in the world and we should talk about them. I don’t consider anything off-limits. I want to expand myself as a comic and enlighten my audience, too.”

Cho will bring her brand of no-holds-barred comedy to the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado on Feb. 24.

Cho has been a part of the stand-up comedy scene for nearly 25 years, getting her start by talking about her childhood in San Francisco with South Korean immigrant parents. She began gaining more attention after working as Jerry Seinfeld’s opening act and regularly appearing on “The Arsenio Hall Show.”

Her routine about her experiences growing up in an immigrant family helped Cho gain more mainstream attention when she developed a show with ABC, “All-American Girl,” in 1994.

Although the show only lasted for 19 episodes, it is considered groundbreaking for being the first show that prominently featured an East Asian family. This wouldn’t be seen again until the 2015 premiere of the hit show, “Fresh Off the Boat,” which referenced Cho’s show in an episode.

Race is a major topic in Cho’s comedy. She made headlines back in December after revealing she had been embroiled in a terse email exchange with actress Tilda Swinton over the backlash Swinton had experienced due to her casting as the Ancient One in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.” The attention escalated once Swinton released her response to the emails, which surprised the comedian.

“I didn’t even know, or really care, what the reaction would be once I started talking about the emails outside of my sets,” Cho said. “I had been active on social media, talking about whitewashing in film and knew I needed to talk about this conversation with Tilda. I was surprised when she commented about it, though, because she’s such a recluse.”

Besides talking about race in her stand-up, Cho likes to discuss other taboo topics such as sexual assault, the LGBT community (Cho identifies as bisexual) and liberal issues.

Politics are one of her favorite topics in her routine, and since President Donald Trump has taken office, she hasn’t been hurting for new material.

“I can’t believe what’s happening in our society is happening,” she said. “I didn’t like George W. Bush at all, but we didn’t realize how bad things could be. I think people are scared of what’s happening right now, and I’m one of them.”