Uinterview.com: Margaret Cho Interview by Uinterview

Margaret Cho Biography

Margaret Cho, born and raised San Francisco, Calif., is a jack-of-all-trades — an actress, author, activist and, above all else, comedian.

Cho grew up in San Francisco in the 70s, attending school on the famous hippie-dominated Haight Street. She began writing standup at the age of 14, as an escape from childhood bullying. Since becoming famous, she has used her platform to help other “outsiders” speak out.

Margaret Cho Stand Up, Comedy Tours

Cho is well known for her shock factor in her comedy routines. Though she’s stunned audiences, her parents have remained unfazed by her humor. “They really are unshockable,” Cho told Uinterview in an exclusive interview. “I try to shock them, but no, they keep coming back at me with something worse, something more heavy, something more hard. And I’m like, ‘How can you come up with this? You’re so old!’ And they still do. They’re pretty cool.”

Though she performs in a variety of mediums, Cho is best known as a comedian. The decision to perform stand-up as a career came at an early age, around seven or eight years old. “I realized that stand-up comedy was going to be my career when I first started to watch it on television and understand what the job was. Watching Joan Rivers on Saturday Night Live was a very big thing for me because then I saw her and I thought, ‘She’s so powerful, she’s so strong, yet physically she’s very small.’ And I was also very physically small and I thought, ‘Wow, I could do that, I could be like that,’ ” Cho told Uinterview. “As soon as I understood what the job was, that’s really when I knew I was going to do it. And it wasn’t even like any real decision. It was just an acceptance like, ‘Oh, that’s what I am and that’s what I do.’ It was a recognition more than anything else. I really had no other plan than to do stand-up comedy.”

Though she has had many different jobs, her loyalty to her comedy remains – since 2000, she has been on comedy tours almost constantly. The tours put on DVD include – I’m the One That I Want (2000), Notorious C.H.O. (2002), Revolution (2003), State of Emergency (2004), Assassin (2005), True Colors (2007-2008), Beautiful (2008), Cho Dependent (2010) and Mother! (2012).

Cho has also release a number of comedy CDs, including Drunk With Power (1997), Notorious C.H.O.: Live at Carnegie Hall (2001), Beautiful (2009) and Cho Dependent (2010).

Cho’s mother is a constant part in her comedy routines and insists that she enjoys it. “I think my mother is very excited to be part of my stand-up comedy because making fun of her is something I’ve been doing ever since I was a child, since I was really young because she was so different from people on television, and she was so different from my friends’ parents,” Cho told Uinterview. “I think women her age, and especially in my family, tend to recede into the background and become very invisible, which is sad. Now she’s really in the forefront of everything. She’s like the star and I really love that. And she really loves that.”

Margaret Cho ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ TV Roles

When not doing comedy tours, Cho has been appeared on many television shows. She was the first Asian American to be given a lead on a network sitcom, All-American Girl, which was cancelled after one season due to low ratings. She went on to get her own series, The Cho Show, on MTV. She has been a guest star on Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, Sex and the City, Ghost Whisperer and 30 Rock. She is best known for her stint on the 11th season of Dancing with the Stars and her costarring role on Drop Dead Diva as Teri Lee.

Though initially ostracized from the Korean community, Cho was named “Korean Of The Year” in 2008. “I think that accepting the Korean of the Year Award was really a wonderful moment for me because I was really an outcast in the Korean community when I first came out,” she told Uinterview. “The Korean community really doesn’t have any representation out there. For the first time, I was going to be their representative. A lot people didn’t want me out here because I’m so outspoken. I’m a woman, I’m not thin, I’m not straight. I’m not all these things that Koreans would like to be.”

In addition to performing, Cho has also written two books – I’m The One That I Want, about her struggles in her first one woman show of the same name; and I Have Chosen To Stay And Fight, a collection of essays about human rights, global politics and other issues. Both books were released alongside videos of her comedy tours.

Margaret Cho Husband, Dating History

Cho is openly bisexual and is a major activist in the LGBTQ community, though her most famous relationships – including her marriage to Al Ridenour – have all been with men. She has dated musician Chris Isaak and Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino. In her last performance on Dancing with the Stars before being eliminated, she wore a rainbow flag dress as a tribute to gay pride – she feels that this statement contributed to her elimination. Additionally, after the legalization of gay marriage in California in 2008, Cho was deputized by the mayor of San Francisco to perform weddings.

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