Margaret Cho Video Interview On ‘The Cho Show’
Margaret Cho tell us about her new VH-1 series The Cho Show and reveals the only people who can really shock her.
I was writing some scripts with my producer Vigo Martinez, and we were taking about doing something a little bit different. A sitcom with real people. We wanted to reinvent the sitcom – make it a soft-scripted reality thing.
My parents really are unshockable, I think. Later on in the show, you will see over the season, that they start to tell me their jokes and I can’t take it. I can dish it out, but I can’t take. I especially can’t take it from my parents.
They really are unshockable. 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.
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. 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. I don't play golf. I'm just not all those things that Koreans consider status. I was really outcast, ostracized from the Korean community because of that. They thought I was a problem. Even when my [ABC] television show first came out there were people picketing and protesting. This was a different world back then. In 1994, they really didn't have a lot to protest about. I guess Koreans are more worried about Kim Jong-il now.
I was writing some scripts with Rico Martinez, who's my executive producer, and he and I had been writing some stuff together and talking about doing something a little bit different like trying to do a sitcom with real people. We wanted to see if we could reinvent the sitcom but make it more of a soft script of reality thing and we figured it out! So that's how it started.
No. My experience with VH-1 has been really incredible. They've been so incredibly giving and generous and so thoughtful and considerate and wonderful to work with. They really respect the artist there. They have tremendous respect for the people they develop shows for and that's the best experience I've ever had with television and I've been working around for a long time and they've been so amazing but that's why they're successful.
Things that are really mean. Things that are really about somebody like things that are homophobic, things that are racist, things that
are sexist, things that I like to complain about. I would never be guilty of those things. So there's limitations of course in what I do and there's a lot of compassion in what I do.
I think our show is really a new kind of show. It's a new kind of genre. It's really sort of a sitcom with real people. We've reinvented what was a sitcom and what is now a new thing and I'm excited about
A lot of really funny things happened when we were filming that didn't make it on. Actually some of the funniest things happened that
didn't make it on just because of the way we laugh, some things you can't show on TV like one thing was I actually painted John Stapleton's asshole with bleach and that of course didn't make it on. I think that just made us closer friends. It's just really really funny to paint your friends asshole. When are you going to do that? And I got to do it but we didn't show that. We showed it from the side but we didn't show it from the full frontal.
Because I want to stay married. That's like so simple, 'cause I like him. I want to keep him, basically.
My biggest fight with the network was over my weight, oddly enough. I was too fat. They thought I was just too fat to play the role of
myself which is so stupid. Things have changed now. Actually ABC is very good now. They have a lot of Asian-Americans in their programming. They have a good sense of bringing this whole
multiculturalism thing together and I feel like I had a lot to do withthat. So I don't blame them. It was a different time and a different
time in history and in television and we were doing different stuff but the biggest argument is that I was fat, which is so dumb.
I wanted to do something different in my show Beautiful. I wante to do some music and I wanted to sing and I wanted to be a very new standup comedy approach and enjoy standup again. I had taken a break because I had done The Sensuous Woman off-Broadway, which was a dance show. Then I did the True Colors tour which is a big music tour so I was excited to get back to doing my own show and I wanted to do it a
little bit different.
Beauty is however you want to define it. Beauty is a choice. It's sort of a spiritual choice, too. It's something we decide inside ourselves and what we present to the world. I think it's a very important thing, it's a politically motivating feeling. If you feel beautiful you'll be more active politically and that's sort of what I want to get to. I want to get to this feeling of adequacy and self-awareness and self-esteem. Those issues are very important to me.
After the show I'm going to start working on a pilot called Drop Dead Diva, which is a very very funny comedy drama. All my tattoos get covered up and I get to play a lawyer, so that's next.