Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Margaret Cho

Comedian

More From Margaret

In this video

Tagged as

Comedian Margaret Cho sits down with MAKERS to talk about growing up the daughter of Korean immigrants, the impact of the AIDS crisis on her comedy, and how harnessing her identity as a queer woman of color comic allowed her to overcome even the most devastating personal failures.

Margaret's Biography

Born with Books:Parent's owned a gay bookstore called Paperback Traffic.
Major Comedic Influence:"Ellen DeGeneres and people like Will Durst, or Bobcat Goldthwait or Dana Carvey. Paula Poundstone was a major influence."
Shy Kid:"I was kind of amazed at everything and I was really afraid of everything."
Strange Education: Won a college comedy competition where she got to meet Jerry Seinfeld. She wasn't even in school.

Comedian Margaret Cho is a groundbreaking stand-up comedian who harnessed her identity as a queer woman of color to power her comedic voice and hit racism, homophobia and stereotypes head on.
 
Born and raised by Korean immigrant parents in San Francisco, California, Cho's community was deeply impacted by the AIDS crisis; today she remains incredibly active in gay rights campaigns, but it was also at AIDS benefits where Cho first began performing as a teen.
 
By her twenties, Cho was starring in her own ABC TV sitcom "All-American Girl," the first show of its kind to focus on an Asian-American family. Still, the show became more of a watered down vision of the network's than Cho's own voice. It was canceled after only one season.
 
Although a huge failure for Cho, she has since learned to run uncompromisingly with her own voice. Her 1999 groundbreaking, off Broadway one-woman show, "I’m The One That I Want", toured the country to national acclaim and was made into a best-selling book and feature film of the same name. Several acclaimed tours have since followed including Notorious C.H.O., Revolution, Beautiful, Cho Dependent, and her most recent MOTHER, which is currently touring.
 

Related Videos

Lisa Leslie
Lisa Leslie
Champion Basketball Player

In 2002, Lisa Leslie became the first WNBA player to dunk a basketball. Throughout her trailblazing career, she was many firsts: the first WNBA player to win the regular season MV...

Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland
Ballet Dancer

Misty Copeland began her ballet career at age 13. Two years later, she had won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards, and began her studies at the Lauridsien Ballet Cent...

Karen Nussbaum
Karen Nussbaum
Founder of 9to5 First Union for Secretaries

Karen Nussbaum is an activist, labor leader, and founder of 9to5, a pioneering labor organization for female clerical workers. She has also served as Director of the Women’s ...

Ruth Simmons
Ruth Simmons
First African-American Ivy League President

In 2001, Ruth Simmons made history when she became the first African-American president of an Ivy League university, as well as Brown University’s first female president. Pri...