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MAKERS Profile

Margaret Cho

Comedian

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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.
 

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