In this video
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.
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.
More From Margaret
My Truth in Comedy
Comedian Margaret Cho talks about searching for her comedic identity and why she began integrating stories about her family, specifically her mother, into her act.
The Gay Book School
Comedian Margaret Cho talks about growing up surrounded by gay men who frequented her father's book store.
Open with Silver Close with Gold
When asked what the best piece of advice she ever received was, comedian Margaret Cho shares a classic inside comedy trope she's heard through the years.
Not Enough Women in Comedy
Comedian Margaret Cho shares her views on the small number of women, especially women of color, in comedy.
Immigrant Family's Sense of Humor
Comedian Margaret Cho talks about her Korean immigrant parents' senses of humor and how language barriers impacted her own comedy.
My Father's Choices
Margaret Cho talks about how and why her father yearned to distance himself from the close-mindedness of the family and community he left in Korea.
Education of a Stand-Up
Comedian Margaret Cho was adamant on starting her career in comedy as soon as she could, which meant never finishing high school. Cho talks about both sides of that choice now that she has perspective.
Sexism Still Exists
Comedian Margaret Cho talks about why younger women shy away from the word "feminist" but why she embraces it and is grateful for the women who brought feminism to the forefront.
Unspoken Rules on Comedy and Gender
Comedian Margaret Cho talks about how she observed the unspoken rules of how women comedians were treated differently by audiences.
AIDS and Community
Margaret Cho looks back at the AIDS epidemic, how the community rose to the occasion, and how the lessons of that fight helped in the more recent fight for gay marriage.