Last week, I had a chance to go with my friend Adam to the Warfield to see Margaret Cho’s latest comedy tour, Beautiful. Margaret Cho has been on my radar for years – first as one of the first visible Asian American comics out there with her own television sitcom, then using her comedy as a way to assert herself and a positive attitude in I’m The One That I Want, then become the raunchy comedienne for queer people, of which I am one. When her second book was released, I finally got the chance to meet her at a book signing and tell her, “oh hey, I’m Ernie, and you link to my blog from yours. Hi.”
But I digress.
So here’s my thing about Margaret Cho – I LOVE it when she makes Asian jokes. I make Asian jokes. But I don’t like my comedy political; I don’t like my comedy angry, either – I can’t stand Bill Maher, and Stephen Colbert initially made me wince. So when I sat down and tried to read her book I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, I couldn’t finish reading the first chapter: it didn’t make me laugh, it made me angry. And I don’t watch stand-up comedy to make me angry, anyway. There are still political elements in her newest show, and I wonder how truly effectual she is when she’s essentially preaching to a very gay choir that already agrees with everything she says.
But all of that being said, I LOVE how she keeps things real and transparent. She’s crass, explicit and unapologetic. She rallies the crowd to the idea that everyone is beautiful and important despite the forces in life saying otherwise. And to this day, she’s still one of the most visible Asian American comediennes out there.
(Flickr photo credit: knightbefore_99)