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Margaret Cho mixes politics and comedy

Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho likes kids.

That might seem funny to some people who are only familiar with Cho's abrasive comedy routines — especially where she talks about having no feelings when she sees children. But she really does like kids.

In fact, she'll be heading into the studio later this year to record a children's rap album.

"I love doing things fun things," Cho said during a telephone interview from Cincinnati, Ohio. "And I also want to do things that are realistic and show different sides of me. Making a kids rap album makes sense to me. I'll be known as 'Emcee MC.' "

However, the rap album isn't Cho's first project for children. She's been involved with the National Education Fund and has appeared on "Sesame Street." "I think I'm maturing," she said. "Even my humor is not about being brash as much as it is about politics and what's happening around me."

Cho was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended school in the Haight/Ashbury District and began performing stand-up when she was 16. "I always wanted to live a different life than what people think as being the norm. I always knew I had a different purpose. Making people laugh was a clear path for me to follow."

She entered stand-up competitions and landed a spot opening for Jerry Seinfeld. Then she moved to Los Angeles. There, Cho went through some challenges. "Show business is a different mind-set. I experienced some rejection, but I also knew that rejection is part of the profession I chose. So I had to deal with it.

"It's the same in any career choice. You experience challenges that are unique to what you wind up doing."

A couple of years later, Cho hit the college circuit. And doors began to open. She became the most booked act in the comedy market and was nominated for Campus Comedian of the Year. Her work ethic led her to a grueling itinerary, playing more than 300 shows in two years.

The hard work paid off. In 1994, Cho was crowned the Campus Comedian of the Year.

Eventually, Cho landed her own TV sitcom, "All-American Girl," which she says was a "learning experience." "We had ideas, but by the time the writers wrote and rewrote the script, it was totally different."

After the sitcom was canceled, Cho, who is of Korean decent, returned to her stand-up comedy, which led to best-selling albums, movies and books.

Known for her involvement with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense, the National Gay and Lesbian Task force and the Asian American Legal Defence, Cho also writes an advice column for www.planetout.com and www.gay.com. "The material I use has always come from my surroundings and my thoughts. Being Asian and being a woman helps quite a bit. My whole life has become a political agenda, and that's what I talk about."


If you go

What: Margaret Cho

Where: Kingsbury Hall

When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $30

Phone: 355-2787 or 1-800-451-2787

Web: www.arttix.org


E-MAIL: scott@desnews.com