(PCM) Margaret Cho is having one of her busiest year’s yet. In 2012, she returned to Lifetime Television’s “Drop Dead Diva” and also reprised her role on “30 Rock ” as Kim Jong II, which earned her an Emmy nod in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Margaret can be seen as host on the upcoming reality show Blind Dinner Party, airing this fall on the Food Network. Where seven strangers, from totally different backgrounds, with very dissimilar views, come together to dine at what can best be described as the most dysfunctional family dinner you’ve ever seen. Margaret mediates this experiment where viewers will find out if food can become a common denominator amongst very diverse people.
Margaret also kicked off her brand-new stand up show bringing audiences her unflinching brand of comedy called MOTHER. MOTHER offers up an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture. It’s probably her edgiest show to date, filled with riotous observations on race, drugs, sexuality – gay-straight-everything in between, celebrity, culture, politics – nothing is sacred-least of all this MOTHER.
Kristyn Clarke was able to ask a few questions to Margaret Cho to get the lowdown on the current “MOTHER” Tour, upcoming projects and more!
Q: You are currently out on the “Mother” Tour. What can you share with us about the tour and what led you to choose that particular theme?
Margaret Cho: I have been doing impressions of my mother for a long time, and it’s one of the most popular things in my work, and so I was going to do a show with lots about her, and then also about my own relationship to motherhood, which is not what people normally think – it’s kind of anti-motherhood, like a celebration of it.
Q: You have done a ton of work in the worlds of film, TV, and of course stand-up comedy. Is there any one you prefer over the others?
MC: I love standup comedy. It’s my life, and it is what I will always do.
Q: Do your roles in TV and film, often have any influence on your stand-up material or vice versa…does any of your stand-up comedy material bring influence to your roles in TV and film?
MC: Yes I think so, there’s a good deal of back and forth there. It’s all the same in a sense, but also different.
Q: What do you feel is the formula for good comedy?
MC: Timing, compassion, non-linear thinking – a kind of swirling thought and logic.
Q: Do you have a dream role or project that you would like to tackle one day?
MC: I would love to play more world leaders. Like Imelda Marcos, or Kim Jong II again
Q: What has been one of the most important lessons that you have learned throughout your career?
MC: Not to worry much about things, that they come back around, that opportunities come and go, people come and go, everything is coming back to you.
MC: Laundry! If i can do my laundry, I am set! but also – the best is going out on the road and working every night – you get so quick and deft – these are the best times for standup comics, when we are really working at our craft.
Q: What has been one of the craziest road or travel stories that you’ve encountered so far during this tour?
MC: Nothing so crazy now – I have mellowed considerably in my old age. as crazy as it gets is maybe some TLC or History Channel before bed.
Q: How do you feel about all of the strong roles that are popping up for female comedians these days, especially in TV and film? Currently what are some of your favorite shows and comedians?
MC: I love it! I love Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman. The best comic is Tig Notaro – she is a genius.
Q: When coming up with material for stand-up, what is the most challenging for you? Is there anything that is ever completely off limits?
MC: Remembering everything, but I record shows to help me with that. There’s nothing off limits.
Q: You have always been very honest and open with everything throughout your career, especially with online blogging, is it ever difficult to put so much of yourself out there in the open?
MC: Oh I like it, and it’s not a big deal. Privacy is kind of a myth, and we are all privy to pain and the suffering that is intrinsically human. I think it is more important to share things and not get to hung up on who knows what.
Q: How does it feel to be looked at as an influence and inspiration to many women as someone who is not afraid to speak her mind?
MC: I think that is very nice. I consider myself a bad influence in other ways, but if I am a good influence somewhere to something noble – I will take it.
Q: Congratulations on recently getting your motorcycle license! Is there anything else that you would like to try your hand at one day?
MC: Thank you. I love bikes! I am not sure what else is out there for me to learn, a whole world of things I am sure.
Q: What does the rest of 2012 hold in store for you? Is there any additional projects in the works for you?
Be sure to check out Margaretcho.com one the most sincere, fiery and laugh-out-loud funny blogs you will find on the Internet and keep up to date with all of the latest information! Also, check out Margaret’s latest DVD release Cho Dependent . Written, directed and produced by Margaret, Cho Dependent is her 6th live concert DVD. Shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, the DVD shares the same name as her Grammy nominated comedy album. The Cho Dependent DVD features songs from the album interwoven into the thought provoking stories she tells.
Remaining “MOTHER” Tour dates can be found below:
October 2 – Burlington, VT- Higher Ground
October 3 – Albany, NY- The Swyer Theater at The Egg
October 5, 6 – Cleveland, OH- Improv
October 7,8 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Improv
October 9 – Wilmington, DE – DuPont Theatre
October 10 – York, PA – The Strand Capitol PAC
October 12, 13 – Portland, OR – Helium Comedy Club
October 26-29 – London, UK – Leicester Square Theater
January 23 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
January 24 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Photo credits: missymissyphotography.net and Austin Young