Celebrating a 2012 Emmy nomination for her portrayal of deceased North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Il on the NBC comedy “30 Rock,” and fresh off a fourth season of the popular Lifetime series “Drop Dead Diva,” Margaret Cho is back on the road with her outspoken and uncensored comedy and headed to Tennessee with her new stand-up show, “MOTHER.”
The tour, which takes her to clubs and theaters all across the country, is a look at the concept of motherhood through non-traditional roles, and an examination of the role strong women play in GLBT culture. Cho spoke with Out & About Newspaper why the surrogate families created throughout the queer community are essential to loving one another.
“It’s really beautiful and it’s really important,” Cho said. “I think one of the most incredible things about our community is that we find ways to parent; and there are different definitions of parenting and parents. It’s one of the things my show is about: how we create our own families and how great that is. It is a beautiful thing to mother the world.”
In response to a world where many young GLBT people are excluded or disowned from their biological families because of their sexuality and forced out of their homes, Cho reflects upon how surrogate families come together to help people find and share the love they may have otherwise been missing. She identifies with the transgender and drag communities and experiences her own role as a mother to others within those particular cultures.
“Of course there have always been those roles in the trans and drag communities,” she said. “Where you have older people who adopt younger people. That’s a big tradition in both communities and I find that’s what [kind of mother] I have become.”
Earlier this summer Cho came under fire by anti-gay protesters from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church who referred to the bi-sexual comedienne as a “lying pervert” and encouraged their followers to picket her performances. She regards their attack as more amusing than offensive, and explains, “I just think [that they targeted me] is amazing. It’s so crazy they would do that. When people like the Westboro Baptist Church are hating on you, I see it as an achievement.”
Aside from her increasingly successful acting career and legendary comedy history, Cho has branched out creatively as a songwriter, burlesque performer, musician, fashion designer and more. Still, despite the grueling schedule and constant travel, touring as a stand-up comic is where she began and where she loves to return.
“I really enjoy it,” she said. “That part of my work is something I’ve always done. I’ve always been a road comic and I’ve always loved it. It’s never been a burden or a hardship. To me it’s more of a challenge to stay home and not do much. But it’s a good balance now because I do have to be home half of the year for acting and then the other half I go on tour.”
Cho also manages to blog several times a week for her website margaretcho.com and maintains an active presence on social media like Twitter and Facebook where she interacts with her fans. This Fall she debuts a new show on the Food Network which promises to be as entertaining and controversial as Cho herself.
“It’s a show called ‘Blind Dinner Party’ and it’s really a great concept,” Cho said. “It’s about different people getting together who probably would fight in real life. That’s the premise: you have to sit down together and cook and eat. It gives you a chance to be with people you ordinarily wouldn’t hang out with. When we did the pilot it was amazing and there was a lot of fighting, but there was a lot of connection to. I’m the moderator and it’s my party and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t agree with a lot of things that were being said, but I didn’t disagree with any of the food.”
Margaret Cho is launching her brand new stand up comedy tour, “MOTHER,” this Fall with a stop in Nashville at Zanie's on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 and 9 p.m. Cho has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal as Kim Jong Il on NBC’s “30 Rock.” Ticket’s can be purchased at www.nashville.zanies.com or buy calling (615) 269-0221.