Margaret Cho pulls no punches. The veteran comedian-actress has built a career poking fun at volatile political and social issues, especially those involving race and sexuality. And she’s not about to let up nor tone down when she performs in Singapore this month.
Oh, she’s well aware that a few conservative groups started a petition to cancel homosexual musician Adam Lambert’s gig at the New Year’s countdown party, and failed. It doesn’t ruffle her one bit.
“I plan on being as gay and confrontational as possible. I haven’t had anyone tell me I can’t, and I haven’t got any petition trying to stop me. This show will be the gayest thing to ever happen in Singapore,” Cho says.
But controversy has never strayed far from the openly bisexual multi-hyphenate. Her open marriage to artist Al Ridenour filled numerous gossip columns. The subsequent divorce last August after a decade of holy matrimony filled even more. However, despite her own experiences, the heavily tattooed Cho still believes in open marriages. “It’s just that people grow apart, which is sad but the truth of love,” Cho told me in a moment of melancholy. You can bet that she’ll include her failed marriage in her upcoming show. Nothing is off limits. Everything is turned into a punchline. She’s joked about everything, from her Korean heritage to her miscarriage.
She even impersonated North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un at the 2015 Golden Globes awards show. Her cameo appearance caused a bit of a stir, with some claiming that she was being racist.
Cho’s riposte? “White people like to tell Asians how to feel about race because they’re too scared to tell black people. We have less melanin, we don’t protest, there’s no #KoreanLivesMatter.”
Incidentally, Cho’s childhood experience, or the lack thereof, with Asians was one of the main reasons she chose to carve out a career in entertainment.
“My youth was filled with TV, which my working parents would often use as a babysitter, so it was constantly on. Not seeing Asians on the telly was jarring because I knew that we were out there,” explains Cho. So she headed for the spotlight, wanting to show everyone how diverse the world actually was. There is truth in her stance. Hollywood is dominated by white males, with the token Asian either playing the actor’s love interest or someone extremely skilled in martial arts.
While it is Cho’s first time performing in Singapore, she is already taking potshots at City Harvest Church. “When I’m here, I hope that the church will launch my singing career.”
‘Korean Soju’ for the name of the single, perhaps?
Win tickets to Margaret Cho’s The Psycho Tour Show here.