Margaret Cho is ruuude! Billed as transgressive, subversive, outrageous and any other number of descriptors, the 43year-old Korean American is, as she reminds the adoring audience, “very famous in America…no, really I am. I’m Woody Allen’s favourite comic.”
Like all the comedians that featured in this short sharp comedy festival, Cho was at the top of her game. Nearly 20 years of comedy, including TV shows, film, an appearance on Dancing with the Stars (with Bristol Palin!) and the last two years spent continuously touring the world has polished Cho’s show to sparkling.
Sexuality is her obsession; her sexual identity is fluid (she calls her self simultaneously lesbian, bi-sexual, the mother of all faghags as well as declaring an abiding love for transgendered folks). Sex is obligatory, usually anal and with a liberal dose of descriptors about her vagina….and shit. All of which would be a long two hours if Cho didn’t run these other quite wonderful discourses through her show. Racism is casually poked and prodded. As a Korean woman in dominant white culture she never lets it slip far from view. She recounted a story from the Edinburgh Festival (in Scotland, where she isn’t famous at all). The audience booed her as soon as she walked on stage-simply for being an Asian woman. “What?” she screamed back at them, “Are you still mad at me for breaking up the Beatles?”
Similarly her gay pride politics and loathing of right wing sexual hypocrisy provide a vibrant energy that pulsate through her delivery. As she has travelled and had more experiences, references to her hilarious family are less, but serve as an anchor. Her impression of “Mummy”, her eccentric Korean mother are unforgettable – as is the description of her fathers response to the Virginia Tech Massacre, perpetrated by a Korean student whose last name, coincidentally, was also Cho. “One or two maybe OK – but 34?” he said.
Cho’s gay opener, New York comedian John Roberts joined her on stage in the closing moments and they both dragged up as their Mum’s. In recent years, Cho has been accused of being too political and not funny. This show is a triumphant return to form. Funny, funny woman.
The Cho Dependant Tour
Part of the Just For Laughs Festival
Venue: Sydney Opera House
Date: 2 September, 2011
Bookings: 9250 7777 | www.sydneyoperahouse.com
Venue: The Tivoli
Date: 5 September, 2011
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 | www.ticketek.com.au
Venue: The Forum
Date: 6 September, 2011
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 111 011 | www.ticketmaster.com.au