Short Biography #1

Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee. When hasn’t Margaret Cho’s strong voice been part of our consciousness? It feels like she has always been here, like a friend you can always count on, lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow.

 

Margaret staunchly supports the causes that are important to her: anti-racism, anti-bullying, gay rights, all while fulfilling her successful creative side with a legendary stand up career that has yielded 10-plus comedy tours. Her recent television appearances – guest star on Season 2 of The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), guest star on Season 2 of Hacks (HBO Max) and two Netflix is a Joke comedy specials: Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration and Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live – have expanded an already wide-ranging career, and her role as the ‘mother hen’ in the well-reviewed movie Fire Island solidifies why we all love Margaret in the first place. 

 

Margaret, who Vogue magazine named one of the 9 best female comedians of all time alongside Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner and Wanda Sykes, appreciates where she finds herself right now. “I think comedians in general, we get better as we get older, and we kind of get more observant, and more astute in those observations." 

 

Thankfully, Margaret has more stories to tell, and her production company, Animal Family Productions, has multiple scripted shows in development for 2022 and beyond.

Short Biography #2

Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee.  Margaret Cho’s strong voice has been lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow. Her recent television appearances – guest star on Season 2 of The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), guest star on Season 2 of Hacks (HBO Max) and two Netflix is a Joke comedy specials: Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration and Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live – have expanded an already wide-ranging career, and her role as the ‘mother hen’ in the well-reviewed movie Fire Island solidifies why we all love Margaret in the first place. 

 

As a comedian Margaret has been named one of Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time, one of Vogue magazine’s Top 9 Female Comedians of all time, while CNN chose her as one of the 50 People Who Changed American Comedy.  Thankfully, Margaret has more stories to tell, and her production company, Animal Family Productions, has multiple scripted shows in development for 2022 and beyond.

Full Biography

Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee. When hasn’t Margaret Cho’s strong voice been part of our consciousness? It feels like she has always been here, like a friend you can always count on, lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow. 

 

Born and raised in San Francisco, it was an experience that she can say with all sincerity helped to shape her world-view. “There were old hippies, ex-druggies, burnouts, drag queens, and Chinese people. It was a really confusing, enlightening, wonderful time.”

 

Margaret started performing stand up in clubs near her home at age 14, sharpening her skills so tight that she won a comedy contest to be the opening act for Jerry Seinfeld. That experience inspired a move to Los Angeles and, while still in her twenties, hit the college circuit, where she became the most booked act in the market. She garnered a nomination for “Campus Comedian of The Year,” performed over 300 concerts within two years, guested on a Bob Hope prime time special and became a household name.

 

Her groundbreaking ABC sitcom, All-American Girl (1994) soon followed. While ABC courted her because she was a non-conformist Korean American with liberal views, they wanted the real Margaret to tone it down for the show. The experience was a traumatic one, bringing up unresolved feelings left over from childhood when she felt left out and alienated, especially since her views weren’t being considered. 

 

With the series in her rear-view mirror, her 1999 groundbreaking Off-Broadway one-woman show, I’m The One That I Want, toured to national acclaim, and was made into both a best-selling book and feature film. After what happened with All American Girl, Margaret made sure she would control the distribution and sales of her film, an unusual move at the time. I’m The One That I Want received incredible reviews. In 2001, Margaret launched Notorious C.H.O., a smash-hit 37-city national tour that culminated in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Notorious C.H.O., hailed by the New York Times as “Brilliant,” was released as a feature film and aired on Showtime

 

In March of 2003, Margaret embarked on her third sold-out national tour, Revolution. It was heralded by the Chicago Sun Times as “her strongest show yet” and the recording was nominated for a Grammy for Comedy Album of the Year. In 2005 she released Assassin, with the Chicago Tribune stating “(Assassin) packs passion in to each punch.” 

 

In 2007, Margaret hit the road with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure to host the True Colors tour, which benefitted and highlighted Human Rights Campaign. An entertainment pioneer, she also created and starred in The Sensuous Woman, a live variety show featuring vaudevillian burlesque and comedy, which she took for an extended Off-Broadway run.

Margaret returned to television in 2008 with the VH1 series, The Cho Show. Describing it as a ‘reality sitcom,’ Margaret said “It’s the closest I’ve been able to come to what I do as a comic on TV.”

 

The aptly titled Beautiful tour came next, exploring the good, bad and ugly in beauty and the marketers who try to shape our world-view. The concert premiered in Australia at The Sydney Theater, marking the first time Margaret debuted a tour abroad. 

 

In 2009, Margaret nabbed a starring role in the comedy/drama series Drop Dead Diva, which aired for six seasons on Lifetime. 

 

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Margaret participated in Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars in 2010, memorably performing in a gay pride rainbow dress during a time when the issue of suicides among gay youth due to bullying was on the rise. 

 

2010 culminated with another high honor, a second Grammy Award nomination for Comedy Album of the Year for Cho Dependent, her music album. Featuring collaborations with Fiona Apple, Tegan & Sara, Ben Lee and more, the album received critical acclaim, not only for the topics she tackled, but also for her musicianship.  

 

In 2011, Margaret released the live concert film of Cho Dependent, which debuted on Showtime. Shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, the performance was characteristically no-holds-barred and a big success.

 

Margaret’s creative side moved full speed ahead with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress on 30 Rock, where she played Kim Jong II. 2015 brought Margaret back to the stand-up stage with PSYCHO. Called “wildly kinetic” by the New York Times, PSYCHO ended up being a sad prediction of our future. Said Cho at the time, “It’s about the insanity, the anger I feel about everything happening in the world, from police brutality to racism to the rising tide of violence against women.” 

The five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee released her second studio album, American Myth, earning her another Grammy nomination for Comedy Album of the Year

Margaret is still playing clubs and venues, even if Covid shuttered it down in 2020. She knew that she’d have to reinvent some of the material when the pandemic made it possible to tour again, saying, “When we go back out, the show will take on everything that has happened while we were social distancing. It was a deep period of reflection where all comedians had to figure out how to live life without hearing laughter. It felt suffocating but also uplifting.”  

 

These past few years saw Margaret jump back in to acting roles. She kicked off 2019 as the Poodle on the first season of The Masked Singer, appeared in a 2019 episode of Law & Order: SVU and an episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed series High Maintenance. In 2020, Margaret appeared as “Auntie Ling” in Netflix’s first major animated film, Over the Moon, which was nominated for an Academy Award & Golden Globe Award. She also launched "The Margaret Cho,” a podcast where she would speak to both a notable and unknown personality within the same episode. 

 

Her 2022 television appearances included a guest starring roles on Season 2 of The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), Season 2 of Hacks (HBO Max) and two Netflix is a Joke comedy specials: Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration and Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live. She was honored to be included in ABC’s Together as One: Celebrating AANHPI Heritage – A Soul of a Nation Presentation, their first primetime program celebrating diversity and recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community via  

 

In 2022, Margaret appeared as Erin, the ‘mother hen’ to young gay friends in the well-reviewed movie Fire Island (Hulu), which was inspired by Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudiced.” She recently joined the cast of Disney +’s Teen rom-com Prom Pact, expected for a June, 2023 release.

 

Margaret staunchly supports the causes that are important to her: anti-racism, anti-bullying, gay rights, all while fulfilling her successful creative side. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund’s Leadership Award, the first-ever Best Comedy Performance Award at the Asian Excellence Awards, the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California, and the Intrepid Award from theNational Organization for Women (NOW). Margaret has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund(AALDEF), PFLAG and LA Pride, who gave Margaret a Lifetime Achievement Award for leaving a lasting imprint on the LGBT community. 

 

As a comedian Margaret has been named one of Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time, one of Vogue magazine’s Top 9 Female Comedians of all time, while CNN chose her as one of the 50 People Who Changed American Comedy.  Thankfully, Margaret has more stories to tell, and her production company, Animal Family Productions, has multiple scripted shows in development for 2022 and beyond.

Photo credit: Andrew Labrow
Photo credit: Andrew Labrow
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Photo credit: Andrew Labrow
Photo credit: Andrew Labrow
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Photo credit: Dave Coombs
Photo credit: Dave Coombs
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Photo credit: Andrew Labrow
Photo credit: Andrew Labrow
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Photo credit: Stuart Ling
Photo credit: Stuart Ling
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Photo credit: Stuart Ling
Photo credit: Stuart Ling
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