An accomplished performer in all formats, Margaret Cho could be called the “Queen of all Media” having conquered the worlds of film, television, books, music and theatre. She has five Grammy Award nominations (two for music albums, Cho Dependent and American Myth) and one Emmy nod for her groundbreaking work on 30 Rock. Never one to shy away from a difficult or ‘taboo’ topic, her socially aware brand of stand-up comedy has made her both a thought leader as well as a teacher to those with open minds and open hearts. In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine named one of the 50 Best Stand-Up Comics calling her “the sort of funny, sex-positive feminist and LGBT activist younger comics continue to look up to.”
Equally as important as her creative side is the causes she is passionate about. Margaret is widely recognized for her charitable work with gay rights and anti-bullying campaigns. In every segment of her life, Margaret is honest, forthright, passionate, uproarious and always entertaining.
It was a pleasure to, once again, sit down with Margaret for this exclusive Hotspots interview. The last time we spoke was right before Covid hit, so I will start the interview from there.
Shortly after we interviewed you last time, Covid hit, what did you do during the quarantine part of the pandemic?
I ate a loaf of bread every day and I started baking. I leaned into cooking, and I am now kind of a chef. It’s fun and different for me. I used to go to restaurants every single day and now I stay home and cook. It was about going internal and building a home life. I am very grateful to be out on the road again.
What was your first gig after the quarantine, and how was the audience?
I did different shows online during Covid, but it was weird cause I couldn’t hear the audience. Then I did d some shows where the audience were in their cars. That was very creative, and I enjoyed it. I don’t remember my actual first live show.
Has the pandemic changed you as a performer and has it changed the audiences?
I think it changed me in that I am a lot more grateful to be out there and performing and excited to go and tour. And it seems like the audiences are rejuvenated and have a new appreciation for live performances.
Since the pandemic you have made some memorable appearances. A stand out was your guest role in the second season of The Flight Attendant. How was it to work with Rosie Perez and Kaley Cuoco?
They are such great actresses, and I really had an amazing time. We shot in Reykjavik. Iceland. It was an exciting paid vacation, and we had the best time.
Another fabulous role was Erin in the movie Fire Island. That cast looked like they would be a lot of fun to shoot with. How was your experience?
We all had such a great time and we really laughed throughout the making of the film. I love all those guys so much. The relationship in the film mirrors our relationships in life. We really love each other.
You are a standup comedian, an actress, a writer, a producer, and a singer amongst many other things. Is there something you like more than the others?
I love stand-up comedy and acting the most as they are very similar. I love that acting is taking a lot more of my time in recent years as that’s really fulfilling. I love to bring life to characters.
I love it all, but I really love doing comedy as that’s my main occupation. I am a creative sole, but comedy is more essential to my being.
What inspires you to continue to be an activist for civil rights?
We just need change, and we need to fight all the anti-gay, trans, drag bills that are being introduced. We need to stop this treacherous bigoted politicians coming for our rights. Politics has always been a very important part of my life but now more than ever it has become incredibly urgent.
Is there someone special in your personal life these days?
There are quite a few people that are special in my life. However, my animals are the prime of my life and my biggest joy and make me the happiest.
After all these years is there something about you that would surprise us?
I really love gardening, and this is something that has come later in life for me. Although the climate in calif has shifted so it makes it harder to garden. However, I am in deep.
Describe yourself in three words?
Queer, quirky, and quiet.
What do you do for fun?
I like to eat food. I have a sugar problem, and I have a sweet tooth.
What should our readers expect from “Live and Livid” when you perform at The Parker?
I am going to town on Ron DeSantis, and I promise your audience will love it. To me Florida is the gayest state. I have no understanding how he (DeSantis) can come up with “don’t say gay;” we are going to say gay so much it’s going be so good!