The October/November 2008 edition of Audrey, the Asian American women’s lifestyle magazine, features Margaret Cho on the cover.
Kathy Griffin got an Emmy for it. Denise Richards actually got renewed. Now comedienne Margaret Cho is having a go at the reality TV genre. After over a decade of absence, Cho is giving television another shot after her sitcom, 1994’s “All American Girl,” about a Korean American family bombed.
Cho was only 16 when starting out in comedy. Her parents, Korean immigrants, ran a bookstore in San Francisco. Cho grew up listening to comedy acts in a club upstairs.
Cho’s career and personal life took a downturn after that foray into network sitcom. She sustained kidney failure during a show due to starving herself to get thin enough for the pilot, something she said was a result of the network telling her that her face was too “round.” Other incidences, which Cho has publicly addressed, were the different times in which she was told she wasn’t being “Asian enough” or at other times, “too Asian.”
The experience with her show caused Cho to spiral downwards, becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol.
A new decade later, her new show, “The Cho Show,” debuted this August and follows the life of Cho and her entourage. Her parents also play a prominent role, offsetting Cho’s big personality with conservative straightforwardness.
Cho has bounced back. An activist for Asian American rights and gay rights, Cho has been given awards by NOW, the ACLU, GLAAD and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. ♦