Margaret Cho

Biography

Margaret Cho was born to Korean immigrants in San Francisco and grew up in the colorful Haight Ashbury district of the city among ex-hippies, druggies and drag queens. It was in the comedy club above her parent's bookstore that Cho honed her comedy skills as a teenager, winning a contest where the first prize was opening for Jerry Seinfeld. Things went so well, she moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and went looking for work. Her big break came in a one-two punch, when Arsenio Hall booked her for his late night show about the same time Bob Hope introduced her in one of his prime-time specials. Almost immediately, Cho became a celebrity. After winning 1994's American Comedy Award for Female Comedian, Cho was approached by the networks about developing her own sitcom. Although funny, All American Girl didn't have a long run and was criticized for, well, everything! It was too Asian; it wasn't Asian enough; Cho was too fat – you name it, someone had an opinion about it. At this time, Cho developed an addiction to diet pills and alcohol. She overcame both obstacles, and documented her efforts and experiences in the biting, one-woman show I'm the One That I Want. The play became so successful Off Broadway, she toured with it for two years, making a concert film, CD and book of the same name. In 2001, Cho released Notorious C.H.O., and in 2003 a willing audience set on Revolution, which broke attendance records. In 2004, Cho toured once again with a show called State of Emergency, which saw the comedian travel to Australia and England in support of the material. The ACLU, GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, and the National Organization for Women have all honored Cho for her frank, often political material.
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