A moment with Margaret Cho

Jan 20, 2013
Photo by: Lindsey Byrnes

It's hard to put Margaret Cho in a box — or a paragraph, for that matter. She sings, writes, designs clothes, models and — at least in a few episodes of "30 Rock" — becomes Kim Jong Il. But above all and everything, she captivates/shocks/delights audiences with her stand-up shows. The comedian is known for addressing all kinds of taboo topics, from her love and support for the LGBT community her lack of it for certain politicians. You might know her for her stint on "Dancing With the Stars," or for that impression of her Korean-born mother, but if you haven't seen her live, you still have a lot to learn about the button-pushing comic.

Cho, who will be in Asheville the very day The Guide is printed, recently "spoke" to this publication via email. Her current tour, "MOTHER," is landing at The Orange Peel at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, with opening act Selene Luna. Tickets are still available by visiting www.theorangepeel.net or calling 225-5851.

Here's what the self-described "patron saint of outsiders" had to say.

Where are you right now? Any favorite stops along this tour?

I am in Los Angeles now, which is my home, and also a great tour stop!

Like so many big comedians, some people probably know you more as a famous personality than as a stand-up comic. For the uninitiated, how do you describe your show?

I would say it is a raunchy ride, maybe a raunchy roller coaster?

Are there any topics that are definitely off the table in your comedy?

I don't think so. I haven't come to these topics yet!

I really enjoy your comedy, but it's clearly not for everyone. Were
you always this no holds barred in your work?

I am not sure, I think it developed over time, but I think it's the kind of comedy I like, which is honest and brutal in equal measure.

You've had so many different facets to your career, between your
comedy and music, being in movies and modeling — and even "Dancing
With the Stars." Do you have a favorite? What do you want to do more

I love doing standup comedy, and that will always be my favorite. 

You are so known for talking about sexuality in all its forms. I
believe you even officiated gay marriages in California. Do you think
the world is becoming more open on that level, or do you fear we might
be going backwards sometimes?

I hope that the world is becoming more open, and more accepting. I think that things are changing, but it takes time, which is frustrating. 

You were raised out in San Francisco (I'm from there, as well). Do you
miss it out there?

Yes! but then there are lots of places that remind me of San Francisco. I think the liberalism of the city, its hippie spirit and its political legacy exists in Asheville!

Do you have a least favorite question that reporters ask you over and
over (and hopefully I haven't yet)?

I am not sure I can remember — everyone is different. They ask different things. I kind of feel weird when they ask when I came to "this country" because I was born in America, so the assumption that I might be foreign because of my race is a little off putting. 

What's the best thing in your life these days?

Touring, eating, laughing, loving the road!