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Margaret Cho - Biography

By

Comedian Margaret Cho
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Born:

December 5, 1968

Margaret Cho Overview:

Margaret Cho is many, many things: comedian, actress, political commentator, gay rights advocate and, after joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars in 2010, amateur ballroom dancer. A pioneer of the alternative comedy movement, Cho has been performing stand-up since the late 1980s. Her act is a combination of brutal honesty (covering everything from her Korean upbringing to her struggles with drugs and alcohol) to political and social criticism, and her comedy has engendered such a fervent fanbase that it could more accurately be described as a cult following.

Quick Margaret Cho Facts:

  • Margaret Cho (born Moran Cho) was born and raised in San Francisco, California.
  • She attended the prestigious San Francisco School of the Arts, where she first got involved in performing improvisational comedy.
  • Cho began performing stand-up comedy around California in the late '80s and early '90s.
  • In 1994, she got her own ABC sitcom, All American Girl, which lasted only one season.
  • Cho is openly bisexual and is a strong advocate for gay rights.
  • Since 1997, Cho has released seven comedy albums and four concert films.
  • In 2010, Cho became a contestant on the ABC reality show Dancing With the Stars.

Margaret Cho Discography and Concert Films:

  • Drunk with Power (1997) (CD)
  • Live in Houston (1998) (CD)
  • I'm the One That I Want (2000) (Concert Film/CD)
  • Notorious C.H.O. (2002) (Concert Film/CD)
  • Revolution (2003) (Concert Film/CD)
  • Assassin (2005) (Concert Film/CD)
  • Cho Dependent (2010) (CD)

Margaret Cho: All American Girl:

In 1994, when Cho's star was really on the rise (she had just won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-up), she got her own ABC sitcom called All American Girl. The show, which focused on Cho living with her Korean family, was an unpleasant experience for the comedian and was canceled after just one season. Following the cancellation, Cho struggled with drug and alcohol problems for the rest of the decade, as well as an eating disorder. She cleaned up and made a comeback with her one-woman show I'm the One That I Want in 1999, in which she discussed the unhappy experience of making the show.

Additional Margaret Cho Facts:

  • Cho had a role on the ill-fated 1992 Golden Girls spin-off, The Golden Palace.
  • In 1994, Margaret Cho got her first big break when she won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian.
  • She briefly dated director Quentin Tarantino, who guest-starred on an episode of her sitcom All American Girl.
  • In 2008, she had her own short-lived VH1 reality series, The Cho Show. It lasted only one season.
  • In 2009, Cho joined the cast of the Lifetime original series Drop Dead Diva.
  • In addition to her comedy albums and concert films, Cho has penned two books: I'm the One That I Want in 2000 and I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight in 2005.
  • Cho is a strong supporter of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender rights and has received awards and commendations from the ACLU, the National Organization for Women, GLAAD and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
  • She was deputized in the state of California to perform marriage ceremonies after the 2008 legalization of same-sex marriage in that state.
  • April 30, 2008, was declared "Margaret Cho Day" in San Francisco.
  • In 2010, Cho released Cho Dependent, her first album of musical comedy.
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