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Interview:
Margaret Cho gets crazy on PsyCho Tour
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Margaret Cho has good reason for naming her latest road trip the PsyCho Tour.

It’s crazy out there.

The actress, comedian and writer has always tapped into current socio-political events, and issues such as police violence, gay marriage and the Republican presidential campaigns have kept her comic coffers full. Add the deaths of her comedy “parents,” Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, and Cho is certain each night of the PsyCho Tour will be poignant, to say the least.

But, she says, it won’t be a downer.

“There’s just so much craziness that’s happening every day — gun violence or police brutality, violence against women. This show is a reaction to all of it, and I think a way to cope with all of it,” Cho, 45, explains by phone from her home in Los Angeles.

“But I hope there’s a sense that we can heal ourselves and try to stay somehow sane. I hope people feel like they get something from this that they can use to cope with every day, that healing, I think.”

Grief, Cho says, has been a tricky but rewarding emotion to channel into the PsyCho show. Williams and Rivers were constant, enthusiastic supporters throughout her career, which began in improvisational comedy in her native San Francisco and grew from stand-up to acting roles in series such as “The Golden Palace,” “Sex and the City,” “30 Rock,” “All-American Girl” — which ABC created for her based on her comedy routines — and for five years co-starring on Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva.”

Along the way, Cho won Best Female Comedian honors at the American Comedy Awards and went on to appear in films and launch an entertainment empire with fashion, books and music — and Williams and Rivers were integral in making all of that happen.

“Comedy’s an art form that’s about mentoring and apprenticeship, and they had a lot to share with me,” Cho recalls. “With Joan, I was like her Soon-Y. I was that Asian baby that you adopt later in life. That was sort of my role with her.

“We had a stupid running joke for 20 years: ’Cause I’m Korean she was afraid I was going to eat her dog. She made so many Korean dog-eating jokes. ... It was always very funny. So I miss her, and (Williams). But I think they’d be OK with me finding humor in some of the things I’ve gone through grieving them.”

Cho — who marries one gay couple at each show on the tour — has also joined the ranks of those finding funny things to say about the political arena, especially Donald Trump’s surprising success to date.

“It’s such a crazy thing, everything he’s saying,” Cho notes. “It’s so volatile and so insane and you think, ‘How can people think this way? How could people take him seriously as a candidate? It’s entertaining, but it’s really scary, too.”

Being topical, Cho says, keeps her on her toes and the show “always changing and relating to what’s going on.” And when there’s down time she works on other things, including her new role on E!’s “Fashion Police,” a new book and “a couple of things I’m developing and producing” that are in early stages.

“I enjoy working,” says Cho, who was married to artist Al Ridenour for 11 years until they divorced in 2014. “My work is my social life, too. So much of it has to do with getting to see people I love. That’s the motivator. I have a lot of variety in my life, and I love the different things I get to do. It’s great.”



• Margaret Cho

• 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1

• Andiamo Celebrity Showroom, 7096 E. 14 Mile Road, Warren.

• Tickets are $25-$75.

• Call 586-268-3200 or visit andiamoitalia.com/showroom.

Web Site: www.andiamoitalia.com/showroom

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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