Margaret Cho's fearlessness in turning painful experience into hilarious comedy has made her a kind of 'Patron Saint for Outsiders' and a sold-out concert performer. An unstoppable, self-made, one-woman entertainment industry, Cho has created four solo comedy shows, starred in a VH1 reality series, started her own record label, released an album of original songs, and played the lead for three straight seasons in the comedy/drama series Drop Dead Diva. And to top it all off, she recently appeared as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il in an episode of 30 Rock.
Female comics need to stick together, says Cho:
In comedy, it’s such a male-dominated field . . . there’s not enough women to support each other’s work and so there’s so many fewer of us.
I think because of that that female comics have a really intense, close friendship with each other. And sometimes intense rivalries between each other because there is a feeling that there is not enough of us or that if you acknowledge another woman’s success, your success is unexceptional. It’s a weird thing when you are a minority, all of the in-fighting that happens.
In the spirit of solidarity, Cho named her favorite up-and coming female performers in a recent Big Think interview.
:: Margaret Cho's Top Five Up-and-Coming Female Comics ::
#1. Fortune Feimster . . . is so hilarious and so beautiful and so much fun. I absolutely adore her.
#2. Sabrina Matthews . . . an incredible performer and incredible comedian, somebody that I came up with, somebody who’s really, really special and funny.
#3. Sarah Hyland . . . she is a great sketch performer and also somebody who makes a lot of videos on You Tube that I’m absolutely obsessed with.
#4. Seline Luna . . . She has been a part of my life in many different capacities, but she is awesome, she is hilarious, she’s beautiful and as an entertainer, she’s so incredibly diverse, you know, culturally. She’s a little person, she’s so unique, she’s so amazingly adept at bringing her perspective to the stage.
#5. Ian Harvie . . . who is not a female comic. He’s actually female to male, transgendered comedian. So in a sense, you have somebody who is female bodied, yet who presents themselves as a male and then so Ian walks through the world with many genetically female traits, but all of those are invisible. So I would not consider him a female comic, but then I also would. It’s a very interesting perspective and point of view to have on life. So I would definitely include him on this list even though he doesn’t necessarily qualify. He also does in many aspects. He's really tremendous, Ian Harvey.
In a 2008 Big Think interview, Cho talks about her comedy, her parents, and her Korean heritage. Distributed in partnership with Uinterview.com.