Saucy, satiric siren Margaret Cho hits the ‘Mother’ lode
When Margaret Cho returns to Dallas, you might think her new show, Mother, will be all about her perpetual mom issues. Those impersonations of a strict and naïve Korean mother are a signature among her sets. But you’d be wrong.
“I’m old enough to be the kinda fag-hag where people call me ‘Mother,’” she says. “If you stick around the gay community long enough, you become a mother, no matter what your gender. I think we turn everybody into mothers.”
So no more mother issues?
“Well of course I’ll talk about my mother,” she adds.
And she embraces the elevated distinction. For her, it’s symbolic of the perpetual family experience of the LGBT community. Even if it is a mass of fans cheering her on, being their “mother” gives her people she can care for.
“I love it so much and when people first called me that, I thought it was because I’m bossy,” she says.
“But in the gay community, a lot of us are looking to be parented. Family lives were difficult and so we create new one through friends. We always have.
You can have other parents.”
Despite no children of her own at 44, Cho says she’s a total mama in all aspects, and finds that life isn’t so bad being a mature woman. She hasn’t met the AARP requirements yet, but in all aspects of celebrity, she is just fine at this stage in life.
Cho was at a loss when posed with a hypothetical: How would she feel with an all-straight audience? The idea almost perplexed her into silence. Almost.
“Ummmm… that would be weird,” she finally offers up. “I would feel sad because I’d miss my friends. I’ve definitely had straight audiences. But then, I don’t know if anyone is truly straight.”
There are blurred lines for sure in Cho’s eyes. And those lines don’t discriminate. She’s convinced that everybody’s a little bisexual — just like she is. So then the gay boy might just have a chance with the hot straight guy at school/gym/coffeeshop?
“I’m just saying that it’s beyond sexuality and everybody has degrees of it. There is a degree of straightness among gay people and vice versa. They just don’t wanna acknowledge it. They think they don’t belong here. It’s complicated.”
When Cho arrives, Dallas’ Halloween Block Party will be just around the corner. She hasn’t given much thought to dressing up — she’s more of a dinner party type — but she has pondered the possibilities. What about Jody Arias?
“Oh my God, yes. And I can always go as Lisa Ling,” she ponders. “Oh, what about the Octo Mom before she had the babies?”
Cho doesn’t give an aura of celebrity. Comedy, television, whatever — that’s all work. But she gets that she is a celebrity. And the proof presented to her came from eBay.
An autographed photo on the site was priced at $90. She was rather happy with that.
“Oh my gosh, it’s gone up! In the 90s, it was $4. And it slowly went up to $6, which was the same amount for an Andy Dick photo. I’m glad that it’s gone up,” she says.
Perhaps shocking her more was the $148.79 price tag for a DVD of the 1997 movie Fakin’ Da Funk that she starred in with Pam Grier, Tatyana Ali and Ernie Hudson.
“Buy it! Even I don’t have that one!”
— Rich Lopez
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 18, 2013.