by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
'THE PSYCHO TOUR'
You know Margaret Cho. Always funny, always clever, and always telling it like she sees it. She is bold, and that's an understatement. But the comedian-actress is taking it one step further; she's about to go ballistic. In her new show, 'psyCHO,' coming to the Moore Theatre on October 24, the multiple Grammy and Emmy nominee is going to tackle some of the biggest topics and newsmakers in the world, from Caitlyn Jenner to gun control to ISIS. These are serious issues, nothing to laugh at, but comedy might be the only way to cope with the events, or the unbelievable amount of idiocy and bigotry coinciding with these events, that are happening around the globe. 'The psyCHO Tour' will make stops in various cities, including Las Vegas, Honolulu, Tucson, San Diego, Portland, and Los Angeles, before heading across the pond for appearances in Berlin, Helsinki, Warsaw, Zurich, and London, to name a few. Any couples wanting to be officially married, renew their vows, or propose to each other at the show can go to margaretcho.com for instructions and details. Tickets for the Seattle performance are on sale now at Tickets.com, or at kiosks in front of the Paramount and Moore theater box offices, or in person at the Paramount Theatre box office. Once again, Cho reached out to Seattle Gay News to talk about a range of topics, including a preview of her upcoming concert. Here's what she had to say.
Albert Rodriguez: Tell us about your upcoming show - what's it about, what's the idea behind it, are there any intermissions?
Margaret Cho: It'll be about two hours and there's no intermissions. I'm talking about a lot of different things. I'm talking about things like, 'Why the fuck did the Pope come here to meet with that dumb cunt Kim Davis?!' I don't understand it. If the Pope wanted to actually do some good, what he should have done is go meet with victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and beg forgiveness and then make sure all of the Catholic priests who were redirected to other churches because of the sexual abuse have them redirected to prison. If he wanted to do the work he should be doing, then he should be doing that instead of meeting with that dumb cunt Kim Davis, who is acting like she's Nelson fucking Mandela, or something, for being in jail for two days or however long she was in there for! That whole thing makes me sick, so that's one of the things I might talk about in my show (takes deep breath, laughs). The school shootings, the rape of women by Bill Cosby and beyond; all the rape happening globally, like ISIS using rape for recruitment tools. These things are so infuriating, so upsetting, that it needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed through comedy because it's the only way we can deal with it, I think. So that's what I'm talking about.
Rodriguez: I know that women get what's happening, but do you think men get what's happening in their communities and around the world, that women are being raped and treated unequally?
Cho: I think when men address issues and they're angry about something, they're considered passionate. But when women do, they're considered psycho bitches, which is why the show is called 'psyCHO' because I really want to claim that word again, as it's sort of a feminized term for anger. Even in the movie Psycho, where Anthony Perkins didn't cause the evil, it was his mother, his mother was the psycho. This is what we've been diluting women with, that our opinions are somehow not as important as men's. That's another thing that needs to be addressed.
Rodriguez: You spoke about it already, but I had certainly wanted to know what you thought about this whole Kim Davis fiasco, rodeo, or whatever you wanna call it.
Cho: It's disgusting. I was deputized to marry Gay couples in City Hall by Gavin Newsom in the year 2000 because Gavin Newsom decided then that he was just going to break the law and perform Gay weddings. I was able to perform weddings at City Hall, so I literally had Kim Davis' job and I did it, and I did it in City Hall in the rotunda, the sight of Harvey Milk's assassination, which is the most tragic thing in Gay political history. So when you can go there in that terrible place and do something so remarkable, to marry a Gay couple, to marry a Lesbian couple, it brings so much healing to what our past has been. That's why I wanted to marry Gay couples on this tour because I still have this accreditation, or authority, to marry couples.
Rodriguez: Where were you and what was your reaction when the Supreme Court ruling came through in late June?
Cho: I was doing a party for the beginning of Gay Pride in San Francisco. I'd been up really late that night, then came home Friday and I heard the news that morning and all of us who were together just wept because we'd been working so hard on this for so long and yet never anticipated that we would see it happen in our lifetime. We just wept; there was nothing to really do except weep with joy, and certainly make plans for weddings, and to think about this not so much as marriage but about equality.
Rodriguez: What are you most looking forward to seeing or doing when you come to Seattle?
Cho: I wanna eat. I want to hang out, I want coffee, I want recreational marijuana. (laughs) That's pretty much what I want, recreational marijuana. Are there pot stores?
Rodriguez: There are, and there are 24-hour stores, too. So anytime you get the craving, it's available.
Cho: That's fabulous!
Rodriguez: Viola Davis won an Emmy recently and in her acceptance speech said that the only thing separating women of color from anyone else is opportunity. Do you agree with this? What's your reaction to her speech?
Cho: It's so true; it's so true. And when I saw that, I just wept also. She's beautiful and she deserves that so much, as does Miss Uzo (Aduba). I love Crazy Eyes, I love Crazy Eyes! (laughs) The fact that we saw these incredible women of color win so triumphantly, it's really amazing and it makes you feel like things are really shifting.
Rodriguez: The last time we spoke prior to this, a few years ago, I asked you what up and coming comedians you liked, and you were so early in the ballgame to praise Amy Schumer.
Cho: She's my baby! I'm so proud of her! She's my champion! She's cited me as her biggest influence and I couldn't be prouder; it makes me feel so good and I love her, and we need her.
Rodriguez: Is there anything Joan Rivers said to you that you will always remember?
Cho: She said that I would always work. (she continues in her best Joan Rivers voice) 'You're funny, you're funny, you're funny!' 'You're always going to be funny, they're always going to want you, they're always going to love you'. 'Always be grateful!' She always had so much love and strength, so a lot of my show really talks about her and how I grew as a comic under her supervision and guidance.
Rodriguez: Do you adjust your shows when you take them overseas, maybe because a topic here in the U.S. doesn't have the same appeal to audiences in foreign countries?
Cho: It changes every day. It changes from moment to moment, and it definitely includes a lot of international politics. Whenever I go to a new place, the show is set to the tone and timber of wherever I am, so the show will always shift and go wherever it's at.
Rodriguez: Do you think overseas fans get American comedy, which tends to be slapstick and sarcastic?
Cho: Yeah, they're very in tuned with it. They love American comedy; they're very sophisticated audiences, and they're very much English speakers, so there's no language barriers and there's not an issue.
Rodriguez: Have you seen 'Fresh Off the Boat,' and if so what's your reaction?
Cho: Oh, I love it! I'm actually in it. It's set in the '90s and I'm in an episode where I'm being watched on television by the family, which is such a beautiful tribute. I really wanna be on that show, too. I love them. Eddie Huang, who created the show and who it's about, is a very close friend, and it's great to see that show come to life, and all of the people on it are great.
Rodriguez: Now that we have marriage equality nationwide, it would seem like the next step for the LGBT community would be rights for Transgender men and women. Have you worked at all specifically with that community?
Cho: Absolutely, for a long time. I think the Transgender community is really enjoying so much of the fruits of their labor now and I'm so grateful for that. I've been through many peoples' transitions with them and so I know the experience of it, this is my family and I'm just happy in the way that we are just winning. We're screaming the loudest when 'Transparent' is winning and when Jill Soloway is winning.
Rodriguez: And then you have Caitlyn Jenner, who hasn't divided the community, yet has drawn a range of reactions. Some people are happy that she's come forward, but on the other hand it takes most Transgender people years and years to get any kind of acceptance from their peers and family, so it's almost like you have to be famous to get that kind of support.
Cho: What's really great about Caitlyn is that she's got some heavy hitters, she's got people who know what they're talking about and she's asking them questions and asking them for lots of advice and learning from it. With this happening, the world is learning about the Transgender experience, and it's powerful.
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