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Margaret Cho ACA Oral History, June 2, 2021.

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During the first hour of her interview with Jenni Matz, Margaret Cho touches: On where she's calling in from; on her name at birth; on when she started to go by the name "Margaret"; on her parents and growing up in San Francisco around her parents' bookstore; on watching television as a kid; on her parents wanting her to be Americanized; on her interests growing up. On what drew her to comedy and what she enjoys about performing; on her first time on stage; on what she learns from bombing on stage; on imitating her mother in her act; on opening for Jerry Seinfeld and the doors that opened for her; on being inspired by Janeane Garofolo; on how her act developed. On her early guest roles on television; on her role in the TV movie/pilot 'Move the Crowd'; on how 'All-American Girl' came about; on the groundbreaking aspects and criticism of the show; on how she learned that 'All-American Girl' was cancelled and how that motivated her to go do comedy "for real" with stand-up. On her first comedy show/special after 'All-American Girl', 'I'm The One That I Want', and how comedy helped her at that time; on the craft of comedy and her writing process; on her comedic influences; on getting to work with her mentors; on advice from other comedians that she's taken to heart; on balancing serious topics and humor in her comedy; on cancel culture and on whether she's ever felt restricted in her comedy; on the role of comedy in today's political climate; on John Oliver and whether or not comedians should deliver the news.


During the second half of her interview with Jenni Matz, Margaret Cho touches: On her VH1 show 'The Cho Show'; on playing "Teri Lee" on 'Drop Dead Diva' and her love of procedurals; on shooting 'Drop Dead Diva' in Peachtree City and moving to Atlanta; on why 'Drop Dead Diva' was successful and on 'Drop Dead Diva' tackling body issues head on; on her guest roles on '30 Rock' and on being nominated for an Emmy; on playing a North Korean general on the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, and on criticism of the character. On Eddie Huang approaching her to discuss 'Fresh Off the Boat' since she had previously navigated a show starring an Asian-American family on U.S. primetime television; on what had changed in the culture between the time of 'All-American Girl' and 'Fresh Off the Boat'; on the legacy of 'All-American Girl'; on playing Ken Jeong's sister on 'Dr. Ken' and on knowing Ken Jeong for decades; on Ken Jeong not guessing her identity on 'The Masked Singer'; on hosting 'All About Sex' on TLC; on reuniting with 'Jerry Seinfeld on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee'; on a comment by Bobby Lee on the Virginia Tech shooting and humanizing an inhumane act. On her time co-hosting 'Fashion Police'; on playing a villain on an episode of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'; on what the COVID-19 pandemic experience has been like for her; on the violence against Asian-Americans during the pandemic and on the many streaming services she's been watching; on doing remote shows and connecting with fans during the COVID-19 pandemic; on what production has been like during the COVID-19 pandemic. On her podcast; on the progress television has made in Asian-American representation in front of and behind the camera; on being a role model for Asian-American female comedians; on advice to aspiring comedians; on the value of oral histories; on her proudest professional achievement and career regrets; on what she's most looking forward to when the COVID-19 pandemic ends; on how she'd like to be remembered.


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