Don’t miss Margaret Cho on tour this weekend in Portland and Seattle. Get your tickets here. She is a top-notch comedian that you just have to see. She talks about life, growing up and current events like a comedy genius.
Earle Dutton: Are you excited about ‘Drop Dead Divas’ fifth season?
Margaret Cho: Oh yes! It is a great show and I am excited to be back on it. It is something that I go back and do every year. It is cool to play a character for that long. You know the intention behind her actions and it is really great.
You have lots of projects going. What do in your down time just to relax?
I read a lot and get really involved in a specific subject that is my own. Right now I am reading everything I can on The Beatles. There is so much stuff information available about them. There are movies, documentaries, books, music and articles everywhere. I used to do that with different topics. I found everything I could on the Beach Boys a couple years ago. I could only read or listen to them but now I have exhausted that and moved on to the Beatles.
Who is your favorite Beatle?
Ahh, I think that would have to be George. I have met both Richard Starkey AKA Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney who is also lovely. I never got to meet George. I like his songs best. I never met John either. I did just write a song for Yoko Ono. Sean Lennon really likes it.
Wow, do you write a lot of music?
Yea, I write music pretty often. The song for Yoko is about her presence in culture which I think is pretty cool. She is amazing and I have never been able to meet her. I know Sean and I always try to press him into go into a band with me. The song will song will actually be on my next album. It will probably come out next year after I finish this tour.
I remember some of your early shows on cable and loved it when you impersonated your mother and talked about the “Ass Master.”
Yes, yes, yes that is a very important part of my life. It was all because my mother was trying to prepare me to be around gay men. She didn’t want me to be alarmed by the idea of gay sex. She was trying to help me out which is a beautiful thing. It is very funny in retrospect as well. I think I was about 8 years old. I wasn’t really young but not old enough to know anything about it.
Tell me a little more about your horrible experience at the spa.
It was an experience I had at a Korean spa in LA. Yes it was all because of my heavily tattooed body. It was actually resolved nicely but it was very uncomfortable at the time.
You said it was sort of a Korean taboo to be heavily tattooed. Have you experienced anything like that outside of the spa?
No, not really. I think the way that I am tattooed is hidden to most people since I don’t walk around showing a lot of skin all the time. Most people wouldn’t even know that I have so many tattoos. The incident was mostly because Korean spas are clothing optional. Well, not just clothing optional, people just don’t wear clothes. It is probably shocking for them to see me with this many tattoos but also the class stuff that goes along with it. I have an American identity and they see that and react as well. Then there is the discussion of whose skin is it when you are in an environment like that. They are judging you by the way you look and it was all very alarming to me.
Tell me a little about your new tour “Mother”.
It is all different things. It is a little bit about my mother and a little about motherhood in general. The identity of motherhood and how I have gotten to that place where people perceive me as a mother figure. I am not a mother and I am not even that maternal. They just view women in their forties as mothers and it is just inescapable. It is similar to “Fag hagism” but now I am the “Mother of Fag Hagism.” It is actually a pretty cool place to be because you have a lot of power and control.
Is there a message you would like to say to LGBTQ youth?
I think they are stars. I think they are the stars in our community. They are our future. As a generation, a lot of them will have to operate without an older generation because they have passed away because of AIDS. To me it is very apparent that there is a rung missing in the gay ladder. I guess I notice it because I grew up in San Francisco in the seventies, eighties and nineties where there was so much death. I remember it all very painfully. A lot of people don’t realize how much we are missing. Young people will have a lot to deal with alone. They need to remember to take care of each other and be there for each other.
Don’t miss Margaret Cho!