ARTS

  /  

January 13, 2004

Margaret Cho discusses Britney, Justin, and those White House galas

The jacket of Margaret Cho's popular 2001 memoir, I'm the One That I Want, describes her as a "comedian, icon, TV star, Hollywood casualty" and, finally, "fag-hag." Mara Stankiewicz and Matt Zakosek, Voices co-editors, discovered even more sides of her when they sat down for an interview after her Saturday night concert. Here are a few excerpts:

On Rosa Parks suing OutKast:

That's weird because the song is like a tribute to her. She's definitely part of the history of an important civil rights movement. I don't really know about the case. It's the first I've heard of it, but I like the song a lot. I love OutKast. I love my OutKast. In terms of talking about those involved in the civil right movement—Emmett Till was somewhat more pivotal. That was just a really, really important thing. And what happened to Rosa Parks was relatively important. But I can't say anything else that I know [about the case]. I know that I love this song and the video where they're running. [Sings "Dracula's Wedding" with Mara.]

On Speakerboxxx/The Love Below:

That album is just an amazing record. It's, like, so taboo. It's, like, the best record. We…we actually did the Vibe Awards, and Andre did "Hey Ya!" and I was fucking ecstatic. I was in the front, and I was just fucking standing on my chair and dancing, and everybody was just…I was like, "Ahhh!!! I am your neighbor!" I love OutKast, because they challenge images in rap and in hip-hop culture. They are really just great artists and beautifully creative, and they do whatever they want. They're just so amazing. I can't believe Rosa Parks is doing that, but I don't know what's going on.

On Deneuve:

Deneuve? Do you remember that? Years and years ago, there was a lesbian magazine called Deneuve, and they changed it to Curve. [Ed: which she was on the cover of.] I love Curve, and Deneuve was named after their idea of the most beautiful woman ever, and she sued them! So, I don't know. People don't…when you use their name, they're kind of weird.

On when she started being political:

I think when I was really young, I was more political, like when I was in my teens. Somewhere along the way, I got waylaid and kind of indifferent to it. And I guess in the last five years, it's become much more important, and certainly in the last year-and-a-half, it's become the major focus of my work. It is kind of reactionary, but, also, at the same time, I was really political when I was young. But again, we're living in a more oppressive time.

On reactions to her comedy:

I get invited to the White House and shit. I got invited to this fundraiser. Dick Cheney sent out an invitation with my name on it. I'm not going to yo' party. Whachoo think I'm gonna go to yo' party fo'? Shiiiiiit. It was like a $10,000 fundraising dinner. I can't remember who was performing, like Toby Keith or Clint Black or somebody of that nature. Or somebody who's married to Faith Hill. I don't know any of those people. I can't believe they invited me to this. I didn't think I was on the radar screen. I got into a fight with Jerry Falwell on MSNBC. Rush Limbaugh said things about me. Bill O'Reilly said things about me. I don't really listen to that kind of stuff, so I don't know.

On her writing a blog/keeping in touch with fans:

I'm actually working on it. The blog somewhat sort of reminds me to write. I'm sure [a new book] will be sometime in the future. I love writing. I think writing is a really clear form of expression. I love doing it. These people write back, and they tell me their stories. It's really great. So I kind of get a lot of information. I think a lot of things have brought me closer to people.

On Friendster?

No. [Ed: There is a fakester posing as Margaret.]

On her clothing lines:

I have two clothing lines. High Class Cho and High Class Ass. High Class Cho is a clothing line that sells online. It has very elegant fashions. I designed with my partner, Ava Stander. It starts at about size 10 or so, and I replaced the numbers with names of feminine icons like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. I really think the sizes and sort of like numbers—it's the whole idea of taking a number and attaching a value to it. It's really oppressive.

On Britney and Justin:

I think that they belong together. They're kidding themselves. Don't you think they're kidding themselves? You know. [Bruce, the opening comedian, laughs.] Okay, well, it's alright that she got married. She can do whatever she wants. It's like, who gives a shit? But the sad thing is that gay people don't have the right to do that. It's just something that you would throw away as so stupid, but the rights for that action are denied gay and lesbian Americans. I don't think it's Britney's fault. She's not a woman. [Sings] She's not a girl, not yet a woman.