Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday, Margaret Cho!

From Blake & Margaret

Early 1993. It's 11:00pm on a school night. VHS tapes are flying!

I've turned on The Arsenio Hall Show, as I always do, to see who the guests will be. Tonight, the name "Margaret Choooooooo" rings out. (Arsenio was extending his vowels LONG before Oprah started doing it!)

I think I've seen her before. This chick is damn funny! The clock is ticking. I have to find a video tape I can record over before Margaret walks out. There's no YouTube or Hulu.com yet. If I don't record this appearance, I may never see it again!

With mere seconds to spare, the sacrificial tape is found. I hit RECORD on the VCR and sit back to enjoy the performance.

"How do you like my disco jumpsuit?" Margaret asks in a valley girl accent. Her curled hair bounces as she throws her arm up in a 70s dance pose. I laugh violently for five straight (well...) minutes.

Omigod! I want her to be my friend! At 18, I haven't related to a performer like this before. Sure, Dolly Parton and the Mandrell Sisters fascinated me as a child. And yes, Madonna provided the soundtrack to my teenage years. But never before have I felt this connection. If she went to my school, Margaret Cho and I would be eating lunch together with the other less-popular kids.

That night changed my life. Margaret talked about the music she loved. She told stories about her gay friend. She was fun! "She gets me," I thought.

I just had to see this gal in person! My dad braved "Hollyweird" to take me to a taping of All-American Girl. (It turned out to be the last episode.) I made my own CHO shirts before they sold such a thing. And of course I was there when Margaret came to Fresno, giving her a Charlie's Angels lunchbox!

From Blake & Margaret

My best friend/pseudo-sister Racheal and I trekked to the Irvine Improv time and again to see Margaret's stand-up. We chatted her up in the back of the club, getting autographs and taking pictures with her. We even paid to see the early AND late shows!

From Blake & Margaret

If you ever doubt the impact a comic can have on someone's life, look no further than Margaret Cho. She's never too busy to sign an autograph or pose for a photo. She's always there with kind words and a friendly smile. She's a tireless crusader for equal rights--not only for the gay community, but for anyone who is marginalized. She's there laughing with us through the good times and crying with us through the bad.

Here's Margaret laughing with us in Prop 8: The Musical, rockin' the hot pink tank top in all her tatted glory!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die


I love you, Margaret. Happy, Happy Birthday! Thank you, and keep on rockin'!

5 comments:

Jonathan said...

That was a very great article you wrote about Margaret. I myself have met her and had a chance to converse with her and to say she is down to earth is an understatement! She really is so great, I love her wit, her intellect, and her love for everyone. She is truly what the definition of celebrity SHOULD be.

Traci said...

I feel the same way! I love her so much. She continues to inspire me, not only as an Asian American woman in the entertainment business, but as a woman concerned with equal rights. Her heart should be an example to us all!

Jamie T said...

A very good read! The Arsenio/Oprah reference made me pee my pants a little from laughing so hard! Cho and Blake are both great examples of great people!

Prica said...

i love her! she's one of the good ones!

Richard said...

That was so well written! So happy for you that Margaret gave you the shout out on her blog. Have a great holiday and new year!