A queer comedian celebrates release of DVD recorded live in her adopted hometown

Shannon: What have you been up to?

Cho: I have been in Europe for forever!

Were you able to keep up with these Republican debates while you were there?

Yeah. Europe has a sense of what’s going on here. American politics really affect their economy. It was on and I watched some of it but not as much as I normally would if I were home. I did get caught up in European politics like that stuff with Berlusconi (Italian leader).

Your new DVD, “Cho Dependent,” has just been released. It was recorded here in Atlanta at the Tabernacle.

I wanted to film in Atlanta because I do live there most of the time. If anything, I live in Atlanta more than I live in Los Angeles. I have a place there and am there from February to August and have been there for the past three years.

I wanted to see my friends and hang out in the middle of my tour. A lot of the material was written there. I do a lot of stand up at the Laughing Skull Lounge and worked out the material there. It was a homecoming show for me.

The DVD is a mixture of comedy and music.

They’re jokey songs but also quite beautiful. I learned how to play guitar and sing and conduct a choir, which is part of the DVD.

Yes! The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus made an appearance on the song “Your Dick.”

It was a powerful experience.

It’s cool that you combined music and stand up onto one DVD.

Yeah. It’s a different way to do music and a different way to do stand up. I feel like it’s very innovative. It was very joyous for me to go into this world of music that I spend a lot of time around anyway. This was an appropriate direction for me to go in.

You have a way of saying things that other people would never be able to get away with and not only that, people laugh about. What is it about you that doesn’t seem to piss people off?

I have a lot of compassion, especially when it comes to race or sexuality or gender or any of these things that I am. I am an Asian-American. I’m only talking about my heritage in the way that I understand it. My mom’s voice really is like that. I’m not making fun of a type of immigrant personality. That’s what I really come from. I’m gay. My family and my life is in the gay community. I live with and love these people. It’s about creating entertainment that formerly excluded our voices. It’s about inclusion.

You’re touring with stand up now and will be in Atlanta in December. What after that?

I am writing more stand up — working on writing a show. I’ll go back to work on “Drop Dead Diva” in late February and I’m on this mission to write as much as I can. When I come back in February, I’ll probably be back a lot at the Laughing Skull through August. I just want to be as good as I can with my stand up.

The Atlanta lesbians probably want to know if you are seeing anyone now.

I have been married for years. I have an open relationship with my husband because I’m definitely queer and bisexual and I’m also attracted to transgendered people. I was seeing a woman in Europe but that was not good. I’m a little bit upset about it but I’m doing okay.

Parting words?

I’m really excited that I have this DVD out. It represents me in the big A which is a place that I love and that I call home. I am so OTP right now and I cannot wait to get back to my city!


Top photo: Actor, comedian and musician Margaret Cho filmed ‘Cho Dependent,’ released on Nov. 21, at Atlanta’s Tabernacle Theater. (Photo by Lindsey Byrnes)