Superhero Cho



DNA: Do you still love doing comedy tours?

CHO: It’s really a never ending tour. And I hope for me I never have to stop touring, because that’s the thing that I must do to always have new jokes. This show is not so much about my mother but more about me becoming a mother of comedy and giving birth to jokes.

You certainly are a proponent of fighting the good fight with comedy. Do you see yourself in the same vein as people like Joan Rivers, Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor?

I think Joan Rivers is certainly a living legend and it’s so rare to see women that keep on working through the decades. Bill Hicks was somebody that was cut down in his prime and Richard Pryor as well, to a certain extent—Richard was around a lot longer than Bill.

Do you think comedy is still a men’s club?

There are good and bad aspects regarding gender in comedy, but it’s still tougher on women.

Do you find the same struggles with promoters, management and comics in general that were there 25 years ago?

All I have ever really cared about is being able to work. I wish that there were more women around doing stand-up, I have always imagined that there would be more younger woman out there doing it, but I don’t think the comedy industry is that encouraging to women. That’s unfortunate, but it encourages closeness between female comics. I really bonded with Kathy Griffin, we really understand each other’s lives in a deep way. And that’s cool. I ended up having an immediate with the ladies out there. I love the new girls, the new ladies like Amy Schumer, she’s really funny and really sharp. But being a female stand-up comic is a hard life.

How was the Bay Area comedy scene when you were there?

I think it’s unique because it’s really about the craft. I think there’s a real fluidity to the scene and you’re really encouraged if you are creative. There is a very nurturing scene if you have something to offer. Hacks get spit out. They don’t encourage mediocrity. It’s a very demanding community so it’s a great place to develop as a comic.

Did you always see yourself as a multi-platform artist?

No, but I’m glad it really worked out. I believe that if you can do stand-up comedy you can do just about about anything. Stand-up is all forms of entertainment concentrated into one thing. A very raw, base level connecting with people and if you can do that, you can do everything else.

When you speak out so brilliantly, but cut to the bone on pop culture or political people like Sarah Palin, and then you meet them later, do they know that you are a comic or do they take it personally?

They take it personally. The thing about the Palin’s is that they are very friendly people and very socially aware within their own sphere. I don’t agree with what they are doing, but they are pretty nice. I hate to give people shit, but I do. And then it becomes a thing. The thing with Bristol is that she was so much younger than me that I didn’t want to get in a fight with her. It would not have been fair and sets up a weird social context. The other thing about DWTS was that I got to meet Brandy Norwood side and her amazing dynasty. So for me, there’s always something to say, but do I betray the confidence of these people? It gets weird.

What’s your take on Obama and presidents in general. Can a president ever effect positive change?

You would hope so, but it’s a hard job and it’s about pleasing so many different interests and its complicated. I think people are disappointed. I think it was hard the first term to talk about disappointment without being called a racist or cynical. There was so much tied into the first term that had to do with how we view the first black president. I still have hopes that it will keep getting better. One thing about being in Obama’s camp is that it does make you want to be on their side.

Stockholm Syndrome.

Totally Stockholm Syndrome

How is it that our cultural ambassador to Korea is Dennis Rodman?

That is so weird. IT makes me want to go. I would like to find some of my family members. We’ve been separated forever. I think Korea would do so much better if they had somebody like me over there. I actually think Dennis Rodman is great because he’s so far out of the world of politics that he’s sort of neutral—he really only represents basketball. It’s surreal, and I don’t know the process but I would like a shot.

Do you play basketball?

I played it in sixth grade. I was on an actual team that would play other schools. That’s the level I’m at.

So Rodman might have you on defense, but I bet you be a brilliant negotiator.

I think it’s always better to just talk things through.

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