Margaret Cho has been performing stand-up since the age of 16, when she sneaked into a comedy club above her parents’ bookstore in San Francisco. Soon after, she won a comedy contest, with the first prize being opening act gig on Jerry Seinfeld’s tour. After hitting the college comedy circuit, she immediately became the most booked act in the market, performing more than 300 shows within two years. Cho garnered a nomination for Campus Comedian of the Year and subsequently won the 1994 American Comedy Award for Female Comedian.
In 1999, her groundbreaking, one-woman show, I’m The One That I Want, was a hit Off-Broadway and toured nationally to critical acclaim, eventually becoming a best-selling book and a self-produced feature film. In 2001, she launched Notorious C.H.O., a smash-hit, 37-city national tour that culminated in a sold-out concert at the legendary Carnegie Hall. The live show was also released as a feature film and lauded by The New York Times as “brilliant.” Revolution marked Cho’s third sold-out national tour, and the CD of the show was nominated in 2003 for a Grammy® for Best Comedy Album of the Year.
In 2004, Cho launched her politically charged State of Emergency and was hailed by The New York Times as “murderously funny.” That show ultimately gave rise to Assassin, perhaps her most political and topical Cho’s first narrative feature, Bam Bam and Celeste, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in late 2005 and has also played at the AFI Fest, Frameline, Fusion and the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
In the summer of 2007, Cho hit the road with 80’s legends Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure, along with indie faves The Dresden Dolls and The Cliks, to host the True Colors tour, benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. In the fall of 2007, Cho took her new burlesque-style variety show, The Sensuous Woman, Off-Broadway, where it enjoyed two extensions and played for a successful eight-week run.
Cho has become an established writer and blogger. Her second book, a collection of essays on all subjects political and pop, I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, was published by Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Group (2005).
Cho’s many television credits include her groundbreaking ABC sitcom All-American Girl, a recent recurring role on Fox’s ‘Til Death, and, most recently, her semi-scripted comedy The Cho Show for VH1. She also appeared in the smash-hit film 17 Again opposite Zac Efron and was featured in the FunnyorDie.com sketch Prop 8: The Musical.
An advocate for equal rights, Cho has been honored by the ACLU of Southern California, GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, PFLAG and the National Organization for Women.