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Margaret Cho: Cho Dependent

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Corry Shaw

Within minutes of taking the stage Margaret Cho issues an apology to anyone who may have chosen to see her show without knowing what they were letting themselves in for, and there are one or two people in the crowd that look like they need that apology.

This is no-holds-barred filth, but done with a charm and unapologetic confidence that sweeps you up and carries you along in a tidal wave of smut. Cho is reminiscent of her newly found 'Edinburgh gay' Scott Cappuro. She will blast anyone, and take her comedy way past the line of good taste. Never in my decade of working as a reviewer have I heard any comedian, male or female, talk about their uneven asshole hair and the resulting effect it has on someone going down on them.

It may sound like filth for filth’s sake but there is an intelligence and a point to this sexfest. Cho, an activist for equal rights for all races, sexualities and sexes, grabs you by the short and curlies to get you to see her point of view. I can't imagine Germaine Greer using the phrase 'spraying my tonsils like a dog on a sprinkler' to highlight the ways in which women are powerful beings.

It's not all cock and balls though, Cho is bisexual and there is more mention of pussy than a trip to a cat shelter. She is equally passionate and equally dismissive of the men and women in her life which puts her in the rare position of being able to relate to every person in the audience It is curious to watch the balance and knowing laughter shift between the different genders and sexualities. Everything is pitch perfect, no one is left out for long.

There are some breaks from the dirty talk as Cho discuses her life on the small screen in All American Girl, Dancing Wit The Stars and Drop Dead Diva. This is all good stuff but Cho maybe doesn't get the reaction she expects to some of her gags about The Situation, an American reality TV star but with only cult fame here. It is brilliantly observed material but she has done nothing to explain who he is, and most of her crowd tonight don't look like fans of MTV’s Jersey Shore. She may need to offer a bit more of a background to some of her international audiences.

Cho gets everyone back on track with the mere mention of Sarah Palin, the American everyone loves to hate... except in Cho's case. She explains that although she is against everything the Tea Party pin-up stands for, she can't help but want to fuck her – which led to some interesting scenes when Cho was working with Palin’s daughter Bristol on Dancing With The Stars. This section sums up most of the show. There is a strong political point made with the power of pussy and some delectably disgusting metaphor.

We are treated to 50 minutes of near perfect stand-up, observations and storytelling and then, alas, it all goes wrong. For some incomprehensible reason Cho has decided to end with a couple of songs. She starts of with a tedious country and western number after which she puts the audience’s uncomfortable and subdued reaction down to the fact they are shocked she has a good singing voice. She doesn't.

There is then a ballad which is overlong and is just the repetition of one pretty weak joke. It is just such a shame that Cho and the people that work with her have included these in what would otherwise be a five-star event. A disappointing climax to a near perfect hour of foreplay.

Review date: 23 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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