Margaret Cho brings “Live & Livid” to Montclair and Atlantic City this month

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Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho photo by Sergio Garcia

Margaret Cho is busier than ever these days. With a new television series, a new movie release, three GLAAD award nominations, and Live & Livid comedy tour coming to New Jersey this month. Cho is hotter than ever. In between filming four upcoming movies, Margaret Cho sat down with me to give us all the tea…

Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho photo credit Sergio Garcia

It’s been a minute since we last spoke. You are having a spectacular career year. Before we touch upon the news, I noticed The Hallmark Channel has brought back Drop Dead Diva, airing weeknights on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. What is it like to see the series make a resurgence?

Margaret Cho: I love it! I enjoy seeing the fashions of the early 2010s. I love that this show has the chance to build a new following and draw in a new generation. I had such a great time making it, so I think it is fabulous the series is having a comeback.

Currently, you star in season three of Helpsters on Apple TV+. Can you elaborate on your role? What has your experience been like working on the show?

MC: I love this show because it showcases my most successful relationship with Rebecca Henderson (laughs). Rebecca and I filmed a movie together, Sex Appeal, where we got married. We also get married on this show. I told Rebecca we have the best relationship. We have been married twice now in separate productions so that says something.

You recently appeared on ABC’s The View as a guest panelist in March. You have appeared as a guest panelist many times over the past 20 years. Would you ever consider a full-time role? Do you know what topics are going to be discussed in advance?

MC: We usually are not informed of the topics until the day of, which are typically based on current events in general. I love The View. I have always aspired to get a permanent seat. The last time I was really vying for the spot, the people remaining were already representing my left-leaning political views, so it didn’t make sense. The panel often consists of progressives, and then there is that conservative role, which is the spot which frequently has vacancies.

You are very passionate politically. What topic are you most concerned about today?

MC: That we keep trans lives in focus, as a priority, as a country. Their existence is threatened and that is of the utmost importance to me. Secondly, hate crimes against Asians, which I discussed during our last interview and is still prevalent today. Thirdly, gun violence overall.

Criminals will always find access to what is illegal, including guns, so wouldn’t you consider these increasing acts of violence to correlate with a rise in mental health issues more than anything else?

Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho photo by Sergio Garcia

MC: We have to deal with both. It is easily obtained firearms combined with mental health problems. I am not denying there is a problem with mental health, there is a huge problem with that.

For decades the severity of mental health was often downplayed because it was viewed as a scarlet letter or something to be ashamed of. Thus, do you think that is why there is a huge mental health epidemic today?

MC: Yes. Moreover, there are many more stressors in place today, with the COVID-19 pandemic having basically locked down the world during the last three years. Plus, you have an unstable economy and the effects of social media today. Isolation, with people in echo chambers of extreme political views, is underplayed as a part in the problems taking place today. There is a lot of instability today causing mental health issues which are causing people to behave very toxic.

On March 30, Prom Pact premiered on Disney+. You play a very sassy schoolteacher. Can you tell us more about your role and the film as a whole?

MC: I love the film. I play a guidance counselor who is a very hands on, educational mentor to a very smart young person who is trying to decide their future. It is great to be able to play a cool adult. I think it is a fun movie which I am grateful to have been a part of.

Outside of being a member of the LGBTQ community, from day one of your career you have always been a big advocate. You have been nominated for three major GLAAD awards this year. Congratulations!

MC: Thank you! It is an honor. I love GLAAD, I have worked with them for so many years, and it is really special we get to celebrate especially during this time. It is a time where we really need to stand up for our rights and the organization does a great job of that.

You are booked and busy. I understand you are filming a wide array of projects in between touring. How many projects and has acting become something you have grown more passionate about?

Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho photo by Sergio Garcia

MC: I am in the process of filming four projects currently. Most of them are in either pre-production or current production, so I can’t publicize too much. I have always been passionate about acting however there are more opportunities available for Asian-American women in television and movies today. Thus, I am able to immerse myself into more projects.

You kicked off the Live & Livid tour February 18, 2023 and it is set to run until September at minimum. You are coming to Atlantic City April 14 and then Montclair on April 15. Can you tell us more about what fans can expect?

MC: It is all about standing up for our rights. As queer people, we need to really celebrate that we are alive, still here, and claim our space as well as our voice. This is what the show is. We are still standing and are going to keep fighting. It is both a celebration of what we have accomplished and call to action of what we need to still accomplish. We are also back to doing meet-and-greets.

You have been in the stand-up comedy game for a long time. Do you usually begin tours with a set agenda and/or script you stick with through completion, or, does the content evolve throughout the tour?

MC: It usually changes as time goes on. The moving parts are what is special about stand-up comedy. I have always had the content of my tours move, change, and grow as time goes on. It is very much alive which is what I love.