Margaret Cho takes us from her early comedy days with Sam Rockwell to landing an Emmy Nod and working on FX’s ‘Hysterical’


Cho also highlights her experience doing ‘Face / Off’, ‘Bright’, and more!

It feels like Margaret Chohas done almost everything in the entertainment industry. She is Grammy nominated for her comedy work, Emmy nominated for her performance in 30 Rock, she is part of the voice cast of the Oscar-nominated animated film On the moon, and has been a contestant on two of the most popular reality TV shows out there: The Masked Singer and Dancing with the stars. Suffice it to say we had a lot to cover Collider Ladies Night as we paved the way to their latest release, the FX documentary Hysterical.

The Andrea Nevins-Directed documentary puts the focus on women who make waves and who make a difference in the comedy scene. Stand-up comedy has always been a male-dominated field, but Cho along with others who appear in the film as Fortune feimster, Nikki glaser, Iliza Shlesinger and Pastor Sherri They are making the necessary moves to break boundaries and change the game in the future.

Margaret Cho in Hysterical

Image via FX

As an iconic pioneer in stand-up comedy and someone with so much variety on her résumé, I had to start the Ladies Night conversation by asking Cho what the dream was like, or “getting it,” so to speak, initially. This is what he said:

“I don’t even know how I imagined ‘doing it.’ I never really had a clear vision, just because I never saw other Asian American women doing comedy or even some kind of way forward. He really loved the art form of stand-up comedy and just wanted to do it. So I didn’t necessarily have an idea [of], ‘Oh, this will mean I made it.’ And I never really thought, ‘Oh, now I made it!’ [Laughs] There was never a sense of it. ”

Margaret Cho and Andrea Nevins from Hysterical

Image via FX

It’s almost impossible to find security and stability in the ever-changing and ever-challenging entertainment industry, so I certainly understand that sentiment, but Cho is a powerful individual who already has a lot to celebrate right now. Like, for example, an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, an honor that had a hugely positive impact on how the industry viewed Cho as an actor:

“I was really excited to be nominated and excited to experience that. It’s a lot of fun to be nominated for things. It’s really exciting. And I like the awards, I like to attend. For me it is also very exciting. I think it really helped legitimize my position as an actor. There is so [many] comedians who are actors, but it’s something that they don’t always transform, so I was able to completely transform myself into another person, which for me is very satisfying as an actor, but that’s also what you want to be able to do, order to disappear into the reality of another person “.

This here is just the smallest fraction of Cho’s experience in the industry thus far. (And to be fair, a 35-minute episode of Collider Ladies Night only covers a small number of the steps Cho took in her career that helped pave the way for her participation in Hysterical.) If you want to know more about Cho’s early days as part of a comedy duo with Sam rockwell, advice I would offer to promising actors leading their first project given their experience in American girlhow much I admired Will Smith as a leader on the set of Shiny and more, be sure to check out our full chat in the video at the top of this article or in the podcast form below.

Hysterical is now available to stream exclusively on FX on Hulu.

Margaret Cho:

  • 00:48 – When Cho first dreamed of “succeeding” in entertainment, what was the dream like initially?

  • 01:33 – How television changed the game for Cho.

  • 02:13 – Acting wasn’t something that Cho even considered at first.

  • 03:26 – Given Cho’s experience working on American girlWhat advice would you give to other actors who might find themselves in a similar situation?

  • 04:33 – Why Cho chose to study at the San Francisco School of the Arts; have a comedy duet with Sam Rockwell.

  • 06:12 – What surprised Cho the most about working in film and television productions.

  • 07:41 – Who is Cho’s anonymous hero on set?

  • 09:25 – Cho returns to work with John Travolta and John Woo at Face / Off.

  • 13:48 – How Face / Off experience compared to making a movie like Shiny?

  • 3:59 PM – Cho highlights how Will Smith democratizes the filmmaking process.

  • 4:53 PM – Cho revisits 30 Rock and singles out Tina Fey as a prominent leader on set.

  • 6:40 PM – What was it like to be nominated for an Emmy for your work on 30 Rock?

  • 20:00 – How did Cho get involved in the Oscar-nominated animated film? On the moon?

  • 21:20 – Cho talks about his first reaction when he was offered a spot in season 1 of The Masked Singer.

  • 23:19 – Did Cho feel the intense pressure of the required secrecy while participating in The Masked Singer?

  • 12:20 PM – How do I know Dancing with the stars experience compared to Masked singer?

  • 26:04 – Is there anything in entertainment that Cho hasn’t tried yet that she’s eager to dive into?

  • 26:47 – If Cho could appear on the game show of his choice, what would he choose?

  • 27:40 – Why was Cho eager to be a part of Hysterical.

  • 28:08 – What is it about what Cho is doing now that would make his younger self say, “Hey, I never imagined that would be possible?”

  • 28:51 – Even though it’s a huge part of the community, what impressed Cho the most while watching Hysterical?

  • 29:25 – Cho names three promising comics to watch out for.

  • 30:12 – Random questions begin! Hear all about the new hobbies Cho took up during the lockdown, the second season of her podcast, her pets, the food she would choose to eat over and over again, who she thinks is changing the entertainment industry for the better, and her biggest fear overcome.

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