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Saturday November 22, 2014
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Margaret Cho

 

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imagining her reporting from Iraq that "the fighting in Najaf has ceased because all the soldiers are dead," as Cho did on the opening night of her new State of Emergency tour.

In July, Cho was disinvited to a Democratic convention fund-raiser for a gay-rights group because the organizers were afraid she'd cause a comedy scandal, as Whoopi Goldberg's raunchy presidential put-downs had done. They were right to be worried. Now that she's free from affiliation with high-minded Democrats, count on Cho to beat out Goldberg and become the liberal id of 2004.

From-the-headlines humor isn't usually Cho's style, but she's long been political in a speak-your-mind sort of way. Like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor, she's a taboo-breaking social satirist, but with twenty-first-century identity politics thrown in. A bisexual Korean American woman who's struggled with eating disorders, she lets you know, in every proudly vulgar way she can, who she is.

A great physical comedian, Cho contorts her face to show off the face-lift she wants to have or to impersonate crazy-smiling North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. After complaining that sex with her last boyfriend got old, she gets laughs for an entire minute just by bouncing in place while shifting from bored looks to a yawn.

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