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Margaret Cho is old school at heart

July 7, 2022 Updated Thu., July 7, 2022 at 4:14 p.m.

Comedian and actress Margaret Cho will be at the Spokane Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday.  (Sergio Garcia)
Comedian and actress Margaret Cho will be at the Spokane Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday. (Sergio Garcia)

Margaret Cho is a surprising throwback.

The veteran comic is an indie rocker, who remains a fan of Britain’s Madchester scene and ’90s power-pop acts. However, once you scrape past her hipster surface and her array of colorful tattoos, fans will find a surprisingly old-school entertainer.

“I always loved Debbie Reynolds,” said Cho, who will bring her comedy routine to the Spokane Comedy Club this weekend . “She did it all. I want to do the same. I want to be able to sing, tell stories. I also loved Bob Hope, who I worked with a long time ago.”

Cho, 53, was selected to perform on a Hope special two years into her comedy career. “I was just in my early 20s and it was amazing,” Cho said. “Bob Hope was a comic giant. I appreciate those classic comic-actors, just like I appreciate classic films like ‘Some Like It Hot.’ I love (writer-director) Billy Wilder but I also adore the work Richard Pryor did.”

The charismatic Cho is a child of the ’70s. “I remember when comedy and music were fun,” Cho said while calling from Los Angeles. “Sometimes people are so easily offended.”

The unpredictable Cho grew up in the liberal bastion of San Francisco and came of age in a racially diverse community.

“It was amazing,” Cho said. “It was unlike any other place.” Cho, who will perform Friday and Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club, was weaned on such sitcom classics as “All in the Family,” “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons.” “It really was a golden age,” Cho said. “There was so much to soak up.”

Cho was the star of the sitcom “All-American Girl,” which ran for one season on ABC. Network executives asked Cho to lose weight in order to play herself, and her extreme dieting put her health in jeopardy.

“It was terrible what happened to me but it’s terrible how women are led to believe that being super thin is normal,” Cho said. “What I went through on that show was ridiculous.”

Cho is fine with being a role model. She tries to do the right thing and Cho hits young women with a message.

“I want them to know that they are worthy,” Cho said. “They need to know that they are beautiful and important. They need to ignore the messages out there that are so wrong. They have to ignore society’s messages. It’s not normal to be a size zero. Do not aspire to be one of those ultra skinny actresses. Every woman has the right to be beautiful. It’s not about being thin or anything like that. What I do is more than comedy … I want to help young girls when it comes to body image.”

As Cho ages, she’s not just expressing herself verbally: She also communicates via the art on her skin.

“I’m all about the tattoos,” Cho said. “I think tattoos are a beautiful way to deal with aging. I would rather get tattooed than get plastic surgery. I like modifying my body via tattoos. So I’m always saying something, even when my mouth is closed.”

Margaret Cho appears Friday and Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club, 315 W. Sprague.Tickets are $25 and $40. Show times are 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. For more information, 509-318-9998, www.spokanecomedyclub.com.

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