Margaret Cho’s New Television Show, Revealed

The Cho Show

In 1994, Margaret Cho starred in an ABC sitcom called All-American Girl – or, as Cho called it, “Saved by the Gong.” It was the first show about about an all-Asian American family on television. If you remember seeing it on TV, you remember how quickly it disappeared. Mainly, it failed because of network meddling with Margaret’s on-screen persona.

First the network decided that she wasn’t skinny enough, and put pressure on Margaret Cho to lose weight to play the part of herself. It didn’t help that show¬† was met with minimal enthusiasm by the Korean-American community; one 12-year-old Korean girl wrote in to say, “when I see Margaret Cho on television, I feel deep shame.” Panicked by this type of reaction, the network decided that Cho wasn’t Asian enough. To improve the situation, they hired an “Asian consultant” to teach Cho about chopsticks and not wearing shoes in the house. For some reason, that didn’t help! After consistently low ratings, the entire cast was fired except for Cho and the grandmother. Shortly thereafter, the show went up in smoke.

The Cho Show

Since then, Margaret Cho has done many wonderful things, including eight tours, two books and a burlesque show. But one thing she’s not done since All-American Girl was star in a television show – until now, with the arrival of The Cho Show. It’s the second-ever show about an all-Asian American family; no one’s tried since All-American Girl. Margaret vows that this time – along with her parents (real ones this time), her gays and her elegant 3’10” co-star Selene Luna – this time, the show gets made on her terms. Episode 1 premiered today, and I quite enjoyed it. The full episode is posted on Margaret Cho’s blog. Go Cho!

5 Responses to “Margaret Cho’s New Television Show, Revealed”

  1. Winominx Says:

    I love MC! She’s fantastically, herself, and it’s disturbing that networks do crazy shit like that. “Hmm, well you ARE African American, but you’re not AFRICAN enough. Bring on the face paint!” It’s disgraceful.

  2. Tequila Says:

    I think I have the Pulp Sitcom episode of All-American Girl on a dusty old VHS tape somewhere. For those who’ve not seen that one, it guest stars Quentin Tarantino. It’s a funny lil episode that tail hooks into the pop culture juggernaut that was Pulp Fiction at the time.

    Few stand ups survive network TV and remain funny. So while it took her a bit to fully bounce back it was great to see her on stage again. Left to her own instincts she’s hilarious and genuinely likable unlike the forced manner Networks often try with talent.

    Her experience while not uncommon for anyone of “ethnicity” in Hollywood did seem to take things to an insane level. A lot of shows of that era did the same. My favorite being Nestor Carbonell on the abysmal “Suddenly Susan”. He recently played the mayor in The Dark Knight but on the show they had him do such a stereotypical accent that even today I can’t watch it. Luckily nobody ever wants to see that show again anyhow…I mean Kathy Griffin & Brooke Shields?…HOW COULD THAT RUN FOR 93 episodes!

    Now we’re in an era where anyone can get a show so at least Cho can do it on her own terms. Look forward to seeing how it plays out.

  3. cappy Says:

    Why is the lead singer of Maroon 5 in that pic?

  4. rickie Says:

    that was pretty cool :) i’ve actually always related to margaret cho on a few levels, and that snippet into her life made me like her more :)

  5. fortheloveofthestars Says:

    I remember being really excited when her show came out and loving her because she was the only girl on television that even remotely reminded me of people I actually knew. (Until Daria came along!) I am so glad she has this new show!