Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Zaftig? Isn't that German for 'Big Fat Pig'?" - The Margaret Cho-Dependance

Some days there really isn't much to get out of bed for, it's true. And then there are days like today where I discovered an old, but new to me, video of Margaret Cho stand-up and I think to myself "sometimes like is good!"

Thanks to Mark at Critical Condition for alerting me to the fact that Cho's 1994 HBO half-hour special has popped up on YouTube! I had never seen it, although several jokes used within it were used as much later as her astonishing 1999 documentary I'm the One that I Want - a film that, to this day and multiple viewings later, remains a laugh out loud riot and one of my all time favourite movies - and Notorious C.H.O. in 2002. The videos below (it's split into two 15 minute sections) remain as hilarious today as I'm sure they were nearly 20 (TWENTY!) years ago.

Don't get me wrong here, Cho still sends me into fits of uproarious laughter - in fact, in a strange twist of fate, I turned on the TV this afternoon and Cho was a guest on The View! - and her musical album, Cho Dependent that was released last year, is a wonderfully comedic yet serious musically in tune recording, but after Notorious C.H.O. I felt like she started to focus so much on the gay/sex angle of her act that she neglected other parts that she so vividly and poignantly made the focus of in her early work.

The variety and spread of topics and the speed with which she powers through the jokes is phenomenal in the 1994 special. It's amazing how great and funny the jokes still are and how about that costume? Looking like a less-tailored Irma Vep, she is! But, oh my, those jokes! Gags about Rosie Perez, Prince, her TV series All-American Girl (almost titled Wok on the Wild Side), the word "zaftig", weight, trapdoor sex, "Moran", her born again Christian brother, racists, chinos... "and then there's the ho!"

Watch the special below and then underneath that I've included a clip from I'm the One that I Want, which I can't recommend enough, and a couple of tracks from her album Cho Dependent. Enjoy.

"Intervention" (feat. Tegan & Sara) | "Eat Shit and Die" (feat. Grant Lee Phillips)

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