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  •  REVIEW: NOTORIOUS C.H.O.

      Notorious C.H.O.
    Cho on this

    Margaret Cho strikes a few blows for sexual freedom, political subjects and the individual in a mass-media society in the entertainingly raunchy, not-for-your-parents, standup film "Notorious C.H.O."

    By RANDI MILLER
    Offoffoff.com


    Directed by Lorene Machado and filmed live in Seattle on the closing night of a 37-city North American tour, "Notorious C.H.O." is Margaret Cho's one woman standup comedy show, a sort of "Truth or Dare" meets "Raw" meets "The Birdcage" meets everything ever written by Camille Paglia. It is Cho's bawdy, uncensored, and, revelatory discourse on a number of hot liberal social topics — from homophobia and racism to eating disorders and drug-abuse — couched in raunchy pussy jokes and hysterical imitations of her Korean parents.

    NOTORIOUS C.H.O.
    Directed by: Lorene Machado.
    Written by: Margaret Cho.
    Cast: Margaret Cho..

    Related links: Official site
      
    "Notorious" follows-up Cho's comedy film-cum-book titled "I'm the One That I Want." It begins with man-on-the-street interviews with audience members raving about Cho's humor (it "really speaks to me, ya know?") while filing into the auditorium.

    Margaret herself and later her parents appear — they are interviewed backstage as the show is about to begin — talking about how Margaret's humor is really a platform from which she can discuss her thoughts on a variety of socio-political issues. The interviews set the tone for the show, for Cho uses humor — and raunchy humor at that — while on stage as a vehicle in which to convey more serious messages regarding self-esteem and acceptance for the disenfranchised in a media-saturated, advertising-dominated society. "Gay marriage is the most important issue I think we are facing now," says Cho. "We need to recognize that a government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a fascist state."

      
      "We need to recognize that a government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a fascist state."
      — Margaret Cho
      
    The film's title only reaffirms Cho's empowerment-through-humor intentions. "Notorious C.H.O." — clearly a take-off on Notorious B.I.G. — was inspired by L'il Kim, Eve, and all the other female mavericks in the male-dominated field of rap.

    Cho's humor is unabashed, sometimes embarrassingly so. As she was talking about her experiences with a dominatrix at an S&M club — a voluptuous blonde who ordered Cho to kneel in front of her and not stand until she had a "pussy mustache," I stole a glance at the two old codgers — Bartles and James look-alikes (I swear) — seated to my left and cringed for them. "Notorious C.H.O" is certainly not for the faint of heart and, to a certain extent, preaches to the converted. (Could I really see my conservative parents not only sitting through this invective but being influenced by it as well? Uh . . . that would be a no). But, I have to admit, it's inspirational, empowering, and wicked funny. As Cho so eloquently says at the film's conclusion, "I urge you all today to love yourselves without reservation and to love each other without restraint. Unless you're into leather — then by all means use restraints."

    JULY 10, 2002
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Notorious C.H.O.:

  • Incredible movie   from karen, Jul 27, 2002
  • Cho Rocks!   from rodgerH, Jul 27, 2002
  • Funnier than ITOTIW   from Wilma, Jul 29, 2002
  • more more more!   from tori, Jul 30, 2002

  • Post a comment on "Notorious C.H.O."