Performing her new show There's No I in Team, But There is a Cho in Psycho at the Olympia Theatre in the heart of Montreal's gay village, Margaret Cho appeared to feel right at home. "I see there are a lot of lesbians out tonight," she said. "Lesbians always come to the early show, because they have to go home to let the dogs out later."
A veteran comic who has been in the game for over a quarter-century, Cho has perfect comedic timing and an incredible talent for delivering sharp, hilarious jokes. As a comic, she is also fearless, and she loves to tackle taboo subjects. Not surprisingly, this show included spirited takes on race and sex in particular.
She began with a bit about the new television program Fresh Off the Boat, and how she advised creator Eddie Huang. Cho joked that her own short-lived series All American Girl, which aired in 1994, was such a disaster that the networks had to give people 20 years to forget about it before they could run another sitcom featuring an Asian-American family. Cho then used this as an entry to discuss her own Korean-American upbringing in San Francisco ("I was fresh off the boat. When I was a kid I was so Asian that all the food in my lunchbox had eyes").
Next Cho turned to sex, which brought the biggest laughs of the night. She told the audience that she is bisexual — "That's the B in LGBT. The B is often silent" — and then continued with racy jokes about large penises, vagina fat, and being a fag hag. She worked the crowd here, too, asking some gay members of the audience near the front if they had ever seen a vagina, and hilariously mimicking their "eww" faces as they responded. She was raunchy and comically relentless and the crowd loved it.
It wasn't all dick jokes, though. Cho got serious when she paid homage to her "father" and "mother" in comedy, both of whom passed away in the last year. She explained that the death of Robin Williams remains difficult for her, and praised his work with the homeless. Cho also mourned the passing of Joan Rivers, giving a perfect impersonation of how Rivers playfully insulted her with racial slurs and fat jokes.
Cho also noted that she's been at this for long enough now to have her own "daughters in comedy," chief among them Amy Schumer. Another of her daughters, Kate Willett, opened the show with a short set. Sending up the hippy mores of San Francisco and men who watch too much porn, Willett was especially brilliant in her final bit about having a pregnancy scare at Burning Man.
Cho is such a professional that she made it all appear effortless. She also has adoring fans, and the sold-out room gave her a well-deserved standing ovation.