Margaret Cho is a Drop Dead Diva
Comedian Margaret Cho talks TV and Sci-Fi.
by Fred Topel
Oct 29, 2009
Hang out in Hollywood and you’ll meet the most interesting people. Stand-up comedian Margaret Cho has a role in Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, the show about the dead model reincarnated as a lawyer. As the cast met their fans at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, we caught up with Cho about her latest work, her sci-fi interests and her stand-up material.
Q: Do you think Drop Dead Diva would appeal to sci-fi fans?
Margaret Cho: Well, it is a very fantastical show where you have the soul transference. Then you have a woman who’s gone through this very kind of after death experience. It’s not a near death experience. It’s an after death experience. So she’s actually already dead and she’s sort of reliving a life, so it is science fiction. Not so much science fiction but it is sort of fantasy.
Q: Are women underrepresented in sci-fi?
Margaret Cho: Absolutely. I mean, well, nowadays there is definitely a lot more female fans of sci-fi. I’m a big sci-fi fan myself but I notice nowadays, I think that women have been really brought into the horror genre with things like Twilight and all the vampire stuff. I think those kinds of shows really speak to women but I’ve always been a big sci-fi geek.
Q: What are your favorites?
Margaret Cho: Mine’s Star Wars. I’m obsessed with Star Wars. I even read the Star Wars novels. I know everything about Chewbacca. I know that Lowbacca is the newest Jedi.
Q: Are you even into the prequels?
Margaret Cho: [Laughs] Yes, it’s crazy. I love Star Wars. I don’t know anything about Star Trek actually and I don’t know very much else about other things but I know pretty much everything about Star Wars.
Q: Did you like District 9?
Margaret Cho: I did. I liked that a lot. I thought it was exciting because it just changed the location of where we usually think about aliens and what we usually think about science fiction. It really put it into a racial context, a social context which I thought was really interesting so I loved it.
Q: You’ve spoken about body image issues with All American Girl and the stand-up performance I’m the One That I Want. Do you think Drop Dead Diva is a good show for exploring those issues?
Margaret Cho: Absolutely. I think this is a wonderful show for anybody who has any kind of issues with their body which I think everybody does to some extent. Everybody has something that they don’t like and they want to change and I think this is just a wonderful show for women to watch with their daughters. I think it’s a wonderful family show. It’s really great, great thing.
Q: It doesn’t overplay it either.
Margaret Cho: No, no, it’s very respectful and it’s very sensitive to the way we need it to be. It’s entertainment for us and I really appreciate that.
Q: What’s coming up for next year?
Margaret Cho: Well, I’m definitely really pushing for Jane to make partner and we’re really hoping for that. I’m pushing her for that so that’s what my part is all about.
Q: Are you still doing standup while you’re on the show?
Margaret Cho: Yes, yes.
Q: What’s your material about these days?
Margaret Cho: Well, right now, I’m on tour. I’m traveling and I’m doing a lot of music. I’m doing comedy songs so it’s kind of like my hero, Weird Al Yankovic. He’s my absolute hero so I’m kind of following in his footsteps.
Q: He is awesome.
Margaret Cho: He’s awesome.
Q: Are you doing song parodies like him?
Margaret Cho: Not song parodies. I’m actually writing songs but I’m writing with some pretty amazing musicians and I just started recording with Andrew Bird in Nashville, so he and I are writing together.