After the debacle that was her short-lived 1994 sitcom All American Girl (rent her smash stand-up concert special I’m the One That I Want for the details), bisexual comedienne Margaret Cho returns to TV with The Cho Show, a pseudoreality series that premiered August 21 on VH1. Currently touring with her latest stand-up show, Beautiful, Cho gives us the goods on her prominently featured gay Glam Squad.
HX: Are you a big reality TV fan?
Margaret Cho: I love it, but it’s fake. Of course it’s not real. I don’t think reality even exists. Ours is basically a sitcom starring real people. It’s along the lines of a Christopher Guest film, where they script the situations but not the dialogue.
Was there one show that you modeled yours after?
I really love Kathy Griffin’s show, and our stand-up comedy is similar as well, so it seemed like the right kind of format. But ours is probably even more scripted than hers because there are more actors.
I love your Glam Squad of gay stylists: John Stapleton on makeup, John Blaine on hair and Charlie Altuna on wardrobe. Does it really take a gay village?
It does take a gay village. I’m super low maintenance — like camouflage capris and crocs. My life is gross. But in showbiz you have to put on makeup and look nice, so I do need help.
Have they all slept together?
No, and they don’t want to! I think that’s the last thing any of them want to do.
Is each vying to be your #1 gay?
Yeah, they probably are, but they’re all very special to me in their own way.
If a random queen wanted to be your BFF, what would it take?
You don’t really need that much. Just have drugs. [Laughs]
Do you prefer tops or bottoms?
I’m real flexible.
Which upcoming episodes are your gay fans going to go nuts for?
There’s one where I decide to get anal bleaching. It’s much simpler than you think it’s going to be. And we also have our own beauty contest — a Cho Universe Pageant. And I took all the gays camping and made them go without electricity, cell phones, Blackberries and laptops for a couple days, so that’s great. It was not cute.
Watching the show, did you learn anything about yourself?
I realized that I’m a lot thinner than I thought I was. And I realized that a lot of times I can dish it out, but I can’t take it. Like, after all the dirty jokes I tell, my dad tells me a really dirty joke on the show and I totally flip out and get really Christian on him.
Kathy’s show made stars out of her parents. Are yours ready for the added attention?
I think so. They’re divas to begin with.
Is there any celebrity that you wish had their own show so you could get a peak inside their life?
I don’t know who would be as fun and interesting as me. [Laughs]
HX, September 2007; August 2008; extended online version.