The busiest woman in show business, Margaret Cho
Look just about anywhere these days and it’s impossible not to catch sight of Margaret Cho.
As fabulous assistant Teri on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva (which has its summer finale this Sunday), she’s recently helped Stacy (April Bowlby) pick sperm donors and (in real life) admires co-star Justin Deeley’s toned body.
She’s in the running for the open chair at ABC’s The View and really, really, really wants the job, even posting a YouTube video to stress how she’s right for the gig.
Her latest tour, Mother, kicks off September 6th at The Mirage in Las Vegas during – what else? – Fabulous Las Vegas’s Pride events, along with Kathy Griffin.
So we thought it was time to catch up with Cho, who talked about all the above as well as her undying love for alt rock band, Wilco, and, of course, her beloved gays.
TheBacklot: I could get used to seeing you on The View, I must admit.
Margaret Cho: I’m sort of temping at The View, so if there’s somebody that isn’t able to come or whatever, then I’m their fill-in, meaning I’m on call, and then also I’m in the Wilco reserve where if someone can’t do, I can jump in and play one of the string instruments. I don’t know. I still have to learn 65 Wilco songs. I’m the officially sanctioned tribute band, one-woman tribute band, Will-Cho.
Cho talks it over with Barbara Walters during her guest hosting on The View
TBL: If anybody can do it, you can. I know this.
MC: I think so. I’m doing my best, but I feel like I’m the only person in the world that can be on The View and in Wilco.
TBL: Let’s talk about “The View” first, because I love that you can be you on there. I saw where you and Whoopi were talking about smoking pot and its connection with schizophrenia. Is that part of the appeal of being on the show? That you can be yourself?
MC: Right, and I really want to get some of that pot because you know that is the best pot in the world. I’ve never had it, but can you just imagine how good it is? I love, yeah, that I can say whatever, but I can also talk about deep things and things that are important to me, in politics, but make jokes on pop culture, make jokes about everything. It’s a great opportunity to make jokes every day, very current, and be in front of the whole world. So, I really want to do it.
TBL: What do you think makes a good interviewer, because that’s part of the job along with Hot Topics?
MC: I think somebody who really has a relationship with the guest, because I interview people for, I have a podcast called Monsters of Talk and I do it with Jim Short. He’s an amazing comedian but my thing is that to be on my show, I’m a fan. I am a fan of yours, so I’ll have you on, so I know everything about them, and I think that’s what makes an interviewer great…for me, an interviewer, really our job is to draw the subject out and that’s what I would love to do on The View. I just did that with Christina Ricci, who I love, and Susan Lucci, who I love. These are people who I’m very familiar with their work.
TBL: Who do we have to kiss up to to get you in that spot?
MC: Oh, I love you. Well, tweet @TheViewTV. I’ve been really working on it, and I made a video just to beg them to have me on to them. I thought, ‘Well, Sean Young in the 90s got dressed up as Catwoman, to get a part…”
TBL: I saw that! That was awesome.
MC: I think it’s really funny and silly, and I’m just being funny, and I just hope people will get me on there. There’s a lot of Twitter interest and a lot of people say, ‘You should do it,’ and Whoopi was like, ‘You’ve got to get this job. You’re my favorite. Please be there.’ I was like, ‘I will do it. I’ll do anything.’
TBL: Also, tell me about your tour. Is your mom the gift that keeps on giving?
MC: She keeps on giving. My favorite is when she’s listening, like when my mom’s not really saying anything. She’s just listening, and she’s like ‘Mmmmmm,’ because it’s this weird ‘Mmmmmmm.’ It freaking sounds like…’do you need some oil or something?’
TBL: Like her gears are grinding up a little bit, right?
MC: ‘Mmmmmm.’ So, that’s my favorite. There are always great jokes about her, and the show is also about how I’ve reached the age of being everybody’s mother, everybody looks at me as their mother, and all of my gay male friends call me ‘Mother.’
TBL: You’re doing Vegas Pride next month so I’m curious about those Las Vegas gays.
MC: I did Vegas Pride last year with Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin and people were freaking out. Could you imagine? It’s like a fag hag Mount Rushmore…but a lot of people are visiting from someplace else and I love that Vegas is like that and a lot of people are from there and then you also have all the people in the show. You have a lot of drag queens and a lot of people out of drag, a lot of female impersonator-style shows. It’s very diverse, but it’s also people who perform. So, it’s a different kind of a scene.
The Fag Hag Mt. Rushmore: Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers and Cho
TBL: When you go to Vegas, are you a gambler?
MC: No. I just eat. I’ve never gambled in my life. My family lived in Reno, and they were all blackjack dealers. So, it was this thing where it never seemed appealing, because they were just like, ‘This is the worst,’ because they would tell me all the horror stories about people who lost and couldn’t stop losing. It was never about winning. So, I never did it. I never have money, and I never have cash, and I’m like, ‘People, I don’t have anything. I don’t have anything to gamble.’ I would rather do drugs, because I know what’s going to happen.
TBL: Who do you think is hot right now? Guy or girl?
MC: Kristin Stewart is so hot.
TBL: What is it about her? People love her.
MC: Oh my God, because she’s angry about it. She’s like, ‘Look, it’s not my fault I’m hot. I don’t like it any more than you do.’ I was hanging out with her and Joan Jett at Joan Jett Day in LA and they’re like mother/daughter, even though they’re not actually related. They look so similar and their personalities are that sort of tomboy, really sweet, really cool. But both of them are my big crush and I just love Joan Jett. I love her music, I love her look, her attitude. She gave me a nice bracelet. I was really moved. So she’s my crush. Also, of course, the entire band of Wilco, everybody in it I’m in love with, and The Family. I love that band and I love everybody in it. So, yeah, those are my crushes.
TBL: I think everyone is crushing on Justin Deeley a little bit, because he’s just so damn cute on Drop Dead Diva!
MC: Oh, isn’t he cute? He has a really nice body, too. Like, crazy. I know that he is a workout person, but I’ve also seen him eat a lot of fried pickles. And he is so beautiful, but I hang out with him a bunch and he’s the kind of person that he’s always like, ‘Oh, I forgot my ID. Oh, my car got towed.’ So you’re like, ‘Dude…’ So, I just have to go to his house and go collect him and make sure he has everything so we can go out and then I feel bad because sometimes he’s like, ‘Well, my car got towed and I forgot my ID,’ and then he’s standing on a street corner and I’ve got to swing by and pick him up. I feel so bad because he looks like the most beautiful hustler. Standing on the street corner, no ID, no money, so I’m trying to drive and get him as fast as I can. He’s the best but I need to mother him because sometimes you may see him someday on a street corner and then, by all means, pick him up, because he needs a ride.
TBL: I would definitely pick him up. And, that’s another example of you being a mother to somebody.
MC: I know, I love him.
TBL: What’s coming up on Drop Dead Diva? Anything for Teri coming up?
MC: We’re still shooting so it’s all left to be seen. Last year I got to do fun music stuff, and I played a Lady Gaga-type, Lady Bodacious, which I loved. We still are shooting but the ratings are really going well and we’re having fun together. So, I hope to do more. We’ll see!