Listening Tour Preview: Margaret Cho discusses how comedy helps her discuss issues like racism

June 6, 2022

Stand-up comedian Margaret Cho sat down with Soledad O’Brien to discuss how comedy helps her discuss difficult issues like racism.

This conversation is part of the fourth and final leg of the Matter of Fact Listening Tour “Trailblazers, Troublemakers & Dreams,” which will explore difficult issues surrounding race and equity through discussions with a diverse collection of accomplished individuals representing a panoply of fields.

“With standup comedy, you can really be anybody,” Cho said. “When I first started as a comedian, I was the only Asian-American woman.”

Cho has been doing comedy since 1984.

“I think when you’re Asian-American you imitate your parent’s voices as a way to distinguish yourself as like, I’m not Asian, I’m Asian-American,” Cho said.

Cho said she believes that is a common thing amongst immigrants and the mockery is actually a kind of enjoyment and celebration of where they come from and who they are.

Cho explained how talking about racism in comedy is a big way of talking about enormous issues in a small message.

“To me, it’s a pointed way to talk about racism, and the spectrum of it without making a huge TED talk of it,” Cho said.

“Trailblazers, Troublemakers & Dreams” will stream live Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. EST.

Wednesday’s digital-first presentation will be streamed live on, the Very Local phone & TV app, and other Hearst consumer-media digital platforms.

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Trailblazers, Troublemakers and Dreams