photo (c) Pixie Vision
“Hey Margaret, I thought you were goin’ to tell jokes?” an old white guy loudly whined as he vacated his seat. Throughout the night at her Las Vegas appearance at the Treasure Island Theater last weekend, Margaret Cho dismantled the patriarchy one unsuspecting comp holder at a time. Vegas -unlike other audiences on her current PsyCho tour- is traditionally a mixed bag, and though Cho loyalists had a foothold on the venue the show was also peppered with folks who’d receivers Player’s Club tickets for effectively shooting craps and tourists looking for entertainment who evidently lacked the skills or insight to Google prior to the performance. Cho, of course, handled the early heckler like a pro, and it wasn’t the last time that evening she’d have to.
“We’re about to talk about RAPE so it’s better you leave now anyway”, she lead before asking if he was bummed “we weren’t going to talk about his white dick?” then went into five minutes of repeating a stammering impression of a white frat bro asking “Buhhh Buhh Buhh Buttt whattt about myyyy white dickkkk?” to the uncomfortable shifts of the tourists and the gleeful giggles of her fans while he made his awkward and less than hasty retreat out of the theater.
She lost a few more midwestern looking white men in their company-issued polo shirts tucked into their belted khakis (and wives dutifully following behind) during a nearly flawless routine about how gay, gay, gay Jesus was (it was only missing a joke or two about his relationship with his mom and Mary Magdalen’s haggdom-you’re welcome Margaret 😉 ) and the final influx to the lobby occurred, not during the uncomfortable discussion of Cho’s childhood rape or lifelong body image struggles but when she dared asked “Do you know what I really hate about Donald Trump?” to which yet another middle-aged white man replied loudly “Because he’s honest?” Cho quickly shot back “Not about his hair” only to have the guy yell back “Because he’s white?” which lead Cho into a bit about Trump’s orange origins and then proceeded to take the persona of the stereotypical, shy, demure face covering Asian girl will to placate him for laughs before taunting the guy, his wife and a few of his cronies out of the theater to yet another hilarious round of “What about my white dick, brah?”
And although there will be many a white dick in the audience for her performance Saturday in Seattle, it will be a crowd of “her people”- meaning gay men, dykes, and big-mouthed, opinionated, straight girls (and the dudes who love them). This is an environment which Cho thrives and without the disruption of the show’s flow is sure to bring the house down. If Vegas was any indication, PsyCHO is a mix of new routines and a few classic bits – watching Cho imitate a gay man forced to eat a vagina to save humankind never get old. The bits regarding her rape as a child are painful but perfectly executed. Watching a comedienne in her prime like Cho work out her issues on stage is what honest comedy is all about. She’s been in the game long enough to understand a joke about someone else’s rape is uninformed, cruel mockery- but a joke about your own is cathartic.
Margaret Cho plays the Moore Theater Saturday, Oct 24th at 8 pm. Her special PsyCHO debuted September 25th and is currently playing on Showtime.