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This is an edited version of what I wrote about NOTORIOUS C.H.O. when it was
in theatrical release:
Last night I had a choice between this comedy and the new AUSTIN POWERS, and since I didn't feel like fighting for my seat, I decided on the unrated concert film. Good call, since I laughed my ass off at a late screening of Margaret Cho's latest politically-incorrect raunch-fest.
Hear the Cho-ster riff on Scottish gay bars, personal ads, leather slings, masters and slaves, her patriotic efforts at Ground Zero (where she lost her gag reflex), and an array of kinks inappropriate to summarize here.
And I don't know what was going on with her bosom, but it was popping out all over - I couldn't look at anything else.
Ninety percent of the show was sex, sex, sex. She talked a lot about Hollywood, her childhood and Asian culture in her previous concert film I'M THE ONE THAT I WANT, so this time she concentrated on more salacious material (like, say, how her ideal same-gender lover would help her find her G-spot and would look like John Goodman).
When asked if this was similar to THE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY, I said that I'd compare it to Eddie Murphy's RAW. If you're not into its humor, it'd be so unbelievably vulgar and offensive. But if you have a affinity for jokes about oral sex, then step on up.
So, watch the video with Mom and Pop. When I saw this in the theatre, there was an animated short preceding it that urges Blacks and Asians to become friendly through their shared hatred of white people. Trust me, it's funny. (Is this on the DVD?)
Sexual truths exposed with great good humor from one of our most gifted stand-up comics, an Asian-American comedienne with more funny faces than most comedy performers put together. At times, Margaret Cho is too good (you're aware of the practiced segues into another string of jokes after a particular theme is exhausted), but when Cho gets a head of steam going, you don't want her to stop. The live audience is wildly appreciative, which only makes the pauses between punchlines longer, and occasionally she overworks or overextends a gag, but there's always something funnier waiting down the line. Cho's expressive mouth and pretty cheekbones are great equipment for mimicry, and several of her stories are fall-over hilarious. *** from ****
True, she goes slowly. True, she repeats herself unnecessarily. But her truths about sex are hilarious and true. To hear it from a Korean woman is a delight. Clearly taking from the inspired Black comedic hugeness, she represents the American melting pot at its best. Her ability to make a white audience laugh at Asian attitudes towards sex is another cultural treasure. Way to go Margaret!
I love Notorious C.H.O.!!! If you liked "I'm the One that I want" then check this one out. There's more over the top raunchy sex jokes which makes it way better than her first effort. Truly not for the faint of heart but FUNNY AS HELL!!I love Margaret's insightful jokes about sex and family. I know Margaret is known for her "Mommy" jokes but I'm glad it was kept at a minimal this time around and the ones she did use were so F&%$ing funny!! A great concert film that not only is funny but has a message from the heart. (Unzips mask) YOU GO MARGARET CHO!!!!!!!:)
I didn't see her first movie, and I'd always thought Margaret Cho was funny
when I saw her on network TV, but nothing prepared me for this. A lot of my
laughter came from pure shock value. She'd start on a topic and I'd think,
"she's not really going to go THERE, is she?" -- and she goes RIGHT there.
Raunchy is definitely the word that fits, but I think what I felt was the glee that accompanies hearing taboos busted right and left. On top of that, when she chooses to get into more impassioned and serious territory, she is mesmerizing. (But don't worry -- she doesn't stay serious for long!)
Her comedy writing is solid, her delivery and timing are razor sharp, and the structure of the routine is impeccable.
I think I'll probably see this movie again in the theater while I can.
Okay, it was somewhat less funny than I'm the One that I Want, but that's like being stupider than Einstein. I laughed so hard I felt like I was going to herniate; and her final speech was one of the most inspiring things I've heard. Everything I want in Cho. I can't wait to see her next one.
Be warned: Margaret Cho is not for the prim or proper. If you don't find jokes about eating pussy funny, then this movie is definitely not the right one for you. For those of us of find it totally hilarious, I guarantee her routine will make you laugh until you cry. I personally think it's funnier than the first one, but then again she does fewer impressions of her mother (ARE YOU GAY??) in this one, which is a minus.
Margaret Cho is raunchy. Not a bad thing necessarily especially since she
is so extraordinarily honest about herself and the observations she makes
about sex, relationship, family and self-love (yes, both kinds). The
Notorious C.H.O. is more of a platform for her call to arms for tolerance
and living without fear.
She touches on the attack on New York and at the time of the taping was probably one of the first jokes made after 9/11. And she campaigns for all people who are minorities whether based on race, sexual orientation, body type, social status, etc. to stop believing in all the ad campaigns and prejudices and start loving themselves to hilarious effect.
Unfortunately, this doesn't come close to the bravery of I'm The One That I Want. No where in Notorious does she come close to the depth of soul-searching and honest reflection of herself as she did in I'm The One, which in itself is a hard act to follow.
Notorious C.H.O. is more frivolity and less substance, but that's just fine this time around. With all the chaos in the world that Cho mentions it's wonderful to just sit back and have someone this talented keep you stitches for 90 minutes.
It's hard to give an objective review of one of Margaret Cho's
I personally think she is a brilliant comic. Good timing, rapier-sharp
wit, broadly physical in execution.
As anyone who has seen "I'm the One That I Want" can attest, she is also waaaay over the top.
So here we are with another Cho flick. As usual, it's just the audience, Margaret, and two bottles of water. As usual, the humor is grotesque. Aunt Millie not only won't get the joke, she'll leave the room in horror before you even get to the punchline. Her loss.
Did I like it better than the first? Yes, but with a caveat.
I saw "I'm the One That I Want" at home, on videotape. I saw "The Notorious C.H.O." in a movie theater, in Seattle (where the show was filmed), with 100 other Cho fans all laughing, yelling, and stomping their feet louder as the jokes got raunchier and raunchier.
Don't wait for the video. Go see it in a movie theater. The group effect is theraputic by itself. Hey, the show ain't bad either.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Cho needs to develop some more before she can be considered a top
flight stand up performer. IMO She relies too much on the
radical-underdog persona to get easy laughs and knee-jerk acclaim from
minority and gay communities and not enough on timing and delivery.
("Oh, she's talking about lesbian sexual urges, honey! She's one of US,
so she MUST be funny!!") And all her political and social stances are
so reflexively radical-liberal and anti-establishment that she actually
comes across as less of a complete person that many of her comedic
contemporaries. (It's another example of that age old gay dilemma where
the MOST IMPORTANT THING about a gay person is that they ARE
gay...which tends to filter out almost everything else of importance
On the other hand, as a Korean woman involved for a time in the making of a Hollywood sitcom and driven by the immense pressure to anorexia, drug abuse, and near self destruction, you have to admit that she comes by her angst and anger honestly. It's hard to imagine a more unhealthy and alienating situation, and she has been very frank and candid about her experiences, none of which I would willingly endure for twice the money she was offered. So I am not overly impressed by her material or her delivery - she's not nearly as funny as she thinks she is - but I do like and respect her as a person.
Much of the sexually oriented material is far too raunchy for a younger audience...but I will say that her recounting of her mother's tale of her father's first exposure to a possible gay encounter is worth the cost of a rental all by itself. My (then) girlfriend and I repeated the punchline (with her mother's inflections) dozens of times in our casuals conversations for weeks after seeing "Notorious C.H.O.".
Worth seeing to expand your horizons a bit, but not for the easily offended or the politically or sexually conservative.
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