Cho Takes Aim

If you attend Margaret Cho's Friday show at the Majestic Theatre, don't be surprised to hear the comedian talk about how much she loves George W. Bush--after all, it'll be April Fools' Day. After honing her political chops on last year's State of Emergency tour of comedy clubs, Cho has polished her act with updated material for this year's Assassin tour, and every political figure from the White House to the California Governor's Mansion is a target. "Well, it's not assassinating people; it's about assassinating problematic and outdated ideas," she says.

Though she's been on the anti-Bush bandwagon since it started rolling, she didn't jump off in defeat after the election, and she's not hanging on just because Bush-bashing has become a guaranteed moneymaker for entertainers in almost every medium. "I went to go see Merle Haggard last night, and even he was Bush-bashing," she says. So she figures she's in good company. "I don't care for Bush-bashing when it's not founded, but he gives us plenty of reasons for it."

Don't expect this weekend's shows to be a laundry list of backwater conservative ninnies Cho wants to take out. She's willing to set her rifle aside for a few headline stealers. "There's people I'm actually supportive of, like Martha Stewart, people that I think are important to examine," she says. "Then there's this whole Terri Schiavo thing. I feel like it's none of my business, but it's still something everybody has to weigh in on...less about the specific situation and more what I would do in that situation."

Now before you file Cho away with all the other celebrities who've muddied their entertainment value with politics and non-entertaining issue-oriented rants, Cho promises to keep making fun of her family and work in plenty of that trademark raunchy humor that made her first three theater tours sellout successes. The 36-year-old got married a couple of years ago, and though she admits she's mellowed out a bit, she attributes most of it to age and is far from becoming a domesticated hausfrau. If anything, marriage has allowed her to focus on a film career that she says was always her real passion. She wrote and stars in Bam Bam and Celeste, a gay boy/fag hag version of Dumb and Dumber that just wrapped, and also wrote "sort of a belly dance version of Bring It On."

Belly dancing? Yes, if you've seen any recent publicity photos of Cho, you'll notice she's trimmed down, and in some of the shots she looks downright buff. The weight issue that sidelined her early-'90s sitcom All-American Girl is a thing of the distant past. No drugs or fad diets or surgery--just belly dancing! "I have a job. I belly dance at this restaurant, and it's really hard work. I don't get to go as often as I like because of touring, but I do it because I love it," she says. Next time you're in Los Angeles, swing by the North African restaurant Moun of Tunis on Sunset Boulevard and you might catch Cho shaking her thing. But first check her out this weekend shaking things up.

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Jay Webb