On With the Cho 



For Margaret Cho’s first regular television gig since the now infamous cancellation of her sitcom All-American Girl, it seems fitting that the actress and comedian would gravitate toward something that celebrates women of all sizes. Drop Dead Diva tells the story of a gorgeous model who dies and comes back to earth as a size 16 lawyer.

With Cho playing plucky legal assistant Teri, this time around, the responsibility to carry the show doesn’t fall on Cho’s shoulders ... and she couldn’t be happier. Instead, she gets the bulk of the witty one-liners and the occasional song-and-dance number with guest stars from Paula Abdul to Liza Minnelli.

Officially a Southern transplant — she lives in Atlanta while taping the show in nearby Peachtree City — Cho chatted with The Advocate about distributing our magazine at local gyms, remaking “Cold Hearted” with Paula, and why her local Home Depot is better than any gay bar for afternoon cruising.

The Advocate: I’m so thrilled Drop Dead Diva is back for a second season. It’s such a fun show.
Margaret Cho: Thank you. Yeah, we have a lot of fun doing it, and it’s really exciting how things are amping up.

I know they don’t let you tease too much, but what do we have to look forward to for Teri in season 2?

You get to see her family, which is really fun. We had some Korean people — actually, Emily Kuroda (Gilmore Girls) is not Korean, but she does a great job playing my mom. And my cousin, who is beautifully played by Aaron Yoo. We had a helicopter in my sequence, so it was real M*A*S*H. So that was really fun. And you find out that I’m a private investigator, which made me feel so Rockford Files.

I love all the TV references.
Really old, old TV references. I watched them in reruns.

And you sing?
Yeah, I get to sing and dance. I’m on the soundtrack a couple times. I sing with Brooke Elliott and Kate Levering, who did a wonderful job with the vocals on “Would I Lie to You.” Then I have an original song that I wrote with the fantastic Ben Lee called “Restraining Order.”

The show talks about so many of the issues you’ve dealt with in your routines — body image, self-esteem. What that a big part of the draw for you?
Yeah, I really thought it dealt with issues about weight and about looks and about how a whole section of women in our society feel invisible. I think that’s an important thing to address. It’s a great idea to talk about self-acceptance and how this character eventually evolves into that place. You have a story about a beautiful girl who is living out this very, very fantastic life where she always wins and she dates hot guys. It’s a cool message to put out there that we are all beautiful, that women of all sizes can be recipients of life’s best things.

Tags: television