Margaret Cho may be notorious for her empowered, raunchy humor, defiantly full figure, and outspoken activism, but to a capacity crowd, she’s seriously entertaining. In 1999, she hit the big screen in the frank, stand-up film I’m the One That I Want. Directed by Lorene Machado, Cho’s new concert movie — shot on DV in Seattle last November — is more hardcore and less hard-hitting but every stitch as funny as her previous effort.
Cho spent I’m the One searching for acceptance and identity in a mix of comedy and social critique; Notorious she spends searching for her G-spot ("I logged onto Mapquest and everything!"). Her comedy is physical, as she uses her expressive face and voice and her body to tackle sexual, racial, and self-esteem issues. She doesn’t cover a lot of ground in an hour and half — just from her backside to her tongue — but she manages to unify her diverse audience in an assault on the taboo. Her broken-English impersonation of her Korean mother shines between dirty jokes. And her ideology does eventually surface: "We need to recognize that a government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a fascist state." Cho for president? (95 minutes)