How is Margaret Cho feeling about getting booted from “Dancing with the Stars” after just three weeks? Well, after her Denver appearance on Saturday, I’d say she’s feeling totally blue. Cho performed a delightfully disgusting set to a raucous crowd at the Paramount Theatre. Poop, penis, pot and porn were the cornerstones of her material on Saturday; and though her first dirty five minutes had some folks in front of me headed for the exits, the Cho fans who stuck it out were treated to an evening of ridiculously filthy fun.
New York comedian John Roberts opened the night with a table full of wigs and a cast of characters, some amusing, some hilarious. He welcomed Cho to the stage with a minimum of fanfare, and she wasted no
time launching into a tirade about her Dancing with the Stars disappointment. Overall, Cho seemed both proud and defiant about her performance, where she went out wearing rainbow colors in honor of gay pride and to acknowledge the recent spate of gay teen suicides.
Cho’s “Mommy” made regular appearances throughout the night to the delight of long-time fans who fell in love with the character – a staple in Cho’s standup since the 90’s. In addition to her “Dancing” dish, she shared stories from her appearance at this year’s Bonnaroo, along with tales of weird suburban life in her current home of Peachtree City, Georgia.
Cho’s spoken word was speckled with songs from her new comedy album, “Cho Dependent” (which features duets with notable indie music names like Andrew Bird, Jon Brion and Grant Lee Buffalo). The canned music tracks were stale, but Cho’s voice was remarkably supple as she traipsed through country-western ballads like “I’m Sorry” (I set your house on fire) and a hip-hop duet with Roberts on “My Puss” (both in character as their own mothers).
The grand finale opened with Cho crooning a ballad to her favorite male member, before the curtain rose on the 120 members of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus jubilantly singing the refrain of Cho’s song “Your Dick”. It brought the house down. It was completely Cho-larious.
Amy McGrath is a Denver-based writer and regular contributor to Reverb.