Here for the Fight

Bookwaves on Cover to Cover is a public radio program dedicated to bringing listeners literature reviews and discussions with authors. Recently, host Richard Wolinsky sat down with Margaret Cho to discuss her recent book I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight. A self-described “Korean-American fag-hag,” Cho’s success as a stand-up comedian has led to top-selling films and books as well as sold out shows across the country.

Margaret Cho, when I went to your website, I noticed that you have a blog. What is the relationship between this book, I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, and the blog?

Actually, a lot of what I have written comes from my blog. This happens in my standup comedy too. I start off with the blog, that's where everything begins with my writing, and then from there, jokes are formed, and ideas get more fully formed in my shows, and then a lot of this raw material is very appropriate for this book and end up in this book.

Is that the process that you always used? You wrote a diary-type thing and then just saw what came out and shaped it?

I wrote that way for a little bit and then I spent more time writing little pieces of paper, little words on pieces of paper so that they would just refer to all these longer ideas. So having a blog actually makes it much more organized for me because then I have one place to put everything.

If you're doing a standup routine, and it has a name, is it the same show that you're going to be doing later? What is the variation from show to show?

It's about an hour and a half of jokes that haven't been told before and won't be told again.

Every show you do is completely different?

Completely different. It's an hour and a half of jokes that are new and will be thrown out as soon as I'm done.

Do you sometimes sit there and watch these things and go, "God, I was good. I'm funny"?

Yes, because I totally forget what I've done. There have been four films now, so it's kind of surprising that I came up with all those things.

[Listen to the rest of the interview, or subscribe to AlterNet's RSS feed to have them automatically delivered to your computer!]

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