Margaret Cho rose to fame as a loud, brutally honest comic who shattered the media's stereotypes of Asian women as polite, bow-scraping servants, and whose style and presence was once compared to comedy icon Richard Pryor. I'm the One that I Want (2000) concert film was the first in a series of many sold-out performances showcasing Cho's raunchy, in-your-face riffs about sex, bodily functions, ethnic myths, drag queens, and more. Beginning with Notorious C.H.O. (2002), her stand-up acts tackled more political issues, but the one theme that always garnered the most laughs was Cho's hilarious impressions of her Korean mother. Cho's second foray into network television was more successful; she starred on the reality series, The Cho Show (VH1, 2008), and was a regular on Lifetime's hit comedy, Drop Dead Diva (2009- ). In 2010, Cho took her act on the road with Cho Dependent, another gut-busting concert tour from one of comedy's most talented, inspirational and fearless performers.
At 16, she started doing stand-up at The Rose & Thistle, a comedy club located above her parents' bookstore, and became a fixture on the San Francisco comedy circuit, traveling with and befriending fellow acerbic comic, Janeane Garofalo. Shortly after, Cho won a comedy contest where the first prize was opening for comedian Jerry Seinfeld. After moving to Los Angeles in the early 1990s, Cho's fan base multiplied, boosted by appearances on late-night talk shows and comedy specials such as Bob Hope Presents the Ladies of Laughter (NBC, 1992), Late Show with David Letterman (CBS, 1993- ), and HBO Comedy Half-Hour (HBO, 1994). Cho's stand-up act was increasingly centered on destroying ethnic myths, particularly the media's portrayal of Asian women as meek, humble and polite. On stage, the self-possessed Cho was loud but not obnoxious, and crude without being vulgar. Mainstream audiences were just starting to get a taste of Cho's humor when she began starring on her own series, All-American Girl, the first sitcom to feature an all Asian-American cast. ABC touted "All-American Girl" as based on Cho's own life and stand-up routine. Cho appeared in a number of films including John Woo's action thriller Face/Off (1997) with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.
She went to deliver an hilarious guest starring turn as an incognito Kim Jong-il - the dead supreme leader of North Korea - on an episode of 30 Rock (NBC, 2006- ), which earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2012.