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Q&A: Margaret Cho brings comedy and music to San Diego on Sept. 24

SAN DIEGO -- Margaret Cho is a very busy woman these days.

Not only does she perform a leading role in the cast of "Drop Dead Diva," which just wrapped up its second season Aug. 29, but that same week she released a new musical comedy album, she has also joined the 11th season of “Dancing With The Stars” that kicked off this week, and, she is conducting a whirlwind tour that makes a stop at Humphrey’s this Friday, Sept. 24, at 9 p.m.

In the midst of all of this, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News was lucky enough to get a few minutes with the comedy goddess recently, while she was dashing through an airport en route to the East Coast.

SDGLN: Let’s talk first about “Drop Dead Diva.” The plot centers around a blonde, basically stuck-up aspiring model who dies in a car crash and is brought back as an intelligent, overweight lawyer to learn the meaning of inner beauty. Did the message of the show attract you to the role and will we see a third season?

Margaret Cho (MC): I loved the writing, the message and the cast is great! I just love being on that show. We are still waiting to find out [about season 3]. Editor's Note 9/23: Since this posted it's been learned that "Drop Dead Diva" was in fact picked up for a third season! Congrats to the cast and crew!

SDGLN:How in the world did "Dancing With The Stars" land in your plate?

MC:Well I have had several friends that have been on it, like Kelly Osborne, for instance, and I have great respect for anyone who has. I’ve never done ballroom dancing before, but I’m a belly dancer and I love that, so I thought it would be a fun challenge. I love the glamor and I’m a big romantic. The training is intense so far, but I’m excited.

SDGLN: Will your parents be there in the audience to cheer you on?

MC: Oh yes! It is the only show they watch, so they are really excited.

SDGLN: Your seventh album, “Cho Dependent,” is filled with “comedy songs” – which reminds me of Steve Martin’s successes. What inspired you to sing on this album?

MC: For me, I’m just trying to do my thing by utilizing music. I’m still telling stories but also expanding my horizons. I’m proud of it. The whole album is me singing, which is a new approach but it is still stand-up comedy. It is a stand-alone project – and the whole album was a collaborative effort. I’ve always wanted to work with the people on the album (Tegan and Sara and Fiona Apple among others). I really love comedy music and decided to do this for my self.

SDGLN: Will this tour be just the comedy songs, then?

MC: No, the tour includes a few of the songs, but not all of them.

SDGLN: What do you think is going to happen with Proposition 8?

MC: I’d like to turn it over, and it feels like it is going that way. It is a very frustrating process, but it’s going to get overturned soon. Gay marriage is about equal rights, which is a very important cause and it goes way beyond just Prop. 8.

SDGLN: You have recently indulged in some major tattoo work. What made you do so and why did you start so late in life?

MC: I grew up (in San Francisco) knowing Ed Hardy, so I was around lots of tattoos. I never thought I’d do it, but at 35 I decided it was time. I’m glad I waited, because it gave me the maturity to choose the right artwork and to afford the work of the best artists.

SDGLN: What was your first tattoo?

MC: It is one big piece by Ed Hardy himself that completely covers my back and goes around to my stomach.

SDGLN: What will be next?

MC: I think maybe I’m done. It’s hard to cover them when you are an actor.

SDGLN: Who are your influences?

MC: Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Rosie O’Donnell, Roseann. Joan Rivers was probably my biggest influence and look, she is 75 and still rocking it.

SDGLN: What are you listening to on your iPod these days?

MC: The Carpenters. My voice is very close to Karen Carpenter, so I’ve been listening to her styling. Stevie Nicks, she’s always been a fave but now I’m appreciating her even more.

SDGLN: You have over 83,000 followers on Twitter! What impact, if any, has social media had for you?

MC: It is a fun, new form to communicate my jokes, my ideas and get feedback. Sometimes there is just not enough time to keep up with it, though. Thankfully I haven’t had any weird experiences yet.

SDGLN: Any favorite cities you’ll be visiting on the tour?

MC:San Diego is a fave, for sure. Most places I’m just seeing the same things, hotel room, venue, etc., and not really the city where I am. My parents live [in San Diego] so I get to see more there.

Make sure you tune in to see Margaret on DWTS! You can even watch online. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter or her website.

If you go

Margaret Cho will be at Humphrey’s by the Bay this Friday, Sept 24, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 and all seats are reserved. Humphrey’s is located at 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106. Parking is available onsite for $10., or free public parking lots are located nearby on Shelter Island. Regular show tickets and dinner-show packages can be purchased at Humphreys box office, call (800) 745-3000 for more information or visit .

Morgan M. Hurley is the Copy Editor for SDGLN. She can be reached at (877) 727-5446, ext 710 or at morgan@sdgln.com.