For those of you who’ve managed to walk around outside of your closet without hearing about the notorious Margaret Cho, she’s a stand-up-comic superhero who has no problem crawling into those uncomfortable, and often moist, crevices and crannies usually kept behind dark “straight sex” doors. Following up her previous, inspiring concert movie (I’m the One That I Want, released in 2000), Notorious C.H.O. is less of a horrific autobiography using humor to plow through the pain, and more of a standard stand-up routine, with jokes that continue to graphically dance around sex, sluts and self-esteem.
Practically bursting out of her blue jeans and blue-and-white-plaid shirt, Cho solemnly recalls visiting ground zero, and her righteous contribution — giving blow jobs to rescue workers, “because we all have to do our part.” She uses her upper orifice to expound on sticky subjects surrounding the lower orifices, like menstruation, the elusive G-spot and the wonderful world of colon hydrotherapy: “Say what you will about colon irrigation. It is the shit.”
If you caught Cho’s live show last November in Royal Oak, there’s no need to see Notorious, because it’s exactly the same routine, without the spark and shiver of seeing her in person. The film was recorded live on video at her Seattle show without any embellishments, aside from some watery, documentary-style goo and gaa about Margaret “into the mic please,” fan commentary, a couple of supportive words from her parents and a slight self-assessment by Cho herself. The extra cheerleading doesn’t make the movie better, but it does make it a few minutes longer.
Cho is an emissary between sexual preferences, fearlessly diving into all those murky, verboten arenas to bring us her keen insights: “Like there’s this creepy connection between leather sex, Star Trek and the Renaissance fair,” and “... pussy, although delicious, is a mess to eat.”
Of course, it’s better to see her show live in the flash and flesh, but watching Notorious C.H.O. is better than no Cho at all.
Opens Friday exclusively at the Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main, Royal Oak). Call 248-542-0180.
Anita Schmaltz writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.