Margaret Cho turns 50 today. And 50’s never looked so good! With over two decades in stand-up comedy, Cho has dabbled in everything from fashion design to acting to experimenting as a singer-songwriter. The Dancing With The Stars contestant has never been one to shy away from dealing with heavy material in her stand-up, often exploring Asian-American stereotypes, eating disorders, LGBT issues, and substance abuse. In honor of her sprawling career and 50 fabulous years on this planet, here are seven things you may not have known about the give-no-fucks comedian.
• Her 1994 ABC sitcom All-American Girl was one of the first shows to prominently feature an East Asian family (she starved herself so badly before the filming of the debut that her kidneys collapsed, causing her to be hospitalized).
• Her 1999 off-Broadway one-woman show I’m The One That I Want was made into a best-selling book and feature film of the same name.
• In 2007, Cho toured with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure, and The Dresden Dolls as part of the True Colors Tour that benefited the Human Rights Campaign.
• Her mother was unable to provide for Cho on her own, so she sent Cho to Korea to live with her father and grandparents.
• She was kicked out of Lowell High School because she had a .60 GPA, but was later accepted to McAteer High School for the Performing Arts.
• She started doing stand-up comedy at the age of 16 and traveled with Janeane Garofalo (they blame each other for their smoking habits).
• Her favorite band is Canadian group Broken Social Scene.
Happy birthday, Margaret!