Our Little Girl, All Grown Up and Moved Out

We gave her her start in standup; L.A. gave her kidney failure. Why did Margaret Cho leave us?

Margaret Cho holds many enviable titles: Super Diva, Queen of Fearlessness, Our Lady of the Revolution — and above all, Daughter of San Francisco. So why has she forsaken us? Why did she settle down in Los Angeles? Didn't we raise her to be drug-addled, queer-loving, fashion forward, and self-loathing in a really fun way, just like we are? As a city, we made her in our own image. Her portraits of I-Will-Survive drag queens, empathetic transsexuals, and infuriating, weird, but ultimately accepting parents came from here, not there. S.F. gave her Lowell High, Polk Street, and her start in standup at the Rose and Thistle; L.A. gave her kidney failure.

The fact that she moved to Glendale, long regarded as the armpit of L.A., is too confusing to deal with here, but it does rankle. Her flaming success with her own projects — 2000's I'm the One That I Want (filmed in San Francisco, hello) and 2002's Notorious C.H.O. has made her better known in other places, but we have always been here for her. Her unfortunate TV sitcom and the sadistic bullshit that went on behind its scenes would never have happened here. That's just what happens when you take quality to L.A., mmmm hmmmm. Our politics are better, we're more punk rock, and we let our women eat sometimes.

Maybe she thinks she's being generous by giving us two nights of her new “Cho Revolution” tour, instead of one like all the other towns, except for — oh! — Los Angeles. (She probably thought we wouldn't notice. As if!) Furthermore, we doubt anyone in L.A. even knows who Ernesto Guevara is. They don't like to, you know, think too hard. Plus they're all too busy making a romantic comedy to know about the sexiest, wittiest, most motorcycle-riding revolutionary ever, a perfect inspiration for Cho's — our — revolution. So why doesn't she just move on back to this town full of nice people who worship Che and get the double entendre: The fist on her Che-beret — is it like a “power to the people” fist or a fisting fist? Obviously, it's both! We get it!

We may pine for the days when our city was blessed with her presence (of course, in those days, it was more of a curse), but at least she's still nice to us. Here's something she wrote on her Web site, in a letter to some God guy: “Since You are omnipresent, can You please bring Kevyn [Aucoin, makeup artist beloved of many] to one of my shows? Someplace fun — anywhere — like New York, or San Francisco, and give me a sign letting me know that You guys are there. I can probably get you house seats.” See, she does still love us a little.

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