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Michael Musto

Margaret Cho on Her Fashion Police Job: “It’s Fags and Fag Hags”

Margaret Cho on Her Fashion Police Job: “It’s Fags and Fag Hags”


Also: Hamilton arrives on Broadway with the heat of a smash

Margaret Cho is going into E!'s Fashion Police as a co-host, but though she was close with the late Joan Rivers and even considered Joan her "mother in comedy," Cho told me she's going to be sort of the anti-Joan on the show. After her Daniel Nardicio-produced gig at the Ice Palace at Fire Island's Cherry Grove this past Saturday, she confided in me backstage, "I'm coming at it from a totally different point of view. I'm so heavily criticized for my own looks. Joan was always making fun of the ridiculousness of my outfits. I once wore a dress with arrows and she said, 'She looks like she's been shot by 12 gay Robin Hoods.' But I like tasteless, garish stuff. I like Bjork's swan dress. The crazier, the better. And I'll bring that point of view on the show." Great! It will be refreshing to have someone actually celebrating personal expression and bold choices rather than throwing tomatoes at anyone who dares to veer from off-the-rack labeldom.

Cho said the returning show will be a series of specials, coming after events, and the first one will shoot and air August 31. She explained that the panel consists of herself, NeNe Leakes, Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, and Brad Goreski, and that roster may rotate and vary, though she'd like to be on every taping.

In her Fire Island show -- part of her PsyCHO national tour -- the wryly raunchy comic made some other remarks about Fashion Police. She said: "I was disappointed that Kathy Griffin left the show, so I took the job!" She went on to remind us that, "All those bitches were fighting." Cho explained that Kelly Osbourne split the show after Giuliana's remark about a certain actress reeking of pot and patchouli. "But I'm the one that smells like pot and patchouli," Cho said, grinning. She added that Osbourne was not having the racism, but she later went on The View and made that remark about Latinos cleaning Donald Trump's toilet. "She thought she was so fierce," she said, about Osbourne's stance of righteousness before she muddied it up.

"But now it's all kind of even," continued Cho. "I want to change it into my sort of show. Fashion Police: Special Victims Unit. I've got this compassionate Mariska Hargitay bob. Real serious. I'm excited. There's a nice mix of fags and fag hags on that show. That's what the show is -- fags and fag hags talking!"

Her other remarks from Saturday night:

* "I was Joan Rivers' Soon-Yi. The kid you adopt who ends up fucking your husband. She saw herself in me and took care of me. She had a running joke about me because I'm Korean. She was always afraid that I was gonna eat her dog!" But Joan consoled Cho when the younger comic--a rape and childhood sexual abuse survivor--bombed in front of a crowd of rape victims when she did some rape jokes. Joan said, "Oh, fuck them. I hope they get raped in the ass!"

* "I don't like Sarah Palin's politics, but I would eat her pussy from behind."

* "I've never done poppers. I've never needed to expand my asshole that big. Just shorten the guest list."

* "I started as a lesbian, then realized there was a part of me that likes dick. The inside."



While Margaret Cho shakes up fashion (and sexual) commentary, Hamilton is galvanizing the stately world of Broadway. That show needs another rave like Kim Kardashian needs to find a quarter on the floor of a 7-Eleven, but I'll serve it anyway, to justify my free tickets. The Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned musical --based on a 2004 book detailing Alexander Hamilton's place in the pantheon of the founding fathers -- exploded at the Public Theater in February and now, at the Richard Rodgers, it's even bigger, clicking with crowds and critics as a sort of immigrant-heavy stroke of relevance that's not just 1776 meets Rent; it's a freshly observant and enjoyable piece of its own. As someone who waited to see Hamilton on Broadway, where it arrives trimmed and honed, it's a great relief to report that the experience lives up to the historic amounts of hype.

Miranda's score -- spanning wildly witty old-school rap as well as hiphop, dance, pop, and even occasional show tune sounds -- is a thrilling swirl full of heart stopping numbers that take the musty out of history. Thomas Kail's fluid staging and Andy Blankenbuehler's alternately herky-jerky and graceful choreography keep the show moving at a brilliant clip, with tableaux erupting all over the brick-walled, wood-planked expanse of a set. Miranda is a rivetingly restless, idealistic, and at times indiscreet Hamilton, at odds with the more evasive Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.), who's less prone to reveal what he thinks on the issues. As our nation's economy is formed, Hamilton's world also includes drop-ins by presidents, various women (who both soothe and chide him), and King George III, deftly played by Looking's Jonathan Groff as a deadpan, petulant sort, prone to subtle eyerolls. You won't be doing the same -- if you can get a ticket, that is. If not, try looking on the floor of a 7-Eleven and start collecting change for the scalpers. Come on, go see this show, Mr. Trump -- and you too, Kelly Osbourne.


For some really old Broadway-style gossip, let me tell you that a knowledgeable source just gave me some hot news about the classic 1968 movie of Funny Girl. Said he: "Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif fucked all through the making of the movie." Hello, gorgeous!

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Michael Musto