Margaret Cho brings frank talk, laughs to Andiamo

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Since early on in her stand-up career, Margaret Cho has been outspoken about her sexuality and the rights of the LGBT community.

Besides jokes about her mother, Cho’s material largely revolves around such topics as race, gay and trans rights and politics. When she started out in San Francisco in the 1990s, the topic of transgender people wasn’t something people regularly talked about on stage and television.

“It’s great to see that mainstream discussion and overall acceptance,” says Cho. “There’s still a lot of issues that kind of come up (but) I’m grateful that the tide has really shifted, especially the way people talk about Caitlyn Jenner.

“Before she came out officially, all the coverage of her had been really rather demeaning,” says Cho, who is longtime friends with Candis Cayne, a transgender actress who appeared on Jenner’s reality show “I Am Cait.” “They would have the pictures of her with her nails done and this kind of tabloid shaming, as it were. I think the whole thing shifted when she came out ... it is this really beautiful thing where you were seeing somebody realizing their dream and able to live her authentic life.”

Cho’s show at Andiamo Celebrity Showroom in Warren on Thursday kicks off her fall tour, titled “Margaret Cho: PsyCHO.” That’s also the name of her new Showtime special, which premeired last Friday. On each stop on her tour, the Grammy and Emmy award nominee will marry gay couples. She was deputized by former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

She asked that engaged fans send her a video request on Twitter with the hash tag #marrymemargaret. She will choose a few couples in each city on her tour and marry them on stage during the show.

“A lot of people have asked,” she says. “One of the things I remember about performing the ceremonies is that it really is very emotional. It’s something that is so hard won and we forget the emotional nature of what these events are, to celebrate love, and I’m grateful to be able to do that.”

Besides marrying local couples, Cho will work with mostly new material, she says, with dips into topics from her Showtime special.

“I try to have each show be kind of a living, breathing thing so it’s always different every time,” she says.

Cho often appears on television: most recently, E!’s “Fashion Police,” “Dancing with the Stars” and the Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva.” In the 1990s she stared in “All American Girl,” one of the first sitcoms to prominently feature an Asian-American family. Since then, there haven’t been many shows like it.

Cho, who has also penned two books, will appear as a guest star in the role of Ken Jeong’s sister in “Dr. Ken,” a new ABC comedy that debuts Friday.

Cho says Jeong is one of her favorite comedians working today. She also professes her love for Amy Schumer, Tig Notaro and the show “Key & Peele,” staring Jordan Peele and Detroit native Keegan Michael-Key.

Margaret Cho

8 p.m. Thursday

Andiamo Celebrity Showroom

7096 E. 14 Mile, Warren

(586) 268-3200