I'm the One That I Want

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In 1994, when Margaret Cho was just 26 years old, she achieved what has become the Holy Grail for today's comedians: her very own sitcom. And not just any sitcom—the first U.S. sitcom to feature an Asian-American female star. It should have been a year of triumph for Cho; instead, it was a living hell. First, she lost all creative control. Then, the producers expressed anxiety about the "fullness" of her face. Cho soon found herself in a spiral of anorexia and diet-pill abuse, which led, when the show was ...
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Overview


In 1994, when Margaret Cho was just 26 years old, she achieved what has become the Holy Grail for today's comedians: her very own sitcom. And not just any sitcom—the first U.S. sitcom to feature an Asian-American female star. It should have been a year of triumph for Cho; instead, it was a living hell. First, she lost all creative control. Then, the producers expressed anxiety about the "fullness" of her face. Cho soon found herself in a spiral of anorexia and diet-pill abuse, which led, when the show was canceled, to clinical depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

Margaret Cho not only survived--she came back with a comedic vengeance. I'm the One That I Want, her 1998 off-Broadway show, was her raucous, raunchy, howlingly funny yet searingly honest account of the dark years she'd been through. In 2000, a film version of the show was released at the Sundance Film Festival to near-delirious critical acclaim. In her new book, Cho expands on these experiences, finding deeper meaning and even more outrageous humor in her fateful encounter with the bizarre world of American network television. She can now say, in all seriousness, "I really love the way my life is going right now."

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Editorial Reviews

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Ever since she chummed with the cross-dressers who worked at her father's bookstore, Margaret Cho has been accenting the unconventional. This spunky stand-up comic regularly turns adversity into material, spicing her monologues with references to her own problems with weight, drugs, and alcohol. I'm the One That I Want is a sassy declaration of independence from a confirmed and talented malcontent.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Expanding on her one-woman show (and film) of the same title, comedian Cho mines her improbable life. The misfit daughter of Korean immigrants in San Francisco (who named her Moran, which she likens to naming a kid "Asshill"), she dropped out of high school, gaining success in stand-up even as she succumbed to self-loathing, substance abuse, bad boyfriends and the siren song of Hollywood. As star of the first Asian-American sitcom (All-American Girl), she was forced to diet herself into sickness even as the show strayed from her story and quickly foundered. This book runs into the inevitable challenge of converting performance into print; neither a script nor a fully fleshed-out memoir, it works episodically but ultimately fizzles. Descriptions of the endless lousy men in Cho's life, perhaps disarming onstage, become tedious on the page. Still, she finds humor in pathos. Working on a pilot with a sitcom writer, she held back the truth: "I was unemployed and trying to kick a sick crystal meth habit by smoking huge bags of paraquat-laced marijuana and watching Nick at Night for six hours at a time. Now, that's a sitcom." Cho knows how great comics tend toward self-destruction, finding it hard to come down from stage adulation. Still, her discovery of self-esteem and New Agey conclusions ("I discovered there was a goddess deep inside me") are something that an acerbic comedian like Cho shouldn't embrace without irony. (May) Forecast: Cho's five-city tour and radio satellite tour will bring her to the attention of her young, hip audience. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Cho, the talented and witty comedienne who starred in All American Girl, the first Asian American sitcom, here adds to the growing list of celebrity autobiographies in a self-indulgent effort boasting all of the elements that make such works popular. She discusses her problems as a child, troubled teen years, dangerous drug habits, weight battles, and feelings about her one-woman show, which is now being well received by Asian Americans. Unfortunately, the book, which is adapted from her show, feels more like an exercise a therapist might have suggested than a serious autobiography. It is sexually explicit, which may make it inappropriate for younger readers, and contains an overabundance of obscenities apparently used more for shock value than substance. Cho's comedic wit does not translate well to print, and it seems that she could not decide whether to write for laughs or sentiment, resulting in an uneven blend. While this may have limited appeal to her fans, it is a minimal purchase at best. Not recommended. Rosalind Dayen, Broward Cty. South Regional Lib., Pembroke Pines, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565114746
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 4/19/2001
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 4 Cassettes
  • Pages: 285
  • Product dimensions: 4.58 (w) x 1.28 (h) x 7.00 (d)

Meet the Author


MARGARET CHO has won awards for both her comedy and her activism.
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