US actor and comedian Margaret Cho accepts that she is going to have to do an awful lot of apologising when she gets over here.
“It is so embarrassing,” says Margaret who brings her Fresh Off The Bloat tour to the Brighton Dome on December 2.
“I am just so sorry about the disgusting, appalling, revolting state of American politics.”
Sorry too for the appalling extent of the ever-widening sex abuse scandal – both subjects which will come up in the show. Her point is that this is where art can help.
“It’s great. We live in a great time for women. It’s really incredible, an amazing time. There is no more reason to protect these abusers, whoever they are. I just think it is amazing that all these people are now coming forward about what happened to them. It is something that I have tried to promote for a long time. I am a survivor myself. I know how it feels.”
Margaret has long been active in anti-racism, anti-bullying, advocating for the homeless and gay rights campaigns. As for why all the tales of sexual harassment are coming out right now, Margaret believes it is just a question of the right time: “I think women are just sick of it all, just sick of not having our day in court. We have now got a sense that we can tell the truth, which is great. And I think it is only just beginning. I think there is a lot more to come…”
As for President Trump, Margaret – who has been US Grammy and Emmy nominated – admits to acute embarrassment on behalf of her nation: “Why is he exempt from all the consequences?
“But I think this is now a good time for art, a good time for really aggressive entertainment that really criticises what is happening. When we have a terrible president and we are in a terrible situation politically, that’s when art can really thrive. That’s the one bright spot. It can be something that changes things. You have to believe that you can change things. That’s all we have got right now. It is so important to stay hopeful. Hope is what we have got to keep going.”
And along the way, even though she’s hardly the kind of person you’d suspect of being a Trump voter, Margaret –recently named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Best Stand-Up Comics of all time – is happy to keep apologising.
“I come to the UK every two years or so, and I just love it. I am really excited to be coming. It is pretty rare for an American comedian to come over.”
But no, she doesn’t intend to make allowance for different accents and different temperaments: “You have just got to be yourself. But everyone is so excited that you have come so far, and British audiences are so sophisticated. There are used to comedians having a whole new show every year, and I love that. I like the British comedians, and the audiences are definitely more sophisticated than American.”