Margaret Cho has always found a way to make her life inform her art. With her work as a stand-up comedian, an actor and a singer-songwriter, she has used the events of her life, both good and bad, to inspire her. Whether it’s growing up as a Korean-American girl in San Francisco or breaking through the male-dominated world of stand-up comedy in the early nineties, Cho has always found a way use all of life’s experiences to create entertainment.
Cho famously co-created and starred in the first sitcom that focused on an Asian American family. All-American Girl was cancelled in its first season, but it became a part of American television history and helped lay the groundwork for sitcoms like Fresh Off the Boat. Since then, Cho has continued her standup career, and appeared in numerous film and television shows including Dr. Ken, Family Guy, Sex in the City and on 30 Rock, where in separate episodes, she played North Korean dictators: Kim Jong Il and later his son Kim Jong-un.
Margaret Cho sat down with Jesse to talk about beginning her career during the 90s comedy boom in San Francisco, growing up in a Korean immigrant family, and how the community around her family’s gay bookstore continues to touch and inspire her life.
Margaret Cho’s new album American Myth is now available on iTunes and on her website, MargaretCho.com. She's also out on tour this May and June.
Whit Stillman is a writer-director who makes comedies of manners. With his films Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, the director often explores the world of young upper-class adults who are struggling to find their way in the world both at home and abroad. The films were each made on modest budgets and received praise from critics; his very first film, Metropolitan, garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.
His latest film Love and Friendship is adapted from Lady Susan, an unfinished novella by Jane Austen. The movie explores the familiar comedic tropes of Austen’s work including class, sexuality, deceit and manipulation.
Whit Stillman joined Jesse to talk about his love for Jane Austen, the importance of language in his films and how the comedy of Will Ferrell infiltrated his new period piece.
Whit Stillman’s new film Love and Friendship is in theaters this week.
Jesse sings the praises of a basketball scrapper who may not get all the fame, but is no less deserving of the glory.
This week, our episode is live at Marines Memorial Theater from SF Sketchfest!
Brianne, a dog trainer, owns a small poodle named Shilo. She likes to take Shilo everywhere – the bus, classes at SF State, even restaurants. But this annoys her boyfriend, Zach, who thinks that Shilo's constant company is annoying, saying that it's representative of Brianne's attitude that the rules don't apply to her. Does Shilo need a shorter leash? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
We're also joined by past expert witness JOHN DARNIELLE of The Mountain Goats for a truly special musical set.
Poet and comedian Bucky Sinister joins Jesse and Jordan for a discussion of San Francisco tourist attractions, Jesse's trip to Mexico, and the Rocket Scouts.
Action item: send in ideas for The Rocket Scouts merit badges.
Go to http://www.rocketscouts.com.
Comedian Marc Maron, host of WTF joins Jesse and Jordan to play Would You Rather with Jim Real, The Master of Would You Rather, and to talk about baseball coaches, family and long-distance car travel.
I love Fresh Air's "rock historian" Ed Ward. He really nails it every time out - even when he covers stuff I know a lot about I learn something, and I'm never lost when he covers something I've never heard of.
He's had two great Fresh Air segments recently. This one covered the early days of Sly Stone (aka Sylvester Stewart), when Stone was still best known as a radio DJ and record producer. It even includes some rock records he produced (I had no idea, and I couldn't be a bigger fan).
This one covered another early-70s soul legend, Syl Johnson. I had no idea his career stretched so far back before his days working with Willie Mitchell, as the bluesier Al Greene.
My childhood best friend Jody Scott has spent the last few years playing trumpet with a great band called Bayonics. They play dance music - some salsa, some funk and a bit of reggae. No hippie bullshit - this is a serious Bay Area band with roots in groups like Tower of Power and Sly & the Family Stone. Their home base is the Elbo Room on Valencia Street in San Francisco, in my old stomping grounds. They've really got something great going, and you should check out their work and consider supporting their Kickstarter. Their goal is simply to manufacture their album (which they've recorded) and do a bit of marketing. I backed the effort - $10 will get me the album when it's released. Consider doing the same.
Heather called this event in to Jordan, Jesse, Go! as a momentous occasion, but the photographic evidence is so much more exciting. It's a TSOYA Rocket Tee visiting the Giants' World Series trophy! Doesn't get better than that.
I went into the Hype Men podcast yesterday and had a lot of fun talking about my hip-hop history and the Bay Area. In fact, I'd say I had hella fun. Sent me down into YouTube, listening to tracks by the hottest MC repping San Francisco right now, Roach Gigz. This one was a favorite.
We had a really fun show last month as part of San Francisco Sketchfest, thanks to everyone who came out, our great performers and interview guests, Sketchfest and the Eureka Theatre. If you missed it, it's all here for you in convenient podcast form.
Baron Vaughn is a standup comedian who splits his time between LA and NYC. You can also see him on the USA series "Fairly Legal".
Kasper Hauser is, of course, one of our favorite sketch groups and an important part of the San Francisco comedy scene. You can subscribe to The Kasper Hauser Podcast on our site to hear more from them.
We also have a chat with Steve Dildarian, creator of the HBO series The Life and Times of Tim (you might know several of his Superbowl Budweiser spots, among many other commercials, created in his former life as an ad man). (Transcript)
We brought on the very funny writer, actor, and director Bobcat Goldthwait to talk about his latest directorial effort, World's Greatest Dad, why he quit standup comedy, and setting the record straight on some of the past antics. (Transcript)
This short film, which is very NSFW, was the genesis of HBO's "The Life and Times of Tim."
WHAT A COINCIDENCE!
I'M INTERVIEWING THE CREATOR OF SAID PROGRAM ON MY LIVE SHOW SATURDAY IN SAN FRANCISCO?