In the brazen world of comedienne Margaret Cho, anything goes. She's cleverly crass in speaking against a society that's opposed to homosexuality and feminism while also supportive in defying gender, race, and sex issues. She's flat-out funny when doing so; her frank and raucous approach simply cannot be ignored. Her live double disc, Notorious C.H.O., captures a special evening at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Cho's 2001-2002 North American tour. Cho introduces her album by chastising terrorism and praising America for their post-September 11 bounce back. She makes it OK to laugh -- laugh a lot -- at getting drunk, doing drugs, and having sex. Of course, she's not one to fully condone these particular acts, but she hits upon everything everyone else is afraid to speak about. "Alan and Jeremy" is a killer, a glamorous homage to her late drag-queen friends. But Cho's impersonation of her Korean mother has made her a star; on "Daddy Gay Story," Cho's take on her mom is hilarious, but touchingly sweet. Her personal reflections of her own battles with eating disorders and self-esteem come into play as well; "Marriage" and "Women's Magazines" offer a sense of control. Cho has the opportunity to stand on her soapbox and make people listen. People who are mature enough to hear what she's saying and laugh at the same time will get it. Notorious C.H.O. offers everyone the sense to look inside themselves, deal with the issues, and laugh. Nothing in life is that veiled.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2