Margaret Cho — a comedian best known for poking fun at her ethnicity and sexuality — will perform at Northwestern on April 2, Asian American Advisory Board officials announced Thursday, the same night as the A&O Ball.
The William Morris Agency, which represents Cho, confirmed Cho will be performing at NU on April 2 pending the contract.
Alan Fu, president of AAAB, said he began considering Cho as a speaker when he learned that she was touring and was still filling spots for the spring.
“I didn’t even think it was possible to bring her,” said Fu, a Weinberg senior. “We were only allocated $3,500 for a spring event, so I thought it was hopeless. But I fund raised like crazy. After five days, I got over $10,000 from our sponsors.”
When Fu was done pooling money, the list of co-sponsors had grown considerably. At present, AAAB, Rainbow Alliance, Women’s Coalition, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association and the Residence Hall Association have all contributed to the cause.
“It’s pretty inspiring how many people want her to come,” Fu said. “We didn’t plan this at all. We were just going to bring some boring speaker for the spring.”
Rainbow Alliance co-president Sharon Roberson said Cho is a “really good positive voice for the LGBT community.
“She makes us laugh, but it’s a positive type of laughter,” said Roberson, a McCormick sophomore. “It’s not at the expense of the LGBT community; it’s something we can laugh with.”
Fu agrees that Cho’s humor spans more than the ordinary stand-up routine.
“I’ve always been impressed for all she’s done for Asian Americans,” Fu said. “She had the first Asian-American sitcom. She definitely breaks a lot of stereotypes for our community.”
Coincidentally, April 2 is the date for another performance — the A&O Ball, reportedly featuring Zwan and Queens of the Stone Age.
“We were worried,” Roberson said. “We didn’t want to compete with them. I don’t think either show will hurt. … A lot of Chicagoland people could come (to both shows).”
Jonathan Berman, director of A&O, said a double-booking is not without precedent.
“Eve Ensler was initially booked the same day as Jurassic 5,” Berman said. “That was an oversight … but accidents happen. We were happy and willing to work with that group to work around the problem.”
Berman noted that Ensler’s performance was eventually moved to the same evening as the Ben Folds concert — and both events were successful.
“We cannot sacrifice a concert to avoid a double-booking,” said Berman, a Weinberg senior. “It’s a fact of programming on this campus. It’s a good thing our campus is large enough to have good showings at both events.
“I think the biggest problem that’s facing NU is that we’re too good with campus programming.” Berman said. “That’s a good problem to have. … I know people really want to have all these events happen.”
NU students who have seen Cho perform sang her praises.
“The show was so funny that my body physically couldn’t take it,” said Corey Robinson, a Weinberg freshman. “I haven’t laughed that hard in my life. I burned 3,000 calories just laughing.”
Emily Berger said Cho was a phenomenal catch for NU.
“I’ve seen all three of her shows because I’m obsessed,” said Berger, a Weinberg sophomore. “She’s in-your-face and sensitive at the same time. I think she’s perfect for college students.”