San Francisco native Margaret Cho brings her “PsyCHO Tour” to the Castro. (Courtesy Mary Taylor)

San Francisco native Margaret Cho brings her “PsyCHO Tour” to the Castro. (Courtesy Mary Taylor)

The serious side of Margaret Cho

Comedian Margaret Cho doesn’t find anything funny about police brutality, violence against women — whether perpetrated by Bill Cosby or ISIS — and homophobia in Russia. They all drive her mad.

“It’s a horrifying planet,” she says. “Between the racism, sexism and homophobia we’re seeing every day on our news feeds — it’s an outrage. So those are the things I want to talk about in my new show.“

“Margaret Cho: The psyCHO Tour” comes to the Castro Theatre for two shows Thursday.

The San Francisco native doesn’t have to look far to see how crazy things have gotten. She sees enough of it in The City.

“I am saddened by how the freaks, weirdos and artists are being priced out,” she mourns. “San Francisco used to be a haven for oddballs, and now it’s just changed a lot. It’s great that we are a technological mecca, but at the same time, economically it shifts the status quo there, so that people who made it what it was can’t be there anymore.”

If Cho finds The City’s housing crisis troubling, she regards its homelessness epidemic as truly devastating. So inspired by late comedian Robin Williams’ generosity, the comedian and singer launched the #BeRobin campaign in late 2014, which found her busking on the streets of San Francisco to raise money for homeless services.

“I was really excited to do it, but it was hard,” she recalls. “Homeless people have such a hard time in San Francisco, because everything’s so expensive. So entertaining these people, who never get to see shows, was the best.”

Whether Cho is performing on the street or in a theater, she hopes her inclusive brand of comedy enables the disenfranchised to feel enough support to weather the craziness.

“When I was growing up around standup comedy, it was OK to make fun of Asians or gay and trans people, so there was always a feeling of fear,” she remembers. “But when I started doing comedy, I felt that this was a place where people could come and feel safe and enjoy this art form. So I love that I get to do that.”

As a longtime marriage equality advocate and deputy marriage commissioner since 2008, Cho is also excited to wed gay couples at her shows. And the dissolution of her own 11-year marriage hasn’t made her any less wild about the institution.

“I definitely believe in it,” she says. “I believe in marriage and love always.”

IF YOU GO
Margaret Cho – The psyCHO Tour
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.
When: 8 and 10:30 p.m. Oct. 15
Tickets: $35 to $55
Contact: (415) 621-6120, www.ticketmaster.com

CastroComedyhomeless advocatemargaret choMarriage Equality

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