Building her comedy partly from a passion for her art and partly from her mother's humor, Margaret Cho has created a style all her own.
She plans to use that style when she visits Knoxville tonight to perform her candid show, "MOTHER."
Known for her brass sense of humor, Cho doesn't plan to hold back at the show.
"It's really dirty jokes and things that can't be repeated anywhere," Cho said. "(It's) something that's dangerous and not something that you can see anywhere. It's well-written, but it's raunchy."
Born in San Franscisco to Korean parents, Cho said her relationship with them has transformed as she's grown older.
"I think parents in general really become more of your friends as you grow older," Cho said. "They become less of an authority figure."
Cho started in the comedy scene roaming the college circuit in the early 1990s, and was soon nominated for "Campus Comedian of the Year."
As her career progressed, Cho took her jokes from the stage to the screen, starring her 2008 VH1 television series "The Cho Show", and most recently on the Lifetime series "Drop Dead Diva" as Teri Lee.
"I think they're both great. I really enjoy working in both," she said. "It's wonderful to be able to do comedy. It's all great."
Throughout her years as an entertainer, Cho remained loyal to her raw comedic style. In an industry where the majority of comedians dishing out raunchy jokes are men, Cho stands apart for her no apologies jokes.
"I've just always wanted to do comedy as an art form. It's something that I've always enjoyed," Cho said. "I guess it doesn't matter to me what people are saying. I would rather just be a good comic. I think it's important just to be a good comic. I think that kind of transcends any ideas about women and what people think they should (be)."
"MOTHER" will focus heavily on views of strong women within the gay community, as well as other aspects of popular culture. The argument of legalizing gay marriage has been a focal point in the U.S., and Cho doesn't plan to stray from the sensitive subject.
"I think (gay marriage) is really important for equal rights," she said. "That's my (complete) take on everything as it relates to marriage equality."
Hannah LaPrise, senior in global studies, said she enjoys how Cho advocates for gay rights without seeming overbearing.
"I like that she's made it a part of who she is, how she cares like that, and how she makes it part of her persona," LaPrise said. "She's made it pretty non-threatening because she is a comedian."
Tomorrow not being her first time in Knoxville, Cho plans to alleviate some nostalgia by eating at The Tomato Head in Market Square.
"I'm really excited to come back there," she said.
"MOTHER" starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Bijou Theater. Tickets for the show are $25 plus applicable fees and can be purchased at www.knoxbijou.com.