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Interview: Korean American Comedian Danny Cho Tells it Like it is

I was in Seoul visiting relatives the last time Danny Cho came to Busan almost two years ago, and I won’t lie, I was pissed off. I hate having to skip out on comedy shows, and as co-host of the Ha Ha Hole, I feel honor-bound to be there for all of them when possible.  But the message from my buddy and fellow co-host Chris Tharp is still on my old grandmotherly LG Cyon cell phone. It reads, Dude, Danny Cho KILLED. High praise indeed.

Danny is returning back to the scene of the aforementioned murder on May 18th, this time at Beached Bar, after doing a Friday night show in Seoul on the 17th.

Danny’s got some serious street cred, having appeared on MadTV and Parks and Recreation, in addition to other high-profile shows.  This LA-based Korean-American comic certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind, whether it be on mic or on paper.  Earlier this month, he was gracious enough to answer a few innocent questions for Haps.

What’s the best thing you ever got from stand-up?

Stand up, in a very selfish way, is very cathartic to me. I get paid to vent out my frustrations and hopefully the crowd finds my rants funny. So I get to relieve stress and get paid for it. The only other job I can think of with similar benefits is being a sperm donor.

Comedians and bands get a lot of down-time on the road; what do you do to break up the monotony?

I’m not much of a sightseeing type of guy. If I have a night off on the road, I’d probably do some heavy drinking and eating. One time in between gigs, I took a tour of a jelly bean factory and realized that sometimes being active on the road is a bad thing. Most of the time, I am usually in a robe, walking around the hotel, trying to creep out other guests.

I’d like to prove that the majority of Asian women have no ass. Growing up in an area where women with a juicy rear end is all the rage, most Asian women I have seen in my life time just don’t have it. It’s ok though. They still have beautiful personalities.’

What’s the funniest movie ever made?

I can’t really put one movie at the top. It really depends on my mood. Nacho Libre will undoubtedly make me laugh. Jack Black really kills me in this movie. His terrible Mexican accent, the physical comedy, and some outrageous scenes, just puts me in a good place all the time.

Another movie that makes me laugh all the time and I know I shouldn’t is Bloodsport. I have no idea why, I laugh at everything in that movie.

It’s 4:00 a.m. and you’re starving.  What’s the only meal worth eating?

Given how crappy my lifestyle is, I eat at 4:00a.m. all the time. I am currently on a ramen phase–which really doesn’t help my Korean Big Face Syndrome–but I always have to put some egg and rice cakes in it. If those items are not available, the next best move is spam and eggs.  When eating that late, the move is to eat something good and greasy enough to put you right to sleep. Spam and Eggs is that one combo that really knocks me out. And quit fronting, white people, SPAM is delicious.

Here’s a ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’ question:  Kim Kardashian, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Helen Mirren. 

I’d fuck Kim Kardashian. I’d kill Gwenyth Paltrow, and I’d marry Helen Mirren. Maybe it’s because I’m from a ghetto area in LA but Kim Kardashian’s body is outrageous; she has a phenomenal ass. She may not have any other good qualities beyond her body, but out of the 3 women, she is the one I’d love to bang. I’d probably kill Gwenyth Paltrow because she seems so boring. I know it isn’t wise to judge a book by its cover, but from her voice to her dumb, boring face, and her banana tits, I really don’t need her in my life. Helen Mirren is the one I would marry. I’m sure she amassed a decent amount of money. And chances of her dying before me are pretty good. Even though, many people might disagree. And in terms of sex, I can just turn off the lights and think about the younger version of her. Young Helen Mirren was quite tasty-looking.

In the wake of the Daniel Tosh, Michael Richards, Tracy Morgan incidents, how do you feel about comics having to potentially censor their material?

I am against comedians censoring themselves.  I am a person that loves Stand up because there is an ability to be really honest on stage. Out of the three guys, Daniel Tosh and Tracy Morgan shouldn’t have apologized in my opinion. I’m not saying rape or being homophobic is ok. I’m saying given the context of what they said on stage, they were saying things that comics should be allowed to say. Tracy Morgan has being saying ridiculous shit his entire career on stage, and now that he has some clout, overly- sensitive people are calling him out. I think it’s just a bit overboard these days with people trying so hard to be Politically Correct.

Michael Richards, on the other hand, really got out of hand. His attempt at dealing with a heckler was a pretty monumental fail. There was pure anger and hatred behind his reactions. People don’t realize that Michael Richards really wasn’t a stand-up comedian. He was a comedic actor! They are not the same thing. So even though I feel that most hecklers should get shot in the face, Michael Richards handled that situation in the worst way possible.

You’ve shared the stage with some legendary comics.  Tell us a story about one of them.

All my stories are kind of incriminating so, I shall keep these to myself.

What racial stereotypes would you like to prove or disprove based on your life experiences so far?

I’d like to prove that the majority of Asian women have no ass. Growing up in an area where women with a juicy rear end is all the rage, most Asian women I have seen in my life time just don’t have it. It’s ok though. They still have beautiful personalities.

Do you ever go full Christian Bale on hecklers?

I never really yell at hecklers. Trust me, I hate hecklers with a passion. I believe that everyone that heckles are people that clearly do not need to exist. If they don’t like what I am saying on stage, then leave.  But I tend to attack them in a way where I don’t curse them out in pure anger. I just really try to tell the heckler how shitty a person they really are.

Describe your worst gig ever.

I’ve had a few nightmare gigs. Here is one that sticks out from the rest. I was asked to do a benefit show for a drug rehab center. In my mind, I thought it was going to be a rich people drug rehab center. When I got to the venue, I was shocked to see that the show was going to be held in a cafeteria at 4:30 in the afternoon.  It turned out to be a crack rehab center. Let’s just say that there were more chairs than teeth in the room.

Name a famous comedian who bumped you and completely bombed.

I’ve seen a lot of comics bomb on stage. People have this notion that superstar comedians do not bomb on stage but I’ve seen countless people eat their ass on stage. Dane Cook, Chris Rock, etc.

If you could write your own epitaph, what would it be?

‘Great set Danny Cho, really great set.’

You can check out Danny live in Seoul on the 17th and then again in Busan at Beached Bar on the 18th.

Photos by: Denkym, Cootie Studios and Social Trust. All provided by Danny Cho.



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