Comedian Margaret Cho believes that the phenomenal success of Survivor may well mark the beginning of the end for performers like herself. "Reality-based television is the death to entertainers," Cho tells TV Guide Online. "We don't like that! We want to stay special. We can't have ordinary people going and doing what we do."
Curious as to what all the hoopla was about, Cho recently sampled CBS's reality soap for the first time. What was her assessment? "It's kind of like The Breakfast Club, but on a beach," she says, adding, "I love the hysteria the whole country is going through over it. It's bringing people close. It's been a long time since people had parties over a TV show."
One thing's certain: If Cho could survive the slings and arrows of Hollywood, she'd have no trouble enduring life on Pulau Tiga. During her stint on the ABC sitcom All-American Girl, execs forced her to lose weight and the ensuing emotional and physical stress led her to abuse drugs and alcohol. And, as Cho recalls, the low point came during a photo shoot where she was "hungry, overworked and exhausted." Finally, the funny girl broke down.
"I just started crying," she explains. "I couldn't change the way I looked anymore. What [the photographer] was saying wasn't necessarily wrong. He was just trying to get me to stand tall, but I thought it was the world telling me, 'You're too fat to live.' It was one of those perfect Hollywood moments. The whole cast [of All-American Girl] was there and I was bawling and smiling and trying to take pictures. I think I took diva lessons somewhere where it's OK to have a nervous breakdown in the middle of the day."
Cho relives those dark times in her concert film I'm the One That I Want, which recently opened in limited release. An autobiography also is on the way and, as Cho reveals, get ready for one juicy read. "There's a lot of trash ? trashy drug and alcohol escapades from the mid-'90's," she says. "I love a real trashy, campy read."