Cover image for I'm the one that I want
I'm the one that I want
Cho, Margaret.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
213 pages ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.C538 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Comedian. Icon. TV star. Hollywood casualty. Role model. Trash talker. Fag hag. Gypsy. Tramp. Thief.Margaret Cho is the only living human being to be all these things without having multiple personality disorder and she displays them all in this funny, fierce, and honest memoir. At age sixteen Margaret dropped out of school and began touring as a standup comedian. By twenty-three she was the star of her own sitcom, "All-American Girl", the groundbreaking show featuring television's first Asian American family. But the road to fame wasn't smooth, and when the sitcom crashed and burned, so did Margaret. Without ever losing her trademark humor, Margaret tells her astonishing tale of dieting her way into the hospital, drinking her way into oblivion, then rising from the ashes in her smash-hit one-woman show and record-breaking concert film. As one of the country's most visible Asian Americans, she has a unique perspective on identity and acceptance. As one of the country's funniest and most quoted personalities, she takes no prisoners. And as a warm and wise woman who has seen the highs and lows of life, she has words of encouragement for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. I'm the One That I Wantis filled with dead-on insights about the experience of being a woman with attitude. In her own wicked style, Margaret Cho has written a book every bit as funny, shocking, and irreverent as she is.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Cho, a popular comedian, based this book on her comedy show of the same title. It opens during her traumatic childhood, full of painful scenes in which her peers tease her mercilessly and, worse, her friends turn on her and join the ranks of her tormentors. Later, during high school and beyond, a string of bad boyfriends and a variety of drugs weigh her down. but she finds her calling in comedy. She thinks her ship has come in when she gets her own TV sitcom, All-American Girl, about a Korean family in America. But the show is panned by the critics, Asian Americans angrily insist it doesn't represent their experience, and Cho herself hates it. After it is canceled, she descends into another bad relationship and alcoholism, until she hits bottom and realizes she is the only one who can pick herself up. Her message--the importance of self-love and the devastatingly destructive power of self-hatred--is valuable if familiar, and she puts it across without preachiness or self-importance. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

Expanding on her one-woman show (and film) of the same title, comedian Cho mines her improbable life. The misfit daughter of Korean immigrants in San Francisco (who named her Moran, which she likens to naming a kid "Asshill"), she dropped out of high school, gaining success in stand-up even as she succumbed to self-loathing, substance abuse, bad boyfriends and the siren song of Hollywood. As star of the first Asian-American sitcom (All-American Girl), she was forced to diet herself into sickness even as the show strayed from her story and quickly foundered. This book runs into the inevitable challenge of converting performance into print; neither a script nor a fully fleshed-out memoir, it works episodically but ultimately fizzles. Descriptions of the endless lousy men in Cho's life, perhaps disarming onstage, become tedious on the page. Still, she finds humor in pathos. Working on a pilot with a sitcom writer, she held back the truth: "I was unemployed and trying to kick a sick crystal meth habit by smoking huge bags of paraquat-laced marijuana and watching Nick at Night for six hours at a time. Now, that's a sitcom." Cho knows how great comics tend toward self-destruction, finding it hard to come down from stage adulation. Still, her discovery of self-esteem and New Agey conclusions ("I discovered there was a goddess deep inside me") are something that an acerbic comedian like Cho shouldn't embrace without irony. (May) Forecast: Cho's five-city tour and radio satellite tour will bring her to the attention of her young, hip audience. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Cho, the talented and witty comedienne who starred in All American Girl, the first Asian American sitcom, here adds to the growing list of celebrity autobiographies in a self-indulgent effort boasting all of the elements that make such works popular. She discusses her problems as a child, troubled teen years, dangerous drug habits, weight battles, and feelings about her one-woman show, which is now being well received by Asian Americans. Unfortunately, the book, which is adapted from her show, feels more like an exercise a therapist might have suggested than a serious autobiography. It is sexually explicit, which may make it inappropriate for younger readers, and contains an overabundance of obscenities apparently used more for shock value than substance. Cho's comedic wit does not translate well to print, and it seems that she could not decide whether to write for laughs or sentiment, resulting in an uneven blend. While this may have limited appeal to her fans, it is a minimal purchase at best. Not recommended. Rosalind Dayen, Broward Cty. South Regional Lib., Pembroke Pines, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.