Video: Margaret Cho Sings and Strips to Benefit SF Homeless
“I kinda have to take a shit, so that’s why I’m not performing right now,” said comedienne Margaret Cho, right before taking a break in her 12 Noon busking performance today at Castro & Market St. Margaret Cho is performing for free, several weekdays at 12 Noon in random spots all over San Francisco to raise money for San Francisco’s homeless community. We’ve got exclusive (YouTube) video from professional videographer-for-hire Alexandra Liss, who captured highlights of today’s free show including author Polly Superstar, ukelele sexpot chanteuse Rachel Lark and Margaret Cho herself strumming tunes, stripping down and rabble-rousing for San Francisco’s homeless population.
The philanthropy of Ms. Cho’s free perfomances runs very simply. Margaret Cho just cold shows up and performs completely for free, somewhere in San Francisco at 12 Noon on a given weekday. (The next one is Wednesday, November 26 at Noon in the Tenderloin.) If you can afford something to donate, bring it. She asks for donations of cash, clothing and food for the homeless — donations which go directly to the homeless right there that afternoon. You can get a selfie with Margaret Cho for $5! Then that $5 gets handed right to some needy homeless person within like an hour. The better your donation, the wilder the shit Margaret Cho will do. Shenanigans inevitably ensue, and today donors got her to strip down to her underwear at the end of her set.
Broke-Ass Stuart’s own Alexandra Liss was on the scene to take this HD video of Margaret Cho busking and stripping. You’ll hear more about the ‘Margaret Cho stripping’ incident Wednesday night when Polly Superstar (the towering blonde in the pink jacket) appears on the premiere episode of The Kinda Late Show with Broke-Ass Stuart.
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Why Margaret Cho is Performing (and Sometimes Stripping!) for Free
Margaret Cho is taking time from her rich-and-famous-person schedule to perform a bunch of free lunchtime shows, twice every week through the end of the year, occasionally exposing herself in the process. What is up with Margaret Cho doing this for free?
“This is the only way that I can remember Robin Williams, because I don’t know if people understand what a philanthropist he was,” Ms. Cho said on Tuesday . “He raised $70 million for the homeless. He gave and gave and gave. And I think the problem was that we never thought to teach him how to receive. And so I feel so bad about that.”
At this point, all of us in the audience are fucking breaking down crying.
“Michael Pritchard said ‘Don’t grieve Robin, be Robin’,” she said. “So that’s what we’re here doing.”
“There’s so many kids out there that don’t have homes,” Ms. Cho continued. “People are not allowed to sit down in the street. That’s a law! That people are not allowed to sit down on the street. How can that be in San Francisco? How can that be?”
“So we are just going to make it as easy [for homeless youth] as we can,” Ms. Cho said. “For the next two months I’m going to be doing this every day I’m free. I’m going to be gone on the weekends to work, but I come back to the city probably every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday that I can. I’ll tweet it, I’m @MargaretCho. We’re going to do the Tenderloin. We’re going to do Dolores Park. Every day we’ll have a lot of leftover [donations] and we’ll take it to people that need it, so it gets distributed to the right people.”
The San Francisco LGBTQ Homeless Issue
Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary author Polly Superstar (at left) does not call the San Francisco homeless population “hood rats” or “gutter punks”. She calls them “success stories”.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge, a lot of homeless kids who come to San Francisco, are actually traveling here from all over the country. They’re not failures in this town,”. Ms. Superstar said. “Even the fact that they’re here is a success, because they broke out of the small town that they were in where they weren’t accepted and came here.”
“That’s what we need to support in this town. That’s what makes the homeless situation in San Francisco so different,” she said. “It’s important to acknowledge the LGBTQ youth that we have in San Francisco.”
What to Bring to Donate at Margaret Cho’s Free Shows
“Yesterday’s special was hickory tuna, and today’s special is nicotine gum and hand sanitizer,” Ms. Cho told the audience, rounding up donations.
“We need socks!” yelled Ms. Cho’s partner in crime Gerri Lee Lawlor. “Socks are like gold to the homeless!”
Here are some recommended items to donate if you come to any of Margaret Cho’s free noontime shows:
- Brand new socks
- Hickory tuna
- Nicotine gum
- Hand sanitizer
- Ready-to-eat foods
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Bottled or canned beverages
- Canned food or soup (with pop tops!)
- Sandwiches (PBJ, or even cans of peanut butter)
- Energy/granola bars
- Hand sanitizer
- Warm clothing
“If you have, give. And if you need, take. That’s our motto,” Margaret Cho declared on Tuesday.
If you have, give at one of Margaret Cho’s upcoming free noontime weekday performances. She’ll be in the Tendlerloin Wednesday at Noon (the day before Thanksgiving!) and you can find the whereabouts of her other shows on her Twitter page.