Monday, May 16, 2011

If you're Korean American and raised in Nashville... you can't help but be funny!!

Cho, who is of Korean American descent, was raised in Knoxville and went into stand-up comedy in 1986. He attended University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1989 to pursue his career, but always with the intent of returning to his roots in Tennessee.

Cho often uses his childhood experiences as an Asian American in the South in his comedy. "I'm an Asian with a Southern accent," remarks Cho, "To a lot of people, that right there is funny." 

From the start of his career, Henry Cho was determined to be more than just an Asian comic. "I wanted to be a comic--period," he asserts. And to that end, he has developed routines that work as well at the dinner table as they do at comedy clubs. 
Cho got into comedy on a whim. One Monday night in 1986, he signed up for an "open mic" competition that was being taped in Knoxville for a Showtime special. "I watched the first five guys go up," he recalls, "and then I told my buddies, 'I'm gonna go up, try not to embarrass myself, and then we're out of here.' But I just destroyed the crowd. I got a standing ovation."
When Cho walked off the stage, the owner of the Funny Bone Comedy Clubs offered him a spot hosting the show for the rest of that week. By Friday, he had decided to drop out of college. A few months later, he was booked for his first nationwide tour, a six-week baptism by fire. "I've been doing it ever since," he says.
"My stand-up has always been a direct reflection of my life," Cho explains. "When I was single, I talked about single stuff. I talked about dating. When I got married, there were only a handful of stories I could move over to where I wasn't going to be disrespectful to my wife. So I developed a new routine." It was a comic windfall that his wife's family lives in Arab, Alabama. And now Cho and his wife have three kids to add stories to the mix.  
Cho at Addison Improv 
Henry’s TV and film credits include appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, CBS’s The Late, Late, Show, and NBC’s Young Comedians Special. He served two years as host of NBC’s Friday Night Videos and had many guest roles on various network sitcoms. 

Henry’s one hour Comedy Central Special, “What’s That Clickin Noise?” is currently running and he can also be heard on Sirrus, XM and Blue Collar Radio.

Some of Henry’s film credits include Universal’s McHale’s Navy with Tom Arnold and David Allen Greer; Say It Isn’t So with Heather Graham and Sally Field; and Material Girls with Hilary Duff and Angelica Houston produced by Madonna.

Henry was the keynote entertainer for The 59th Annual Radio & Television Correspondents’ Dinner attended by the Bush Administration and has worked extensively with Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood and many others. Henry’s clean comedy is so versatile that he can headline Vegas and then tour with Michael W. Smith in the same month.

Most recently Henry has inked a deal with CBS and Paramount Studios to co-create, write, co-produce with Craig Ferguson and star in his own sitcom.

Henry donated proceeds from his May performances in Opelika and Florence to the Alabama Tornado Relief.  That makes him not only a stand-up comedian, but a stand up guy as well.

 Henry Cho on The Late Late with Craig Ferguson



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