Home Television Comedy All-American Girl

All-American Girl

1 9 9 4 – 1 9 9 5 (USA)
19 x 30 minute episodes

Korean-American Margaret Cho was one of many stand-up comics in the 1990s to earn a shot as a situation comedy star. Cho played Margaret Kim, a young woman who lived with her traditional Korean-American family in San Francisco.

Margaret worked at the beauty counter of a department store, and her independent ways about dating, finding a new career and living her own life clashed with her mother (Jodi Long) and father (Clyde Kusatsu), who wanted her to settle down with a good Korean man and become a wife and mother.

Older brother Stuart (BD Wong) was engaged and studying to be a doctor; younger brother Eric (J. B. Quon) looked up to her.

Maddie Corman and Judy Gold played her co-workers Ruthie and Gloria. Amy Hill was Grandma, who was generally supportive of Margaret’s goals.

Cho later wrote in her book I’m The One That I Want, about her brief experience as a sitcom star. ABC executives thought she was overweight so she went on a starvation diet but by the time the show’s pilot was taped, she suffered from kidney problems.

Cho was also criticised for being either “too Asian” or “not Asian enough” (producers even hired a coach so she could become “more Asian”) and the series was blasted by critics for its stereotypical depictions of Koreans and gays.

Despite several format changes, the show was cancelled after one season. Cho used her experience on All-American Girl as comic fodder, with her book and a one-woman show that won acclaim.

Margaret Kim
Margaret Cho
Yung-hee “Grandma” Kim
Amy Hill
Katherine Kim
Jodi Long
Benny Kim
Clyde Kusatsu
Ruthie Latham
Maddie Corman
Gloria Schechter
Judy Gold
Eric Kim
J.B. Quon
Dr Stuart Kim
BD Wong
Casey Emmerson
Ashley Johnson