We’ve adored Margaret Cho ever since her standup special “I’m the One that I Want” (2000) in which she imaged Karl Lagerfeld as a murderer, spoke of getting her lady parts “waaaarrrsshhhed” by hospital worker Gwen and joked about dragging gay men to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Since that time she’s recorded a half dozen standup specials, appeared in several motion pictures and was Emmy nominated for her portrayal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on 30 Rock. On the set for a new Orbitz commercial, Cho answered our favorite travel questions. (Who would’ve thought her dream road trip is to Denny’s?)
What is your hometown and why should we want to visit it?
Margaret Cho My hometown is San Francisco and it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s really an amazing place for history, for food, for everything. I really recommend it.
What is one totally touristy thing you love to do and why?
MC I love going to Hong Kong and going to the Buddhist temples where you can buy all these paper objects and then you burn them in an altar for the day. So I went and bought Joan Rivers a bunch of jewelry and I got her a Chihuahua and a leash and a collar and a new iPhone 6—but it was all cardboard, and I burned them for her spirit.
New York and Los Angeles are both rival cities. What is one thing each city does better than the other?
MC Los Angeles does movies better. This is where all of that exists. New York does theater better; it’s what you think of when you think of the city. It’s this history and tradition. L.A. has theater, but it’s different. That’s what I think are both city’s strengths.
You decide to take a road trip with three famous people. Who are those people and where do you go?
MC I’d like to go to Denny’s in some small town with Bianca Del Rio, Hillary Clinton and Charlotte Rae. I know [Rae] and think she’s real funny. She’s a hoot.
What is the one essential thing you always have to take with you when you travel?
MC My earplugs because I can never fall asleep in a different place every night. I have to have earplugs to create a stasis so that my ears are always the same.
Window, middle or aisle seat and why?
I’m an aisle seat person because I always get up. I’m continually getting up and going to the bathroom so I’m an “aisler.”
If you could be rewarded with any travel upgrade, what would it be?
MC Oh, I love a Suites Class; that’s beyond first class. It’s like a hotel room in the sky. Singapore Airlines has it and its service is legendary.
If someone told you to “take a hike,” where would you go hiking and why?
MC Runyon Canyon in L.A.! It’s one of the greatest places to hike. It’s a very Hollywood thing to do and I am Hollywood.
Name a destination that you thought would be awful, but you loved it?
MC I thought Helsinki would be really cold and really difficult, but it was so fun. I love going there. I go there every year. I love Scandinavia, it’s just so fabulous. It’s like winter chic.
What creature comfort do you miss the most when you’re on the road?
MC My own bed, my own pillows. My stuffed animals which I don’t take on the road with me. I could probably, but I don’t do that.
Group or solo travel and why?
MC I like solo travel because I’m used to it. I’ve done it for my entire adult life; it’s part of my work. You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want and so I love that.
If we were to bring you room service, what would you be wearing when you answered the door?
MC I’m usually in the hotel robe. It’s always really scratchy though. It depends on where you are. I’m probably wearing the hotel robe or a T-shirt and sweat pants.
Fill in the blank. My friends like traveling with me because…
MC I always have a spirit of adventure and fun and travel is a big part of my life and I do it a lot so I can help you if you’re not used to it. I can get down with any plan, I just love it.