Hi, Reddit. Mo Rocca here. You know me from The Daily Show and my cooking show My Grandmother's Ravioli.

I'm shooting my new CBS Saturday morning show Innovation Nation at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan outside of Detroit. We premiere Saturday morning, September 27th.

Here’s some proof. Now ask me anything!

EDIT: Okey-dokey, I'm heading back to set here at The Henry Ford Museum. I hope that you give Innovation Nation a look this Saturday morning on CBS. THANK YOU for your thoughtful questions. This was a very nice experience for me. (Er, more like a "good" experience. "Nice" is an anemic word. As Sondheim wrote in Into The Woods, "Nice is different than good.")

Comments: 238 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

hpcisco7965189 karma

Mo, I only know you from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and I just wanted to say that I enjoy your contributions to that show!

Is Peter Sagal as cool as he sounds? Do you have Carl Kasell's voice on your answering machine?!

Mo_Rocca103 karma

You know, I need to get Carl to recording my outgoing message. Peter IS cool. He rides a motorcycle. He's the best thing to happen to baldness since Telly Savalas.

okaykoala34 karma

You've had such a varied (and awesome) career--Wishbone, Daily Show, My Grandmother's Ravioli, CBS, Wait, Wait. How have you managed to make it in so many outlets with so many interests? Were there any times when you doubted yourself?

Mo_Rocca53 karma

This is a flattering question. At times I've done many projects (sometimes simultaneously) precisely because I did doubt myself. But for the most part, I've always been that guy that preferred the variety pack of cereals. I liked exploring lots of different things.

That's changed over time. (My cooking show is the fullest expression of my skills and interests. Writing for Wishbone remains my most formative experience. It's where I learned to tell a story.)

But I can say that I don't ever regret doing so many projects. When you can't answer that annoying question, "What exactly do you want to do?" - and I never could - then the next best thing you can do is Pollacking (as in Jackson): throw a bunch of things against the wall and see what sticks.

rovalle3029 karma

Do you know how to make ravioli?

Mo_Rocca107 karma

Not yet. The last episode of My Grandmother's Ravioli will feature me making ravioli. Then, as I leave the kitchen and walk toward camera, the kitchen behind me will blow up.

Janers193928 karma

Hey Mo! Have you ever had lice? You have such great hair, I'd think they love hanging out in there!

Mo_Rocca61 karma

Thank you, my hair has never looked better. (Hint: I'm not shampooing every day.) I did have lice when I was in 4th grade but that was only because I used Prell. And lice love Prell.

cactus_legs26 karma

Hi from Ann Arbor. What is something you were afraid to eat, but actually like?

Mo_Rocca38 karma

In Hermosillo, Mexico: an eyeball taco

irsmartblonde21 karma

What is Innovation Nation anyway?

Mo_Rocca38 karma

Well I'm so glad you asked. Innovation Nation is a wonderful new show I am hosting on CBS Saturday Mornings. It's about the great inventors of the past and the current innovations inspired by them. Much of it takes place at the AMAZING Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. As someone who grew up in DC, I can tell you that the Henry Ford is every bit as cool as the Smithsonian.

Astridasteroid20 karma

Can you ask VH1 to bring back I Love The ... ??

Mo_Rocca55 karma

I would love to do I Love the 90s ... the 1890s. I'm a big history buff. I've got great material on William McKinley and the Gibson Girl.

JoyfulStingray19 karma

You are my very favorite panelist on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!! Thanks for doing the AMA

Which panelist do you enjoy working with the most on Wait Wait? Who was your favorite celebrity guest to play Not My Job?

Mo_Rocca31 karma

I really like all the panelists. Maybe we get along so well because: 1. We're all in different parts of the business. 2. We see each other every few weeks so it's always nice to catch up.

Dick Van Dyke was my favorite guest.

paulisnofun17 karma

How many push-ups can you do?

Mo_Rocca58 karma

About 30. I do this before I leave the house, even if it's just to buy milk. I spell long words out - one letter per pushup - so that I don't think about the pain. Words like "Tajikistani" or "Azerbainjani". Central Asian countries are very useful when working out.

dimplejuice16 karma

Jay Z has a clothing line called RocaWear. Are you planning an endorsement deal? Free clothing for life, bro.

Mo_Rocca25 karma

(sigh) okay, if Jay Z insists....

__lurk16 karma

Hey Mo, How was it working with Jon?

Mo_Rocca19 karma

I learned a whole lot. Maybe the hardest working person I've met. He had a vision for the show as a whole, not simply as a vehicle for himself. Otherwise pretty normal. He's not the weird comic hiding away, then turning "on" for the camera.

GottlobFrege16 karma

Do you go by "Mo" to make your name sound like "maraca"?

Mo_Rocca23 karma


attentionpaysme14 karma

I see that you were involved with Pepper Ann?! That's such a throwback, how much involvement did you have writing that?

Mo_Rocca18 karma

LOVED WRITING FOR PEPPER ANN. I got to make a Johnnie Cochran reference in one episode!

sstelmaschuk13 karma

Seriously, how hard is it to tie a bow-tie? I've never tried...

Also, I've noticed a passing similarity in looks between you and Reza Aslan; do you moonlight on weekends or something?

Mo_Rocca30 karma

Funny. I believe that Jon Stewart called Reza the Muslim Mo Rocca. Tying a bowtie is tricky. Hard to know what hole to push it through.

The "it" being the cloth.

zanna612 karma

Where do you keep "mini-Mo"?

Mo_Rocca17 karma

Not in my bedroom. ("mini-Mo" is the Barbie doll that Mattel made for me.)

zanna611 karma

Do you study before a taping of "Wait, Wait?"

Mo_Rocca21 karma

No. If you go in with a joke, it's bound to fail. The show is always funnier when the panelists are spontaneous. The audience can sniff out a rehearsed joke and they like it.

DayOldTurkeySandwich11 karma

What was your favorite part of doing Best Week Ever and all of the other VH1 nostalgia shows all those years ago?

Mo_Rocca27 karma

I loved that I finally had a repository for all the pop culture junk that was crowding my skull for all those years. It literally was starting to hurt. So spewing it out during all those VH1 shows was a relief.

dimplejuice10 karma

Why did you grow your hair longer as you got older? Most people have longer hair in their teens/20s before they have to cut it off to look more corporate. Why the change?

Mo_Rocca23 karma

I wanted to see how it would look. One thing's for sure: I'll never dye it. Men should not dye their hair. There, I've said it.

mRNA-10 karma

What are some of the most memorable moments you had on the Daily Show? Your favourite animal?

Mo_Rocca22 karma

I loved doing a piece on the epidemic of rogue cocks on the streets of Key West.

nkleszcz10 karma

Hello! Do you envision having your career ever gravitating towards scripted comedy (in movies and TV sitcoms), like former Daily Show correspondants Steve Carrell, Ed Helms, and Rob Riggle?

(Not that we don't like your comedic journalism pieces for CBS Sunday Morning...)

Mo_Rocca17 karma

Hell yeah, I'd love that. I do love doing CBS Sunday Morning (like going back to college and taking only electives) and I am LOVING doing Innovation Nation, WHICH PREMIERES THIS SATURDAY MORNING ON CBS!!

unicorn10-109 karma

What's your favorite animal?

Mo_Rocca13 karma

I love the way kangaroos have babies.

Foxhole9 karma

Hi Mo! I'm a huge fan and I wanted to thank you for your segment about the Freemasons on CBS Sunday Morning.

As a young Mason, I thought it was a really honest look at what the fraternity is (becoming) today.

Were you at all inclined to become a Mason during filming? Any interesting stories about the experience?


Mo_Rocca7 karma

I liked everyone I met doing the Masons story. If I didn't travel so much ... if i weren't so busy ... I'd consider joining a fraternal organization.

ZPTs9 karma

I know you've done a lot of work for Animal Planet. Are Puppy Bowl participants better behaved than NFL players?

Mo_Rocca9 karma

Not the chihuahuas. (Wait a sec, are chihuahuas actually dogs?)

FishnetSinner8 karma

I had the pleasure of seeing you on Broadway in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - what was your favorite part of doing live theatre?

Mo_Rocca12 karma

Oops, I thought I answered this. I LOVED being on Broadway and it must happen again. I should be Hysterium in Forum! And I would love to play Skimbleshanks the railway cat in Cats. He's a very underrated cat.

chitownmitown8 karma

If you could only watch one television show from now until forever, what would it be?

Mo_Rocca15 karma

The Mary Tyler Moore Show or All in the Family

coolguysawyer8 karma

Beatles or Stones? And why?

Mo_Rocca18 karma

I kind of still love the Monkees.

MongoMoon8 karma

I love you on CBS This Morning. have you ever been asked to host the entire two hours before?

Mo_Rocca17 karma

No. Can you believe it? :) But Charlie Rose and I will one day do Amazing Race together. He does not know this yet.

suaveitguy8 karma

Do you use Reddit very often? Are you active under a user name, just a reader, or not at all?

Mo_Rocca10 karma

First time user

clownbaby2318 karma

Hey Mo! How do you embrace your inner nerd?? Can't wait to see the premiere of Innovation Nation, man!

Mo_Rocca11 karma

Yes, I've learned to like what I like, not what I think I should like. And please do tune into Innovation Nation. It's a tribute to the people who changed the world by embracing THEIR inner nerds!

tylerch87 karma

Love your work, Mo! What songs have you been listening to lately?

Mo_Rocca11 karma

I can't stop listening to Dusty Springfield's cover of the Windmills of My Mind.

Stephanie777 karma

Will you take over for Charles Osgood one day?

Mo_Rocca11 karma

I'm be lucky to tune Charlie's piano for him! (Wait a minute, that sounds kind of raunchy.)

WarParakeet7 karma

How many KU/KSU shirts do you own?

Mo_Rocca11 karma

ONE FOR EACH. Not playing favorites. We don't need any more Bleeding Kansas.

1fakemoonlanding17 karma

What is the weirdest thing in your apartment?

Mo_Rocca19 karma

The giant bust of Grover Cleveland.

vbrasinikas6 karma

What is your favorite sandwich?

Mo_Rocca10 karma


suaveitguy6 karma

What are some interview tips and strategies?
How to get the subject to agree to it in the first place
relax/trust you
talk freely and for a good amount of time

Mo_Rocca13 karma

Listen aggressively. I always feel good in an interview when a few minutes in the interviewee stops spewing talking points and looks at me with an expression that says "Oh, you're actually LISTENING to me? I don't need to tell you the same things I just told 35 other reporters."

Southernerd6 karma


Mo_Rocca12 karma


cvillemade6 karma

Hey Mo!

Who has been your favorite family on My Grandmother's Ravioli?

Mo_Rocca19 karma

That would be like choosing my favorite child! (And when I do have children, I'll be sure to do another reddit AMA and let you know which kid is my favorite.)

Stuewe6 karma

If I were to shake you, would you make that cool hollow, bean-rattling noise?

Mo_Rocca14 karma

If you do it right, I'll purr.

Team_Slacker5 karma

Huge fan! Due to the nature of my schedule, I don't often get to catch you on TV, but I'm a big fan of your humor and speaking style. However, I do a lot of driving for work, so I have to ask, have you ever considered hosting a regular podcast? That way I could get more Mo in my life!

Mo_Rocca8 karma

It's a great idea, thanks. I become concerned about spreading myself too thin, though. But I'll think about it! Hope you can tune into my new show - Innovation Nation - this Saturday morning on CBS.

suaveitguy5 karma

How has cultural 'sensitivity' evolved in the last 15 years?

Mo_Rocca11 karma

Well cultural sensitivity is a good thing. But cultural "sensitivity" only leads to more tiptoeing around issues that people should talk LESS carefully about. And that means more bottled up emotions. (I'm very proud that on My Grandmother's Ravioli, the featured grandparents are NOT censored. They're not afraid. Why should the audience be?)

suaveitguy5 karma

Could you compare your lifestyle with a career outside of media? Do you live like a small town doctor, a big city banker, a mechanic, a college prof? Just curious what a recognizable and well-employed, but not monstrously well-paid, person in the national media lives like?

Mo_Rocca6 karma

Like a magazine editor if magazine editors were paid like plumbers. I have no complaints.

heymrrager5 karma

Are you more of a taco guy or a burrito guy?

Also, what is your go to movie?

Mo_Rocca6 karma

I love A Place in the Sun. I used to love chimichangas.

Mutt12234 karma

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mo_Rocca7 karma

I used to like Daiquiri Ice. Now I like Butter Pecan.

[deleted]1 karma


Mo_Rocca7 karma

I am a half-Colombian guy who knows the capital of every country of the world and saw the musical Cats over 40 times (I was an usher at the theater) and hopes to do a back-handspring WITHOUT A SPOTTER before I die. I like projects where I can learn stuff. I like sushi.