March 27, 2012
by Sam McBride
Comedian, writer, journalist, and host Mo Rocca stopped by Vanderbilt’s Sarrat Cinema Monday night to talk with Vanderbilt students about breaking into the entertainment business, the direction of news media in today’s world, and fun facts about alpacas.
The talk, moderated by Vanderbilt Professor of Sociology Laurie Woods, took on a very informal air, beginning with Rocca sharing facts about alpacas he learned during a recent report for CBS Sunday Morning and ending with the amateur gymnastics enthusiast doing a one handed cartwheel while holding a glass of water.
In between, Rocca shared experiences from his wide array of jobs in the entertainment and news industry. He’s done just about everything, from editing and writing for the adult men’s magazine Perfect 10 to writing and producing the children’s show Wishbone. He’s also been a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, hosted Food(ography) on the Cooking Channel, served as a panelist on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, and acted on Broadway. However, he maintains these are not so different as they might seem.
“People told me (about moving from The Daily Show to CBS Sunday Morning) ‘You’ve gone from fake news to real news,’ Rocca said. However, he said his field reports for both shows were very similar, and his mocking of bad field journalism on The Daily Show prepared him well for the “real” news.