A news junkie with a sense of humor
NEW YORK - Of all the former “Daily Show’’ correspondents to move on, none has stayed as close to the news as Mo Rocca.
Rocca recently launched “The Tomorrow Show,’’ a forward-looking Web series for CBS News that looks with humor and curiosity at future changes that may await us. New episodes debut on Mondays at www.cbsnews.com.
The 40-year-old satirist is known to many for his appearances as a “Daily Show’’ correspondent from 1998 to 2003. Since then, he’s appeared as a frequent panelist on NPR’s news trivia show “Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!’’ and has been a regular contributor to CBS’s “Sunday Morning.’’ He’s also been a contributor to CNN’s “Larry King Live’’ and NBC’s “Tonight Show.’’
“I don’t want to live inside of news, but I think having a guesthouse on the grounds of news - somewhere in the back, with a garden, with a cabana, with a private driveway - all of that, I think, is pretty nice,’’ Rocca says.
Later, he adds: “I wish I could improve on that metaphor.’’
Rocca grew up in Washington and considers himself a “news junkie.’’ He has carved out a niche as a cultural commentator, marked by his quick wit and black-frame glasses. He featured his ability to think on his feet on Broadway in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,’’ in which he nightly improvised a section of the musical with audience members.
The first episode of “The Tomorrow Show’’ looked at the future of paper. Other topics will include the future of dating (“Yes, it involves robots’’), candy (“It involves inhalable chocolate’’), and wasting time.
In the videos - about 10 to 15 minutes long - Rocca first does field reporting and interviews, then sits down with a few guests in a studio interview. (Fans of “Wait, Wait’’ will notice Rocca hasn’t wasted any time bringing in a friend from the show, author Roy Blount Jr.)
Many former “Daily Show’’ correspondents, such as Steve Carrell and Rob Corddry, have remained primarily in comedy. Rocca recalls his time on the satirical show with fondness, but realizes he differs in one respect.
“We used to say it was kind of like standing outside the moat throwing rocks at the castle,’’ recalls Rocca. “Well, I kind of like being inside the castle.’’