Mo Rocca

Maurice Alberto Rocca (born January 28, 1969) is an American humorist, journalist, and actor. He is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, the host and creator of My Grandmother's Ravioli on the Cooking Channel, and also the host of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation on CBS. He is the moderator of the National Geographic Society's National Geographic Bee. He is the host of the podcast Mobituaries with Mo Rocca from CBS News.

Mo Rocca
Rocca in 2002
Birth nameMaurice Alberto Rocca
Born (1969-01-28) January 28, 1969
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Alma materHarvard University
Years active1995present
GenresHumor, News
Notable works and rolesThe Daily Show
The Tonight Show
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
CBS Sunday Morning
My Grandmother's Ravioli
The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

Early life and work

Rocca was born in Washington, D.C.; his mother immigrated there from Bogotá, Colombia in 1956 at age 28, and his father was a third generation Italian-American from Leominster, Massachusetts.[1] He attended Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit boys' school in North Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a bachelor of arts degree in literature.[2] He served as president of Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, performing in four of the company's notorious burlesques and co-authoring one (Suede Expectations).[3]


Writing and producing

Rocca began his career acting on stage in the Southeast Asia tour of the musical Grease (1993) and Paper Mill Playhouse's South Pacific (1994).

His first television work was as a writer and producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning children's television series Wishbone. He also wrote for The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss on the Nickelodeon TV channel and Pepper Ann on the ABC TV network.

In 2011, he won an Emmy as a writer for the 64th Annual Tony Awards.

Satire and journalism

From 1998 to 2003, Rocca was a regular correspondent for The Daily Show, which gave him his start in television.[4] His work included campaign coverage for Indecision 2000 and a regular feature called "That's Quite Interesting."[5]

In 2004, he served as a convention-floor correspondent for Larry King Live at the Democratic and Republican party conventions.

He was a regular correspondent for The Tonight Show on the NBC TV network from 2004 to 2008, and covered the 2008 election for NBC.

Rocca is a regular correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. His work includes cover stories, features, and profiles (such as of Chris Rock and Amy Schumer) with an emphasis on presidential history.

He is a regular panelist on the quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! on the NPR radio network.

In 2012, Rocca became a regular contributor to the then-new CBS This Morning.


Rocca's satirical book, All the Presidents' Pets: The Story of One Reporter Who Refused to Roll Over, deals with American presidents, their pets, and reporters and was published by Crown Books in 2004.[6]

Food and other television

Rocca created, and since its debut in 2012 has hosted, the program My Grandmother's Ravioli on the Cooking Channel,[7] for which he travels across the United States, learning to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers in their kitchens.[4]

He previously hosted Food(ography) on the Cooking Channel and was a regular judge on Iron Chef America on the Food Network.

Rocca was a commentator on VH1's I Love the '70s and I Love the '80s. He was the host of Bravo's Things I Hate About You channel and Whoa! Sunday, which premiered in 2005 on the Animal Planet TV channel. He also made guest appearances for the Law & Order television franchise in the episodes "Authority" (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and "Contract" (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), both in 2008.

He is also the host of the weekly The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation program, which has aired as part of the CBS Dream Team on Saturdays since 2014.[8]

On September 25, 2015, Rocca served as Lector during the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at New York City's Madison Square Garden.[9]


On Broadway, Rocca played the role of Vice Principal Douglas Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Film and other media

Rocca appeared in the 2005 film Bewitched and, in 2007, in the independent science-fiction family comedy I'll Believe You with fellow Daily Show alumnus Ed Helms. In 2012, Rocca was the narrator of the documentary Electoral Dysfunction, a movie which satirically analyzes the American voting system and which aired on PBS in 2012 and 2016.

He shared on social media a scripture reading (in Spanish) that he delivered while serving as Lector during Pope Francis's 2015 Mass at Madison Square Garden.[10]

His contribution to AOL Newsbloggers was titled Mo Rocca 180°: Only Half as Tedious as the Regular News.[11]

On May 13, 2015, Rocca appeared on a celebrity episode of Jeopardy! and came in second to CNN correspondent John Berman, amassing a total of $41,600.

Rocca began moderating the finals of the National Geographic Bee in 2016. Soledad O'Brien preceded him and Alex Trebek preceded O'Brien.

Rocca played a conservative morning TV show host in The Good Fight (season 2).

Personal life

In July 2011, Rocca revealed on The Six Pack podcast (episode 73) that he is gay.[12] His participation in Pope Francis' September 2015 Mass in Madison Square Garden was hailed by gay rights advocates.[13]


  1. "CBS Sunday Morning's Mo Rocca Reconnects to his Colombian Roots". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  2. Mo Rocca, Celebrity College Flashback, US News
  3. CAROLYN KLARECKI, "Mo Rocca: from TV-loving tyke to mass-media personality", Michigan Daily, 29 September 2009, accessed 22 March 2012
  4. Als, Hilton (29 October 2012). "Critic's Notebook: Hear This". The New Yorker.
  5. "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah". Comedy Central. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  6. Julie Hinds, "Mo Rocca Takes Satire To A Presidential Level", Detroit Free Press, carried at Orlando Sentinel, 15 October 2004, accessed 22 March 2012
  7. "My Grandmother's Ravioli". Retrieved 19 December 2017 via
  8. "Host Bio – CBS Dreamteam". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  9. "Social Media Reacts to Mo Rocca Reading at Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden". NBC New York. September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  10. "Mo Rocca Shares Reading at Mass for Pope Francis", NBC News
  11. "Mo Rocca 180°: Only Half as Tedious as the Regular News", Newsbloggers
  12. "The Daily Show's Mo Rocca Comes Out", The Advocate
  13. "Mo Rocca's Starring Role In Pope's Mass Thrills LGBT Advocates", Huffington Post
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