Media satirist Rocca to speak for the Assembly Series

Media gadfly Mo Rocca will deliver a multimedia presentation, “Making It Up as I Go Along,” for the Congress of the South 40 Lecture at 4 p.m. March 30 in Graham Chapel as part of the Assembly Series.

Rocca is best known for mixing the serious with the absurd as a news reporter for the award-winning tongue-in-cheek news program The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. For its coverage of the 2000 presidential election, The Daily Show’s “Indecision 2000,” in which Rocca was prominently featured, received the prestigious Peabody Award.

As host and co-executive producer of Smoking Gun TV, a series of Court TV specials, Rocca goes behind the scenes of the Web site thesmokinggun.com, highlighting bizarre and shocking stories that make headlines. National Public Radio listeners know him as a guest panelist on the hit new quiz show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Rocca grew up as Maurice Rocca in the Washington, D.C., area. He went to Harvard University, where he studied history and immersed himself as the president, writer and actor of the Hasty Pudding Show, the largest and oldest college theater group in the world that is also known for its annual original musicals. Men play both the men’s and women’s roles.

Upon graduating from Harvard, Rocca taught English in Japan and apprenticed to learn Kabuki — a medieval form of theater — where men also play the roles of women.

Rocca’s eclectic career includes playing the role of Doody in the Southeast Asian musical production of Grease and writing for the popular PBS children’s show Wishbone. Wishbone is a Jack Russell terrier that plays the lead character in classic novels. Rocca described working on the show as a form of graduate school because he finally read all of the books he was supposed to have already read, but hadn’t.

He then moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote for Perfect 10, an adult magazine; the ABC series Pepper Ann; and Nickelodeon’s The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.

Rocca has also written for GQ, The Washington Post and newsweek.com. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, MSNBC and Fox as a political pundit.

His lecture is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited, with the entire ground floor reserved for the University community and the disabled. The general public is invited to sit in the balcony.

For more information, call 935-4620 or go online to assemblyseries.wustl.edu.


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