A “daily” dose of laughs with Mo Rocca

Megan Angelo

As a part of Mo Rocca’s lecture series “Movers and Shakers,” he will appear tonight at 7 p.m. in the Villanova Room. Rocca, correspondent on Comedy Central’s news spoof “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” delves into the same controversial issues that his major network counterparts deal with: domestic and foreign policy, business, court cases and entertainment. The beauty of Rocca’s job, however, lies in his freedom to poke fun at everything from President Bush’s awkward rhetoric to Lance Bass’s quest to visit outer space.

He clears up confusion for stockholders befuddled by the market’s fickle spikes and plunges with ease. “Take a well-known company, General Electric … as you can see, at 9:30 a.m., investors were convinced that this company was worth $26.50 a share. But by 11:30 a.m., investors realized, maybe it’s not such a good company after all. Maybe they’re not bringing as many good things to life as they say they are.”

In another segment, Rocca sympathizes with the plight of teenage backyard wrestlers struggling to protect their freedom of expression. He calls the sport of elbow drops and chair slamming “an artistic movement sweeping the nation” and laments that “unfortunately for the wrestlers, not everybody has as strong a grasp of the Bill of Rights.”

“I combine an insatiable diet of political news with questionable mental health,” Rocca says of his comedy.

But even the most voracious satirical journalist needs a break from the convoluted politics and mundane economics of the news world. “Mo Rocca’s Back to School Special,” which aired on Sept. 5 on Comedy Central, consisted of Rocca wandering the campus of Drew University in Madison, N.J. in a propeller beanie cap, spouting insights on binge drinking and flouting the supremacy of frat guys. Fortunately, Rocca will pay a visit to campus today to personally share further advice with Villanova students.

Rocca’s own college days came to an end in 1991, when he graduated from Harvard University. He went on to contribute to both youth and mature entertainment, with stints on Nickelodeon’s “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss” and PBS’s Wishbone” with an editor’s position at Perfect 10, an adult magazine which features only women who have not had breast implants.

Rocca joined “The Daily Show” in 1998 and has covered a variety of issues with the perfect combination of deadpan sarcasm and exaggerated interview etiquette.

As Carina Chocano of “Salon People” notes in her review of the back-to-school piece, “Rocca elicits amazing responses from everyone he meets. As it seems, most of the people he talks to can’t tell him apart from an actual correspondet. Most of all, people respond to the tone, the fake smile and that bizarre newscaster enunciation that exists nowhere else in nature.”