Comedian and Journalist Mo Rocca on Detroit and Political Comedy in 2017

“I don’t mean this to sound patronizing — everyone’s rooting for Detroit,” says Rocca.

Jake Neher/WDET

Mo Rocca has made a career straddling the boundary between comedy and journalism. His break-out role came along with several of today’s most prominent comedians, as a correspondent on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Since then, he has been a favorite with NPR audiences as a frequent panelist on the weekly news game show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Lately, he’s been building a reputation as a more serious journalist on CBS Sunday Morning. He’s also becoming more familiar around here in Southeast Michigan as part of that role on CBS, highlighting exhibits at the Henry Ford in Dearborn for his show Innovation Nation.

Mo Rocca was in town last week to help kick off the Our Common Future convention, a gathering of minds who work in not-for-profit world.

He spoke with Detroit Today’s Jake Neher about his career, straddling the line between humor and news, and his relationship with Metro Detroit.

“I don’t mean this to sound patronizing — everyone’s rooting for Detroit,” says Rocca. “There’s so much anxiety about things in general right now. Detroit is the kind of story that will make the rest of us all feel better about things.”

Rocca says, at the end of the day, journalism and comedy are both all about telling stories.

“My colleagues in news might not love to hear this, but I still consider (journalism) performing. I consider it all sort of the same thing.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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