- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Of all the former “Daily Show” correspondents to move on, none has stayed as close to the news as Mo Rocca.

Mr. Rocca recently launched “The Tomorrow Show,” a forward-looking Web series for CBS News that looks with humor and curiosity at changes that may await us. New episodes debut 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 has appeared as a frequent panelist on National Public Radio’s news trivia show “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” and has been a regular contributor to CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” He also has 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,” Mr. Rocca says.

Later, he adds: “I wish I could improve on that metaphor.”

Mr. Rocca grew up in the District and considers himself a “news junkie.” He has carved out a niche as a cultural commentator, marked by his quick wit and black-framed 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” looks at the future of paper. Topics ahead, Mr. Rocca says, will include the future of dating (“yes, it involves robots”), candy (“it involves inhalable chocolate”) and traffic.

In the videos - about 10 to 15 minutes long - Mr. Rocca first does field reporting and interviews, then sits down with a few guests in a studio interview. (Fans of “Wait, Wait” will notice Mr. Rocca hasn’t wasted any time bringing in a friend from the show, author Roy Blount Jr.)

Many former “Daily Show” correspondents, including Steve Carell and Rob Corddry, have remained primarily in comedy. Mr. Rocca recalls his time on the satirical show with fondness but says he realizes he differs in one respect.

“We used to say it was kind of like standing outside the moat throwing rocks at the castle,” Mr. Rocca recalls. “Well, I kind of like being inside the castle.”

Mr. Rocca, who can name the capital of every country, adds: “I can’t suppress it anymore: I love information and facts.”

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