November 2004 (v7 i3)
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The Travesty Interviews Mo Rocca
When Mo Rocca came to Austin to get out the vote for a small ocelot, we fake journalists at the Texas Travesty wondered what it would be to talk to a another fake journalist. Wielding the only press credentials of a staffer whose roommate happens to chair the University's Distinguished Speaker's Committee, the Travesty slithered into the Lone Star room of the Texas Union and fired several rounds of metaphorical rubber bullets at the once-bowtied TV commentator.

Our questions were tough, and our distractions were tougher. Next door in the ballroom, a group of 15 women were Jazzercising, making it extremely difficult not to laugh at the awkward silences of an already laugh-heavy interview. Nonetheless, Mo did his best to keep us quiet, and the interview, in its pristine form, follows.

Can't read? Click here to listen to the interview (requires auditory cognition).

Do any of your old friends at the Daily Show give you flack for going to a mainstream news program with almost the same exact name, The Today Show?

No, because they're not up early enough to know that I'm even on it. Here's the thing: On The Daily Show, your constituency is hipsters. I started meeting so many hipsters, and they started introducing me to their moms, and I got really into hipster's moms, and they all watch The Today Show. So I figured if I was going to stay ahead of the curve, the next hip thing to do would be to play to hipsters' mothers.

We're going to do kind of a tag-team, sort of Crossfire interview.

Oh, okay, so should I start insulting you? Hacks.

Dick. What do you hate most about John Kerry: his aloof, patrician air or his ugly fucking face?

[Sigh. Jazzercise continues in background.] I would say it's the way that his skin looks like it's going to slide right off of his skull, but it hasn't, and that's a real anti-climax. I thought the whole point of nominating him was to watch that process continue.

How much Tucker Carlson do you have in you, what with the bowtie and all?

Tucker Carlson really intimidated me. He wanted to be the only person in mainstream news wearing a bowtie, so I felt like I just had to take a backseat to him.

Your new book is about presidential pets. What do you think about Bush's pet names for people - if you were inside the Bush political circle, what do you think your pet name would be?

I think mine would be bitch. Because, I mean, if I were in the press corps - and I kind of am, I mean it's not like I have any less access than they do - then I would probably be a total bitch to the president. I would be his bitch, yeah. I mean, come on, it's the president - it's the leader of the free world.

What do you hate about the 80's?

I probably hate apartheid, I was never a big fan of it. I hated Chernobyl. I hated the Union Carbide accident in Bhopal, India. I hated the horrible, disastrous volcano in Armero, Columbia where thousands of people died. I loved the invasion of Grenada - I thought it was kind of cool. I hated Manuel Noriega's skin; it was so pock marked - he would never make it as a dictator with HDTV.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think Barbara Walters should die already?

[Sigh. Jazzercise ensues.] I thought she was dead, so I'm not sure that the question is really applicable. If you could prove to me that she's actually alive - I mean I know that her likeness appears on television, I just didn't know that she still had a circulatory system that was working.

The allegations against Bill O'Reilly are fake, right? That guy's gotta be gay.

Yeah, he has on several occasions grabbed my cock. It's funny because he was telling me to shut up at the same time, which didn't make any sense - well, I guess it did because he didn't want me to scream. It's interesting: If you watch the show, they rarely show his hands - they shoot him from sort of the solar plexus up. So under the table he's grabbing people between the legs.

In a serious critique of your commentary, which word would you be more likely to hear: 'vacuous' or 'pastiche.'

I'd probably say pizzazz - I think that my commentary has pizzazz, and oftentimes it's quite glittery. I like the idea of a pastiche, but I'd prefer papier-mâché.

And finally, what has been George Bush's most valuable contribution to Iraq: freedom or liberty?

[Snickering, followed by awkward silence. Clapping from Jazzercise class.] I guess freedom, because everyone just starting stealing shit right away for free, so I guess there's some connection to freedom there.

Is this the first interview you've ever done directly next to a Jazzercise class?

I had no idea that was Jazzercise. I kick it old school - I do step aerobics.
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