His offbeat comedian is known for appearances on The Tonight Show, The Daily Show, NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me and other top programs. That's not bad for a Harvard graduate.
Rocca first hit it big writing for children's television. But his unique approach and wry insights eventually led him into politics (reporting from the floor during party conventions), music (VH1) and, most importantly, food--as a judge for Iron Chef America.
He visits Dallas on April 22, headlining Jewish Family Service's "For the Love of Family" fundraiser at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts.
It's a 7:30 show and you can find out more here. When Rocca's part is over, you'll probably find him at the nearest TGI Friday's...
1. Just how does one go about becoming an Iron Chef judge?
Be willing to eat anything.
2. Any complete failures--something a team cooked that you just couldn't
Actually no. I thought the oyster-based cheesecake would make me retch. It
3. Is it possible to improve the show's format? We think allowing fistfights
would be good...
4. What do you think of competitive eating?
My personal trainer wants me eating more. So it sounds okay.
5. If you could pit Leno, Olbermann and Stewart against each other in a
competitive eating contest, who would win?
6. You've been to a number of political conventions. Which has the best food
for the media?
Not the Green Party. Ralph Nader is a good person, but the man eats bark.
7. What's it like on convention floor?
Sweaty. Not the good kind.
8. More importantly, which party parties harder?
The GOP parties much harder. The Dems tend to be priggish at their conventions--think Gore--like they're afraid of Lewinsky memories. Yeah, like anyone cares.
9. In all your travels, is there one dining experience, one restaurant, that
I've been to TGI Friday's on four continents. The friendliest service? In
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10. Harvard grad, right? Is hasty pudding any good?
Sadly it's kind of tough. Gave me splinters.