LA based comedian and writer Mo Welch is truly instant smiles. She is an improv pro having trained at The Second City and iO in Chicago then went on to UCBTLA where her show “Stalking My Friends” debuted last year to big laughs and claps. Her silliness is straight contagious and watching her on stage or on a screen always brings the real-deal LOL’s. You will instantly fall in love with Mo Welch. What’s great is that you already love NerdMelt, which is where her show “The Mo Show” can now be seen. SO MUCH LOVE! “The Mo Show” is in its fourth year of existence and will feature a live chat show format, interviews, stand up, videos and games. It debuts THIS SATURDAY, March 23rd at 8pm and is a can’t miss no doubt. We talked with Mo about taking her show to NerdMelt, asked her some personal questions, and of course talked a little Larry Bird. Enjoy this now then enjoy her on Saturday!
Serial Optimist: Hi Mo! What a cool name, is it short for anything? That’d be really cool if it was just “Mo”
Mo Welch: It’s actually short for Maureen. Boring!
SO: Were you a cool kid growing up or the nerd? And speaking of, where did you grow up? Was it nurturing to your comedy career or did it help give you stories to put towards your material?
Mo: I moved around a lot as a kid so I got to be the new kid a lot. JEALOUS?! I had a mullet in 5th grade, about 15 years out of style at that point, so that should give you a good idea of my cool kid status. I was always happily the butt of every joke as a child and I wore A LOT of velvet. I also weirdly enough grew up without a butt crack. Well, can you prove that isn’t true?
My mom let me play in the cemeteries all of the time, so I questioned my own mortality and the world beyond the world as a very young person. I think that caused me to be really shy and sweat a lot, but around the right people I was a loud, sort of funny maniac. Being shy and not having a lot of stability growing up caused me to observe people and situations on an intricate level and that definitely was the beginning of the stories I tell on stage today.
“The Mo Show For March/April”
SO: Why did you start “The Mo Show” four years ago? Was there a defining moment? How does it feel to have a show that’s been going on for that long? Do you feel like a real pro?
Mo: I started “The Mo Show” because I realized I could. It was less out of frustration with the Chicago comedy scene and more out of curiosity. I wanted to see what would happen if I experimented with my friends every month.
I have been part of a lot of projects in comedy and for some reason, even when “The Mo Show” isn’t running, people always ask about the show. I guess the name is pretty catchy and it’s the content of the show is a mystery until you go see it. I don’t feel like a pro, because I’m constantly screwing myself over by changing the format, which brings me back to the minors time after time again. I do think I’m a professional basketball player though.
SO: What was your reasoning behind bringing it to NerdMelt? How open was NerdMelt to the show? What’s your favorite show being put on at NerdMelt right now?
Mo: I absolutely love NerdMelt and the shows I attend and have been a part of at NerdMelt are always innovative and fun, so I wanted to bring it there from the start. Danielle Kramer is the program director over there and she has a really fresh outlook on the scene and luckily gave me a shot.
My favorite show at NerdMelt is the flagship Meltdown show and Erotic Fan Fiction. I mean, doesn’t get much better than that.
SO: What’s the core belief of your show? What do you want audiences to take away from “The Mo Show” especially since it’s in a new area?
Mo: From the beginning “The Mo Show” has been about experimenting and working with people I love. I love that feeling when your stomach is nervously turning and you are uncontrollably laughing at the same time. It doesn’t come often, but that’s the feeling I strive to give the audience every show. Having the audience poo poo in their pants is a close second.
I really just want to entertain an audience. I can’t control how they will interpret the show, but I hope I displayed something they have never seen before.
SO: It seems like you want the show to have a strong online presence—with some of the sketches being taped—that allows audiences to see the show in person, but also get to see it if they can’t make it. But, what will you do differently to give live, not dead, audiences a special treat?
Mo: Well, originally I was planning on taping the whole show so people could watch it all over the world, as I assume I have a great online presence in Japan, but now I’m just doing bits and pieces for online. I try to film 5-10 “promo” videos a month just to keep the work flowing, but the bulk of the show will be a live experience. I want the audience to feel rewarded for coming all the way out from places as far as West Hollywood to make the show. There is also a lot of audience participation in the show and that doesn’t really transfer to the online audience.
SO: Why change the format of the show? Can you explain the “live chat show” aspect of it?
Mo: From the beginning of “The Mo Show” I wanted it to be a live chat show, but I didn’t have nearly enough confidence to even try it back then or a desk. I’m interviewing 1-1.5 people each show and the rest of the show is built on audience bits, a couple remote segments and stand up. Basically this is the WNBA of Late Night TV, but in a really positive way. This show is on TV, right?
SO: So, I have to ask, what is this obsession you seem to have for Larry Bird? Celebri-crush? Talent crush? Tall guy crush?!
Mo: He is a hard working giant from the Midwest, what’s not to obsess over?! I am a basketball fanatic and spend most of my free time watching ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries on Netflix and so impersonating Larry is of course a natural progression. I was a Jordan fan growing up but I would be a really horrible person if I tried to perfectly impersonate him, so I went for the tall, goofy blonde.
SO: How happy would you be if Mr. Bird (BTW how cute does that name sound?) to be a guest on the show? Who are the guests you’re getting now?
Mo: I guess I would quit comedy if Larry came to be a guest on the show, seeing as we would immediately elope and I would soon have the second cutest name ever…Mo Bird.
I will be interviewing Jon Schnepp for the first show. He is the director of “Metalocalypse” on Adult Swim and he’s making a documentary about the lost Superman film Tim Burton was going to direct, starring Nick Cage. I can’t wait to chat with him. As for next month, I can’t release the name yet (HUGE NAME HUGE I SAY), but I’m excited the show is on 4-20. I don’t do drugs, but I’m hoping everyone in the audience is on them.
Battle Of The Sexes
SO: Where do you want your comedy career to take you? And once you get there, do you think you’d be satisfied?
Mo: I would love to be the star of an ESPN 30for30 documentary and you know what, I for sure think that’s going to happen.
But SERIOUSLY, I hope my comedy career will take me to space and back, allow me to purchase business suits with many shoulder pads and basically make a living writing and creating shows.
SO: You have 5 words to use in describing “The Mo Show” GO!