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Interview Fri Oct 14 2011

Interview: Mo Welch

The Mo Show has been a safe haven for many of Chicago's most eccentric performers of all disciplines for the last two years. Stand up comedian Mo Welch, the show's creator, producer and host, is leaving Chicago this week and taking the show with her. Your last chance to see The Mo Show will be this Wednesday, Oct. 19.

You've done a lot of stand-up, improv and other types of performance in Chicago. Do you have a favorite medium?

I actually love/hate all of them. I probably perform stand-up more than any other, but sketch is my boo. I love creating characters and becoming them. Nothing better than riding the 56 bus as Larry Bird. They all feed each other, though. I just find it boring to do only one. Snoretown.

What's the deal with Larry Bird?

Well, for the record I've always been a Jordan fan but one year I was Larry for Halloween (I don't look enough like Jordan or Glenn Robinson) and that's where it all started. I showed up drunk to Cole's open mic in Larry Bird gear and had a Q and A session and the rest is history. I love being Larry, but some people say I really look like him and that offends me. I will say, if I were into role playing in the bedroom I would totally show up in a Larry costume and whisper, "baby, want to be Magic and then make magic?" This is why I'm always single.

Who/what inspired you to pursue comedy?

My biggest comedic influence was always "SNL" and "Roseanne." I've seen every episode, it's hilarious. Darlene was such a smart-mouth, I'm surprised she wasn't grounded more.

What was the impetus for "The Mo Show"?

Just wanting to create something original. I don't like doing the same thing over and over. I wanted to see what would happen if I combined elements like sketch, stand up, circus and video. The show is pretty experimental with formats, I guess that's the way I operate. Also, it's so great working with your best friends.

Any secret plans or surprises for how you're going to go out?

The final Mo Show will include some of my favorite sketches, including "The Magic Hour," which is a spoof on Magic Johnson's short-lived shitty TV talk show. It's really stupid and I get to work with my comedy partner Nnamdi Ngwe which is always fun. Mollie Merkel and I have some sketches we brought to the Boston Improv Festival and I don't want to give too much away, but a dead poet that has blonde hair will be there reading Yelp reviews as well. Super star-studded line-up.

What went into planning the final lineup?

The lineup is so good it really doesn't matter who goes where. Also, there is a special sketch involving all of the women of Impress These Apes this year (Thea Lux, Amber Gerencher, Jo Scott and myself). These girls are top notch. I chose my favorite stand ups in the city and we are doing a lot of sketch around them. Amy Schwartz and Ali Clayton have been a big part of the show and they are making appearances. Mollie Merkel has been part of the show since early summer and is now hosting the show with me. Just two Mo's hanging out.

Who do you like in comedy right now? In Chicago comedy?

I love Nick Vatterott and Jet Eveleth, who will both be on the show. They are honestly two of my favorite performers. They are fearless in comedy. As far as comedy in general, Amy Sedaris is tops, then re-runs of The Mighty Boosh, then Tim and Eric Awesome Show and of course Louis CK. My favorite Chicago comedian is Candy Lawrence. She is a riot and nobody dances up to the mic like Comedy Lawrence. It's like I always say "The more robes you own, the funnier you are".

What's next for you?

Well, I'll be driving out to LA with Candy Lawrence. We will be mostly eating Cheetos and drinking the Dew while stopping into Denver to do shows. The Mo Show is playing at The Bovine in Denver which is where I started my comedy (low paying) career. I'm just going to try to do The Mo Show in LA. I'm excited to live in a new place and meet new friends (hamsters).

The Mo Show will take place at the Annoyance Theater, 4830 N. Broadway, on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 10pm. Tickets are $12 and can be reserved by calling the box office at 773-561-4665.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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