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Mo Rocca is back with another fascinating season of Mobituaries, exploring the people and things that are no longer with us but deserve a second look. You’ll hear all about notable figures who "Died on the Same Day" along with the three "Things Mo Wishes Would Die." There’s also the story behind the Queen of Cool, Peggy Lee, and the remarkable tale of Jim Thorpe, long considered the world’s greatest athlete. Plus, so much more to come! Listen to new episodes every Wednesday starting October 4th.See for privacy information.
When Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original Broadway production of the musical Cats premiered in 1982, a young dancer named Timothy Scott was just entering his prime. Cast in the role of Mr. Mistoffelees, he left audiences (including a young Mo) spellbound with an acrobatic dancing that seemed to defy physics. But before the end of the decade, Scott was a victim of the AIDS crisis. 35 years after his death, Mo remembers Tim Scott and his dazzling talent, with help from his partner Norman Buckley and Broadway legends Betty Buckley, Baayork Lee and Ken Page. See for privacy information.
Before his name became synonymous with treason, Benedict Arnold was a bonafide hero of the American Revolutionary War. At critical moments Arnold inspired the Patriots with his grit and determination and earned the admiration of George Washington. Despite his popularity and battlefield prowess, Benedict Arnold eventually broke bad. Mo talks with author Nathaniel Philbrick about the now-notorious military man’s twisty path to betrayal - and explores the surprising backstories of other villains including France’s Philippe Pétain and Satan.See for privacy information.
The banana we eat today is not the same kind our grandparents grew up eating. Today’s variety, called the Cavendish, is generally regarded as the bland successor to the richer tasting Gros Michel (French for “Big Mike”) of yesteryear. But when a deadly fungus ravaged the Gros Michel in the mid-20th century, the banana barons had no choice but to make a switch. Mo talks with ‘Banana’ expert Dan Koeppel about the surprising history of the fruit, and talks - and sings! - with Broadway legend André De Shields.See for privacy information.
At one of the most dangerous moments in the Cold War, an ordinary 5th grade girl from Maine wrote to the leader of the Soviet Union with a simple plea for peace. When he wrote back with an invitation to visit the Soviet Union in the summer of 1982, it became an international news story and one of the most improbable peace missions of the era. Mo tells the story of the “Littlest Diplomat” and how she became a powerful symbol of shared humanity on both sides of the iron curtain. Guests include childhood friends of Samantha, her Russian “summer camp buddy” and actor Robert Wagner. See for privacy information.
We love historical “Firsts” so much that we end up ignoring the people who come right after them. But without these runners-up, the trailblazers are just one-offs or oddities––instead of the beginning of big change. Mo celebrates the Black baseball great who joined the major leagues just eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson, the second American woman in space, and the British invasion band that for a time played second fiddle only to The Beatles. With guests sportscaster Otis Livingston, Michael Oldak and Rhino Records co-founder Harold Bronson.See for privacy information.
Fans of Broadway and Barbra Streisand probably know the name Fanny Brice as the woman who refuses to let anyone rain on her parade in the beloved musical "Funny Girl." But the real Fanny Brice, the original funny girl, was a trailblazing Jewish comedian, who lit up Broadway and created one of the most famous characters on radio. Mo looks back at Fanny's story (The ups! The downs! The nose job!) with biographer Barbara Grossman and talks with culture critic Erick Neher about how Barbra Streisand would ultimately eclipse the star she portrayed.See for privacy information.
Mo goes behind the scenes of season 3 of Mobituaries with the host of The Takeout, Major Garrett. They share a delicious meal and dig into the highlights of Mobits’ history and the complexity behind why people and things deserve a second look at their lives. Hear a sneak peek into the upcoming stories of season 3 and Major’s very own recommendation for his ideal Mobit.See for privacy information.
Mo’s deep appreciation for our less-remembered presidents led him to purchase a giant bust of Grover Cleveland, which has dominated his living room for over 20 years. But when the New York Times questioned the bust’s identity, it set in motion a quest, culminating in an appearance by Mo and his bust on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow. Producer Adam Monahan documented the saga on this season 2 episode of his podcast Detours (GBH and PRX), a podcast that reveals what happens to all that stuff on America’s favorite antiques show, which originally aired in January 2022.See for privacy information.
The frenzy Rudolph Valentino caused in life was matched only by the pandemonium unleashed when he died at age 31. With his brooding good looks and vulnerability, he and the other "Latin Lovers" that followed redefined the leading man. Mo also recounts the triumphant and tragic story of superstar Ramon Novarro and talks with TV star Lorenzo Lamas about his father, the debonair Fernando Lamas.See for privacy information.
It's hard to imagine childhood without the classic cartoon characters June Foray gave voice to: Little Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch, Granny from the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons, Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's villainous cobra. June Foray even provided the voice of the Chatty Cathy doll. Mo talks with Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson) and Bob Bergen (Porky Pig) about the woman they call 'the Meryl Streep of voice actors.'See for privacy information.
1967 was a big year for marriage in America. The Supreme Court's ruling in Loving v. Virginia overturned bans on interracial marriage in 16 states. The movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner starred Sidney Poitier as a Black doctor engaged to a white woman. And in the middle of it all, Peggy Rusk and Guy Smith, a very private couple who made the cover of Time Magazine for their wedding. Mo talks to Peggy Rusk about their remarkable love story (involving presidents and horses) and to Professor Sheryll Cashin about the surprising history of interracial relationships.See for privacy information.
What’s in a name…that makes it popular to one generation, and downright ugly to the next? From "Bertha" and "Layla" to "Reagan" and "Katrina," history shows us that politics, pop songs and news events all play roles in sending baby names skyrocketing or plunging in the rankings. Mo (short for "Maurice"!) returns to his elementary school to speak with his fifth grade teacher about his own name then talks to Columbia University linguist John McWhorter and actor Todd Bridges about other names that have seen better days.See for privacy information.
In the 1990s, PBS introduced young audiences to a canine star like none other: a Jack Russell terrier who imagined himself as characters from classic works of literature. The show was called Wishbone. Today there's a whole generation of adults who were first weaned on Mark Twain, the legend of Faust or the Greek epics through this series. Wishbone is also the first TV show Mo wrote for. Mo talks with Wishbone head writer Stephanie Simpson and dog trainer Jackie Kaptan about the show and the life and career of its beloved lead actor, a dog named Soccer.See for privacy information.
The utter sincerity of his songs ("Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High") endeared John Denver to fans worldwide and helped make him one of the biggest stars of the 1970s. But the easy-mannered mountaineer with the dutch boy haircut and granny glasses was often dismissed as shallow or corny. The longing in Denver’s voice was real, though, and twenty-five years after his passing, the singer’s music and message continue to resound. Mo visits Aspen, Colorado to meet Denver’s former wife Annie Denver and close friend Tom Crum and talks with music writer Bill Flanagan.See for privacy information.
Mo Rocca’s long love of obituaries returns for a third season. Mo looks to celebrate the dearly departed people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him— this season explores the most intriguing history from TV’s most beloved dog to the woman of a thousand voices. Hear fresh takes on these famous legacies and why they deserve a moment in the spotlight. Listen to new episodes every Wednesday.See for privacy information.
For a few decades the station wagon was as central to the American Dream as the white picket fence and the basketball hoop in the driveway. It was the quintessential family car. And really, who didn’t want to ride in the “way back”? This special episode comes from the audiobook edition of MOBITUARIES. You can learn more here: Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at for privacy information.
Anna May Wong wasn't supposed to be in the movies. Her laundryman father was dead set against it. And Hollywood preferred white actors in "yellow face" for Asian characters. But Wong knew what she wanted. With her talent, beauty and tenacity, she ran a gauntlet of social and legal obstacles to become Hollywood's very first Chinese-American star. Mo talks with comedian Margaret Cho, actress Rosalind Chao and best-selling author Lisa See about the woman who is finally getting her due.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at for privacy information.
Mobituaries LIVE!

Mobituaries LIVE!


In a Mobits first, Mo takes the show on the road! Mo shares his love of obituaries; investigates why we confuse certain dead celebrities; and interviews former New York Times obituary writer Margalit Fox about what it's like to write about the dead for a living. This episode was recorded in Asbury Park, NJ and Fairfield, CT.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at for privacy information.
Fred Armisen joins Mo to pay tribute to legendary bandleader and TV host, Lawrence Welk. Welk was another victim of television's Rural Purge of the early 1970s, when his long running musical variety show was canceled by ABC after his audience was deemed too old. But Welk did not go quietly. He defied the critics, bringing his show back to life on his own terms - and reaching an even wider audience. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at for privacy information.
Comments (277)

Kitty Ortman

This was so informative and interesting hearing all about June Foray. Great job!

Sep 28th

Yvonne Alley

Thank you for the insight into a young person of merit!

May 16th

Claudia Morken

I enjoy all of your mobituaries ❣️

Mar 29th


Love Mo Racca and #Mobituaries. It's a fun way to learn more about topics you didn't know you yearned for. It's also a great way to dip your toes into history. Mo presents in a way that's entertaining yet filled with facts.

Mar 9th

Pat Kelly

great show, stays true to it's subjects.

Jan 18th

Chip Tobey

Neat story.

Jan 12th


I'm going to have Take Me Home Country Roads stuck in my head for the rest of the day, thanks to you, Mo. But I don't mind. This was a lovely episode and I'm glad you're back!

Nov 13th

Athena halfblood ravenclaw

Love is love, whether it is interracial or queer! Great episode, I love this show!

Oct 27th

Sybilla Suda

Was bereft when Mo/Maurice hightailed it off the podcast stage (in a station wagon?) last March but countless listeners are now delighted he's back. From the witty title of the podcast to the engaging, well researched content of every single episode Mobituaries is among the very best podcasts anywhere *****

Oct 23rd

Kate Worley

Mo, now that I know you wrote for Wishbone, I love you even more. I watch wishbone in my thirties and thought it was a hoot. Oh yes I was and am a terrier owner. Keep up the great work.

Oct 17th


So happy you're back with Mobits! 🤗🥳😊

Oct 16th


I loved Wishbone as a kid!

Oct 14th

Athena halfblood ravenclaw

So sad! I sat with my doggo while listening to it. Thanks for making a season 3!

Oct 13th

Laura Spreitzer

I first watched Wishbone in my late 20s, and I loved the cleverness and humor of both the premise and the writing. This Mobituary made me so happy to revisit the "cute little dog down here!" as well as Sam, Joe, and the rest of the gang. Learning Soccer died in 2001 just brought me to tears - I guess he's always been eternal, just like the literary characters he played. Rest in peace little dog.

Oct 12th

Danielle Parker

Glad you're back!

Oct 5th

Adam Slater

whoo hoo! I can't wait for the new season!

Sep 29th

Jerry Dalrymple

these are great! Please do more!!!

Jan 4th

Patrice Graves

Will there be a new season? So many of my long runs are spent listening to you.

Dec 5th

Tyeson Rogers

PLEASE MAKE MORE MO! The show is fantastic.

Sep 27th
Reply (1)

Trish Guarino

Our family had the album and we loved it!!! I saw Vaughn Meander in a club in NYC in the late 60's. He sat at a piano and made up ditties based on the names of the audience.

Dec 31st
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