Mo Collins

Mo Collins Headshot

Actress

Birth Name: Maureen Ann Collins

Birth Date: July 7, 1965

Age: 58 years old

Birth Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota

A longtime student of improv and master of disguises, Mo Collins is best remembered for the rotating cast of characters she created on the late-night sketch show "MADtv" (Fox 1995-2009). Hailing from the Midwest, the versatile comedian never completely lost her accent and worked the persona into her characters and stand-up. After leaving the show, Collins made numerous guest appearances in various films and sitcoms, most notably playing the gossip-hungry local talk show host Joan Callamezzo in "Parks and Recreation" (NBC 2009-).

She was born Maureen Ann Collins on July 7, 1965 to an Irish Catholic family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Growing up in the suburbs of the twin cities, Collins was painfully shy until comedy pulled her out of her shell. While initially more interested in introspective hobbies like painting, she joined a comedy club in middle school that enabled her to write and perform sketch and improv pieces for the local high school. Her high school theater teacher was not only responsible for encouraging her to try comedy, but he also gave her the nickname "Mo," which she kept as a stage name. While Collins leaned towards art school after graduation, she ended up attending an all-women's Catholic university in St. Paul, Minnesota, at her parents' behest. The rigid environment did not suit the budding creative and she was eventually asked to leave school. After dropping out, Collins worked a number of odd jobs before returning to improv and studying at Dudley Rigg's Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis. The workshop served as a rigorous improv training ground, with Collins practicing her craft in the touring and resident companies. It was there she realized that acting was not only her calling but she could make a living at it. Instead of heading west, Collins ended up down south, performing at the Pleasure Island Improv Theater in Orlando. While performing, she met future "MADtv" castmember Paul Vogt and became not only colleagues but also close friends. Mo then returned to Minneapolis where she starred in many theater productions and plays, got married and had a son. But family life did not stop her from doing comedy. She shortly sold her house and moved out to Los Angeles, where she landed her big break on "MADtv" within the same year. The show was tailor-made for the talents Collins gained during all those years of improv. Six seasons and an endless amount of characters later, Collins left the show on a high note and searched for a new TV family in 2003. The transition proved more difficult than anticipated but Collins continued doing TV guest spots and voice-acting work until she landed a part on the cult-series "Arrested Development" (Fox 2003-2006), playing the receptionist/business model Starla. She quickly followed that up with a small part on Judd Apatow's "40 Year Old Virgin" (2005) and "Knocked Up" (2007) two years later. While ensemble comedy was her forte, Mo led a prolific comedy career, appearing in over 20 TV series including recurring roles in "According to Jim" (ABC 2001-2009), "Men of a Certain Age" (TNT 2009-2011) and her scene-stealing role on "Parks & Recreation." All the while, Mo continued to perform improv and even tried her hand at stand-up comedy. In the spring of 2011 at the age of 44, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called GIST. With the support of her new fiancé, she underwent surgery and therapy. Battling fatigue and side effects of the disease, she sought out more voice acting work while she eventually went into remission a year later.

Credits

Fear the Walking Dead: Best of Alicia

Actor
Sarah
Show
2023

Fear the Walking Dead: Best of Madison

Actor
Sarah
Show
2023

Fear the Walking Dead: Best of Strand

Actor
Sarah
Show
2023

Fear the Walking Dead: Best of Troy

Actor
Sarah
Show
2023

My Babysitter the Super Hero

Actor
Kate
Movie
2022

Drone

Voice
Movie
2022

The Walking Dead: Best of Morgan

Actor
Sarah Rabinowitz
Show
2021

Fear the Walking Dead: Episode Diaries

Actor
Show
2021

Fear the Walking Dead: Episode Diaries

Guest Star
Show
2021

AMC+ Fan Experience

Actor
Show
2021

Caroline & Friends: The Game

Guest
Show
2019

Single ParentsStream

Guest Star
Lucy Cooper
Series
2018

End of the World Rocks

Actor
Lisa Cunningham
Movie
2018

GhostedStream

Guest Star
Monica Yates
Series
2017
59%

Downward DogStream

Actor
Kim
Series
2017
85%

Downward DogStream

Guest Star
Kim
Series
2017
85%

Cassandra French's Finishing School

Actor
Judi
Show
2017

McDick

Actor
Molten Lava
Movie
2017

MADtv

Guest
Show
2016

Lady DynamiteStream

Actor
Susan
Series
2016
97%

TeachersStream

Guest Star
Tanya
Series
2016

MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion

Actor
Show
2016

F Is for FamilyStream

Voice
Ben
Series
2015

Fear the Walking DeadStream

Actor
Sarah
Series
2015
73%

Fear the Walking DeadStream

Guest Star
Sarah
Series
2015
73%

Fresh Off the BoatStream

Guest Star
Christa
Series
2015
94%

Charlie

Actor
Janet Sanderson
Movie
2015

We the Economy

Actor
Show
2014

The Greatest Event in Television History

Actor
Show
2014

Sheriff Callie's Wild WestStream

Voice
Ella Cowbelle/Frida Fox/Abigail Crane
Series
2013

The Greatest Event in Television HistoryStream

Actor
Series
2012

Talking DeadStream

Guest
Talk
2011

SuburgatoryStream

Guest Star
Series
2011
91%

And They're Off...

Actor
Tina
Movie
2011

Division III: Football's Finest

Actor
Georgia Anne
Movie
2011

Men of a Certain AgeStream

Guest Star
Series
2009
94%

Modern FamilyStream

Guest Star
Denise
Series
2009
85%

The Goode Family

Guest Voice
Show
2009

Parks and RecreationStream

Guest Star
Series
2009
93%

Flying By

Actor
Kate
Movie
2009

Frank TV

Guest Star
Show
2007

Pushing DaisiesStream

Guest Star
Series
2007
96%

CalifornicationStream

Guest Star
Victoria
Series
2007
57%

Knocked UpStream

Actor
Female Doctor
Movie
2007
89%

Cougar Club

Actor
Cindy Conrad
Movie
2007

Puff, Puff, Pass

Actor
Linda
Movie
2006

Jiminy Glick in Lalawood

Actor
Sharon
Movie
2004

Arrested DevelopmentStream

Guest Star
Starla
Series
2003
75%

Detective Fiction

Actor
Jennifer Hannan
Movie
2003

Less Than PerfectStream

Guest Star
Series
2002

According to JimStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

Six Feet UnderStream

Guest Star
Series
2001
81%

The Fairly OddParentsStream

Guest Voice
Ma Speevak
Series
2001

Curb Your EnthusiasmStream

Guest Star
Lisa Thompson
Series
2000
92%

The Geena Davis Show

Guest Star
Show
2000

GirlfriendsStream

Guest Star
Series
2000

Invader ZimStream

Guest Voice
Series
2000
100%

Family Guy

Guest Voice
Additional Voices
Show
1999

Family GuyStream

Guest Voice
Ms. Hobson / Kim Cattrall
Series
1999

Ally McBeal

Guest Star
Series
1997
61%

Just Shoot MeStream

Guest Star
Robin
Series
1997

King of the HillStream

Guest Voice
Ms. Clark
Series
1997

MADtvStream

Actor
Series
1995
43%

MADtvStream

Guest Star
Series
1995
43%

News aboutMo Collins