Tell me Mose, where were you born?
I was born in Sorrento in Naples a long time ago and my parents, my two sisters and I immigrated to Canada in 1965 on board the [ship] “Cristoforo Colombo”. Back then it was either you dock in Halifax or you dock somewhere in the eastern United States. We ended up docking in Halifax and then from Halifax we took a train to Montreal.
Mose? Is that Italian?
Yes! My grandfather’s name was Moses. I inherited his name. But growing up, I went to a catholic elementary school, all boys. The guys would make fun of me because I would be chosen to read the Bible passages each day. There was this one kid in my class called Jose, and I liked the way Jose sounded so I told my parents I wanted to be called Mose.
When you were younger, where did you see yourself in the future?
When I was a little boy, growing up in Italy, I wanted to be a cyclist. My parents told me I learned how to ride a bicycle when I was three and a half or four.
But then when we moved to Montreal all that went awash and I wanted to be a hockey player. After that for some strange reason or another I was always the one in family gatherings pretending to be a talk show host, like Johnny Carson.
Did you pursue a university education?
I enrolled in Communications at Concordia, a very specialized program, and I was accepted and I took broadcast journalism.
I was lucky enough to have a professor who told me to look for a job after my first year because he said, “Mose, a career in the media is for you.”
What was your first job related to journalism?
My first job was at CFCF and it was in the mail room. I remember my first week on the job, I went into the newsroom to deliver the mail and there was Bill Haugland, the anchorman of Pulse News at the time. He introduces himself and he says, “You know what kid, I used to work in the mail room once upon a time.” So it was quite inspirational to hear those words from such a distinguished gentleman on my first week on the job.
Do you consider yourself a journalist or an entertainer?
I consider myself an infotainment specialist. Our show is devised where we have fun. It’s a lifestyle show, it promotes Montreal. We are informative yet we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We cover everything under the umbrella of entertainment, so that’s why I call it infotainment.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Meeting people. I love people stories. I love to hear their stories. I love to hear where they came from. I love to hear their backgrounds. Each and every person that we meet on the show, they have such a wonderful slice of life about themselves that I try to absorb that and use it in my own life.
Who is the most interesting personality you ever met?
The most interesting Hollywood personality had to have been Jack Lemmon. He was the grandfather I never had. Every time I interviewed him for a movie, he was such a great storyteller and he had such a passion for his craft. He was a true artist.
Who is your favourite actor of all time?
I would have to say it has to be Al Pacino, but very close behind is Robert DeNiro and I know that’s cliché being Italian! Those two guys are so close but if I had to pick one, it would have to be Pacino.