|Born||Maureen Ann Collins
July 7, 1965
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Maureen "Mo" Ann Collins (born July 7, 1965) is an American actress and comedian. Collins is perhaps best known for being a member of the ensemble on FOX's sketch comedy series MADtv. She became well known for several characters during her tenure on the show. She was a cast member from the 4th season (1998) through the 9th season (2004); she only appeared in fourteen episodes during season 9 due to contractual reasons. She returned to MADtv in the 10th season for one episode, and again when she made an appearance on the 300th Episode doing her popular character Lorraine Swanson.
Collins joined the cast of MADtv at the beginning of season 4 (Fall 1998) and stayed until the end of season 9 (Spring 2004), despite appearing in only 14 episodes during the ninth season. Her popular stint on the show lead her to come back to guest star in 2005 during Season 10 and in 2007 during the 300th episode on season 13. She was also known for trying to stifle laughter during some of her skits much like Harvey Korman on The Carol Burnett Show.
Her most featured and arguably most popular characters were Doreen, the screechy-voiced mother of overgrown toddler Stuart (when Mo Collins left the show, Doreen was written off as being asleep after her latest alcoholic bender or never mentioned); the odd, annoying, confused middle-aged woman Lorraine, and the perpetually unlucky Trina.
Collins also did a multitude of celebrity impressions, including Alanis Morissette, Angelina Jolie, Audrey Meadows, Barbara Bush, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cher, Diane Sawyer, Dina Lohan, Judy Garland, Jenilee Harrison, Jenny Jones, Mary Tyler Moore (in several "modern day spin" parodies of The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Mary Hart, Courteney Cox, Madonna, Martha Stewart, Pink, Shakira, Pamela Anderson, Teri Hatcher, Catherine Hicks, Jane Kaczmarek (as Lois on a Malcolm in the Middle parody called Malcolm X in the Middle), and Penny Marshall.
- She played Starla, a business model-turned-secretary, on Season 2 of Arrested Development.
- She played a nurse with a big vagina in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Collins also had two small roles in the Judd Apatow films The 40-Year-Old Virgin as a speed dater named Gina // and a small role as a doctor in Knocked Up.
- She is currently performing a NITY-woman show called Mo vs. Mo in various cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago.
- She also played iTeacher (a teacher who gives her lessons via a live podcast because of her fear of being in front of students) on the hit kids Nickelodeon sitcom Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Collins also voiced the character "Robo-Mom" and Zita on the Nickelodeon cartoon, Invader Zim. The celebrity that she impersonated was the singer Faith Hill.
- Collins plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the We Spark charity.
- Collins opened the Comedy Warehouse at Walt Disney World and also performed with Streetmosphere at the (formerly named) Disney-MGM Studios in the Hollywood Public Works.
- She voiced Jan Ors in Star Wars: Dark Forces: The Collector's Trilogy audio drama.
- She reprised her Mary Tyler Moore impression on an episode of former MADtv castmate Frank Caliendo's Frank TV.
- She played the role of Emily on the ABC show According to Jim
- Recently she has a semi-recurring role on NBC's Parks and Recreation as Joan Callamezzo, the host of the local talk show Pawnee Today.
Collins is a survivor of a rare form of cancer known as GIST. She was diagnosed in spring 2011 by a stroke of luck when she happened to notice an odd lump in her abdomen. Said Collins: "I would have done nothing about it. I was 44, feeling healthy, everything was going great for me, but my fiancé, Alex said, ‘You need to get it checked out’." Alex's insistence paid off. She had a primary tumor in her duodenum and was able to find a doctor who knew enough to know that she needed to see a specialist.
- "Mo Collins: Biography". TV.com. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Vaughan, Peter (2 June 1996). "Nickname showed Mo Collins new side of self". Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN). Retrieved 30 January 2010. (Registration required.)
- Johnson, Cheryl (9 May 1999). "Near-nude `MadTV' spot leaves mom kinda mad; Mo Collins' mom would prefer seeing her in flannel gown instead of flesh". Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN). Retrieved 30 January 2010. (Registration required.)
- Petrozzello, Donna (6 November 1999). "Ravings of a 'Mad Woman". New York Daily News. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Justin, Neal (10 March 2000). "The big Mo; Mo Collins showed off many different faces on the Twin Cities theater scene. "Mad TV" proves she was just getting started". Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN). Retrieved 30 January 2010. (Registration required.)