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Carlos Mencia

Biography Carlos Mencia

Ned Arnel Mencía (born October 22, 1967 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras), better known by his stage name Carlos Mencia, is a comedian, writer, and actor in the United States. He is currently the host of his own show on Comedy Central, Mind of Mencia.

Mencia was a quick success at such venerated LA stand-up venues as The Comedy Store and The L.A. Cabaret. This led to appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show and Buscando Estrellas, where he attained the title “International Comedy Grand Champion.” Then, in 1994, Mencia was chosen to host HBO's latino comedy showcase Loco Slam.

Mencia followed up Loco Slam by hosting Funny is Funny! on Galavision in 1998. He would continue to do stand-up, including a very successful tour in 2001 with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco, “The Three Amigos.” Mencia also did two half-hour specials on HBO, the second of which won him a CableACE Award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special. After the release of his first comedy album by Warner Records, Take A Joke America, Mencia performed his break-out performance on Comedy Central Presents in 2002.

By the time his career began to take off in the early 2000s, Mencia was also working as an actor doing guest appearances in the television shows Moesha and The Shield, and starring in the film Outta Time and the animated show The Proud Family.

At the end of 2004, Comedy Central began talks with Carlos Mencia for his own program shortly after their renewal of comedian Dave Chappelle's contract for Chappelle's Show. In March of 2005, prior to Chappelle’s April 28, 2005 departure from the production of Chappelle’s Show and subsequent trip to Africa, Comedy Central announced Mencia's own half-hour comedy show, Mind of Mencia. The show mixed Mencia's stand up comedy with sketch comedy, the same basis for the highly popular Chappelle's Show. The show achieved moderate success in its first season and was brought back for a second season in the spring of 2006, becoming Comedy Central’s second highest rated program behind South Park, and again for a third season that summer.

Maxim magazine recently named Mencia as the 12th-worst comedian of all time, although television viewers themselves had voted him into 2nd place of the Top 25 stand-up comics in Comedy Central's 2006 "Stand Up Showdown".

Image:Carlos Mencia Not fot the Easily Offended.jpg
The cover for the DVD Carlos Mencia: Not for the Easily Offended.Like many comedians, he focuses on race, sexual orientation, politics, religion, class and society, but in a style which intentionally violates rules of what is politically correct by, for example, making a point to use racial epithets or terms such as “retarded” rather than “disabled” or “mentally handicapped” and otherwise going out of his way to offend liberal sensibilities, such as by advocating capital punishment and sustaining a generally high level of raunchiness in his material. A staple of his material is diatribes denouncing the actions of people he considers to be stupid, often using his trademark “Dee-Dee-Dee!” He has stated that the phrase does not refer to people “who were born retarded,” but rather people “who were born, and are now retarded.” As said in his "Dee-Dee-Dee" song, "Dee-Dee-Dee doesn't mean mentally retarded, it means stupid." He often advocates Social Darwinism's “survival of the fittest” type solutions to this perceived problem of too much stupidity. With this style Mencia is able to tell a fairly benign joke, and while the audience laughs he creates an illusion that he must hold back their laughter by raising an open-faced hand and yelling "wait" or "hold on", leaving the air open for the continuation.

Some consider his jokes to be intentionally provocative and racist, focusing on stereotypes for the sake of publicity or easy laughs (an example is his use of the word "beaner" to refer to Mexicans). Mencia, however, says he does not focus on any one race, but that he creates comedy about all races, ethnicities and religions equally, without the desire to have his words taken too seriously. He has the opinion that life should be filled with comedy, as shown by his catchphrase "If you ain't laughin', you ain't livin.'" During the war in Iraq, he was frequently seen advocating free speech. He was quoted as saying "Somewhere right now, there is a soldier dying to protect our rights. One of these rights is free speech. And I will never let a soldier die in vain."

Accusations of plagiarism
Comedian Joe Rogan wrote a post on his website publicly accusing Mencia of being a plagiarist, alleging that Mencia stole jokes from a number of comedians.

Mencia responded to the accusations while being interviewed on the Tucson, Arizona The Frank Show, stating that Joe Rogan had fabricated the plagiarism charge out of jealousy. On his own website, Mencia argued that the material in question was too generic to be attributed to any single comedian.

On February 10, 2007 Rogan confronted Mencia on stage at the Comedy Store on Sunset and continued his allegations of plagiarism. A video of the altercation was posted on his website. In the video, Joe Rogan's arguments were backed by different audio and video clips from other comedians including George Lopez. The Comedy Store later canceled Joe Rogan's upcoming shows at that particular venue.

George Lopez has accused Mencia of plagiarizing his material. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Lopez accused Mencia of plagiarizing 13 minutes of his material in Mencia's HBO special. He also claimed he had a physical altercation with Mencia over the alleged plagiarism.

The only joke that George Lopez has publicly specified was stolen and used on Mencia's HBO special was a Taco Bell joke. Comedian Ted Sarnowski countered this claim, stating that the Taco Bell joke he performed on radio in 1988 was later taken and used without permission by Lopez, the radio station's resident comic. Sarnowski claims to have given Mencia permission to use the joke, yet Lopez later began referring to Mencia as a "thief" over the joke Lopez allegedly plagiarized.

YouTube features video clips comparing Mencia's routine with other comics, including Bill Cosby.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Mencia

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In: Carlos Mencia, Ethnic Comedians, Mexican American
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