October 22, 1967
Carlos Mencia Overview:
A comedian who's equally loved as he is loathed, Carlos Mencia is one of the most polarizing figures in stand-up comedy today. With a huge fanbase, a successful Comedy Central series and a substantial catalog of comedy albums and stand-up specials to his credit, there's no denying the audience for Mencia's brand of comedy. However, there is an equally vocal group of Mencia detractors, who have in the past accused the comic of stealing jokes. Mencia's comedy is mostly observational, focusing on the differences between races, classes, political parties and always attempting to push societal buttons about things that should not be said in public. He prides himself on being a troublemaker on stage.
Quick Carlos Mencia Facts:
- Carlos Mencia was born Ned Arnel Mencia in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, but raised in Los Angeles by his aunt and uncle.
- He attended college at California State University, but began pursuing stand-up comedy after a 1990 performance at The Laugh Factory gave him a taste of success.
- In 1994, Mencia was named host of HBO's Loco Slam stand-up showcase series.
- Mencia was one-third of the popular Three Amigos comedy tour beginning in 2002, alongside Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco.
- In 2005, he began starring on Mind of Mencia for Comedy Central, a series with a format very similar to the network's massively successful Chappelle's Show, combining stand-up pieces, interviews and sketches. It lasted for three seasons before being canceled in 2008.
- Mencia achieved a dramatic weight loss in 2011. He first debuted his new, thinner look on YouTube and then on his 2011 Comedy Central special New Territory.
Carlos Mencia and Plagiarism Charges:
Several other comedians, including Joe Rogan
and George Lopez
, have accused Mencia of liberally "borrowing" material or, in many cases, outright stealing jokes. In 2007, Rogan confronted Mencia onstage during a set at The Comedy Store and accused Mencia of plagiarism face to face. Rogan has been the loudest of the accusers, writing blog posts about what he perceives to be Mencia's thievery and even posting videos of sets from other comics to back up his claims. Mencia has denied stealing material, and in 2010 went on Marc Maron's WTF
podcast (not once but twice) to address the accusations.
Carlos Mencia Albums and Specials:
- Take a Joke America (2001) (Album)
- America Rules (2002) (Album)
- Unmerciful (2003)
- Not for the Easily Offended (2003) (Stand-up special)
- Down to the Nitty Gritty (2004) (Stand-up special)
- This is Carlos Mencia (2006) (Stand-up special)
- No Strings Attached (2006) (Stand-up special)
- Performance Enhanced (2008) (Stand-up special)
- New Territory (2011) (Stand-up special)
Additional Carlos Mencia Facts:
- He is the seventeenth of eighteen children in his family.
- Mencia hosted Funny is Funny! for TV's Galavision in 1998.
- His second of two half-hour specials for HBO won him a CableACE award in 2002.
- In 2006, Mencia was named one of the Worst Comedians of All Time by Maxim magazine.
- He been a participant in the USO tour to the Persian Gulf to entertain troops since 2007.
- In 2009, Mencia made what some deemed as inappropriate jokes about Hurricane Katrina shortly after it had happened and was subsequently dropped from the "Krewe of Orpheus" lineup performing at Mardi Gras that year.
- Mencia had a supporting role opposite Ben Stiller in the Farrelly brothers' 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid. He also played a lead role opposite Academy Award winner Forrest Whitaker in the 2010 comedy Our Family Wedding.