Lies of Mencia
This really bites. I love Carlos Mencia. Mind of Mencia makes me laugh my ass off. Turns out, I might be laughing at other comedians’ material.
The above occurred at the Comedy Store in LA. Joe Rogan had just finished his set and was going to introduce Kirk Fox who works for Carlos Mencia. In his introduction, Rogan mentioned that Fox opens on the road for Carlos “Menstealia.” Mencia was in the audience and got pissed, walked up on stage, grabbed the mic from Kirk, and called Rogan a pussy because he didn’t have the balls to say it to his face. Rogan, not one to back down from any kind of fight I imagine, walked back on stage and the pwning occurred.
But wait, there’s more. Carlos Mencia calls into the Mikey radio show in San Diego to defend himself. Mencia explains his side of the situation and goes on to promote some of the new bits on his show, one of which, Stereotype Olympics, is stolen. Carlos calls in again to further explain the origin of the bit.
Oh, but there’s more. In an interview with Howard Stern, George Lopez explains why he slapped the shit out of Mencia at the Laugh Factory. Mencia performed thirteen minutes of Lopez’s material on his first HBO special.
Okay, he gets a pass on the Stereotype Olympics. He was pitched the idea by the two DJs who came up with the idea. Sure, it’s someone else’s material, but they pitched it to Mencia. However, George Lopez, Bobby Lee, Ari Shaffir all claim that Mencia has performed their jokes.
I could see doing other people’s stuff on the tour circuit. Yes, it’s wrong, but if you’re just starting out and are trying to develop your own style, you might need a little help. It raises to another level when you steal jokes and perform them on HBO and your own damn television show. By the time you get to that point, you should damn well be writing your own stuff. Hell, I could almost understand using other people’s stuff if he was a political topical comic. It’s hard to make politics funny. Well, I guess it’s kinda easy these days. But Mencia’s thing has always been race. Our country offers infinite source material on racism! How can you NOT write your own racial jokes?
Carlos Mencia will get away with it. He’s got a hit show, he sells out in the clubs, he fills the void left by Dave Chappelle. And as long as people are laughing, he’s making money. It will be interesting to see if there is any fall out from any of this. I have my doubts.
Art does not exist in a vacuum. It’s true that all artists and performers lean on their peers and mentors for inspiration. But there comes a time when you must stop leaning on others and stand on your own damn merit. I will never watch Mind of Mencia again or anything that he’s associated with unless he admits to stealing and apologizes to the comedians he’s leaned on.