Monday, March 26, 2007

'member when Carlos Mencia used to be funny?

I can't remember exactly when it was I fell on the floor, but I remember it was Carlos Mencia's fault. He was a funny bastard, and I loved his first HBO stand-up special. I laughed so hard, I nearly browned out. I was thrilled to see that he was the host of "Loco Slam" on HBO, and I was bummed out that it fizzled. Carlos Mencia got a second HBO stand-up special, and I loved that one too.

Somewhere between then and now, Comedy Central changed from a showcase for a broad range of comedians to a clearing house for recycled sitcoms, crap movies, and the occasional bit of gasp some actual funny shit. Carlos Mencia's raw and vicious series "Mind of Mencia" was one of these bright moments, but I'm only counting the first season. At this point, I picked up his album "Take a Joke, America," which, after some thought, seemed like a recycling of his half hour Comedy Central special. I picked up one of his concert DVDs, "Not for the Easily Offended," and I felt he was riding high. Hell, I even wanted to see him live in concert.

Until I saw the episode in the second season of "Mind of Mencia" during which Robin Williams was a stunningly unfunny guest. Carlos Mencia plugged Robin Williams' movie "RV" so many times that I felt nauseous. After that, I would watch "Mind of Mencia," but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it. There had to be something more compelling on - like public access cable or The Weather Channel. It was obvious that Carlos Mencia was a sellout.

Then I saw this little nugget.

I really wanted Carlos to be a funny bastard. I sincerely did. But after seeing this and reading about it on Joe Rogan's website I really lost respect for the little hack. Joe, thank you for saving me the money I would have spent on more Carlos Mencia crap.

I wouldn't say that Carlos Mencia was one of my heroes, but he was someone I respected. He did this bit about white racists not making any real distinctions between racial stereotypes. His routines usually had something more than just cheap gags. Is Carlos Mencia a hack thief? More than likely, but thievery amongst comedians isn't new. What Carlos Mencia doesn't seem to understand is that when you start lifting from other comedians, the worst thing isn't the ire of your fellow comedians; it's losing fans who are gonna start following FUNNIER comedians like Robert Schimmel, George Lopez, Louis C.K., Jim Norton, and Judy Gold. It's a buyer's market, buddy, and Carlos Mencia lost another customer.

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