On this day in comedy Comedian, Actor, Carlos Mencia was born as Ned Arnel Mencia in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Mencia got into comedy via an open mic night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. From there he became a regular at the Comedy Store and got seen by the right people. He appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show and got the hosting job for Loco Slam for HBO in 1994. In ’98 he was on Galavision hosting Funny is Funny along with touring as part of “The Three Amigos” (with Pablo Francisco and Freddy Soto).
Carlos Mencia was drawn to hot topics. He’d slam race, politics, social issues and crime and the system meant to suppress it. Comedy Central liked that style and in 2005 he got his own sketch show, Mind of Mencia. It lasted three seasons and was the second highest rated show on the network on its second season.
Besides stand-up Mencia’s worked as an actor. He’s guest-starred on Moesha, The Shield and The Proud Family. His stand-up, on the other hand, has been the subject of controversy. Accused of stealing jokes, Mencia has been confronted in print and in person by Joe Rogan. George Lopez also said Mencia took material from him without permission as well as similarities to the bits of other comedians including Bill Cosby. This left a taint on Mencia’s stand-up career and a strained relationship with his fellow comedians.
Regardless, Mencia won a CableACE Award for his second HBO Best Stand-Up Comedy special.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton