Inside the mind of MENCIA

Inside the mind of MENCIA



By Leslie Krouse


photos by: Digital Essence Imaging

We arrived on the set of Mind of Mencia, at the original Hollywood Studios, home to shows like I Love Lucy, and the Beverly Hillbillies, for a Revolt In Style first. 


We settled in Carlos Mencia’s office, and while Aaron set up the cameras to tape the interview, I was visually scanning the room.  I noticed a wall was covered with notes for the show.  The cards had different topics written  on them, everything from politics, to gay marriage, to gas prices, It seems like everything has its place in the comedy world.


In comes Carlos, he seems like an old friend, just coming to sit and chat for awhile.   I informed him that he is my first (taped interview) to which he replies “I haven’t had a woman tell me that in a long time”, I thought, how apropos, your first time should be with someone who makes you laugh. 


And with that, it was on.   

Revolt In Style:  You’re called the “Equal Opportunity Offender”

Carlos Mencia:  Is that what they call me?  It’s funny, I get why people say that, people have to, to have a way to describe you.  I’m a comedian, I tell Jokes, I make funnies.  But I don’t really understand it; it’s not part of my being.   Believe it or not, whatever comedian it is, we’re all making fun of something, or someone.  That’s what comedy is, it’s what’s wrong, what’s broken, what’s not right, and so every joke is literally something bad, something that you can go, ah you shouldn’t say that, unless you’re talking about inanimate objects, every joke has a fall guy. It’s interesting that I’m the one who has that.  I’m in line with guys like Don Rickles that had the same thing back in the day, it’s cool.  It’s the perception.  I just try to do jokes about anything, and everything, that I think is funny, or things I should be making fun of.  I don’t target anyone specifically; I don’t say I have to balance it out.   I just go with the flow, with what’s going on in the world, and what people are talking about.  More than anything what inspires me to go, “hey wait a minute”, or,  “Come on!”, and immediately I go off. 


RIS:  Now with that, is there anything that’s taboo, or anything you won’t touch?

CM:  There is nothing I won’t joke about, as long as it’s coming from a good place, or a place I think is going to make a difference.  Yeah, I’ll talk about anything as long as I think it’s funny.  I think there’s a god, and I think I was created by this god, and he gave me this sense of humor.  I don’t think god gave me something I’m not supposed to use.  I don’t think that god does things like that, it would be mean.  If god was like “I want you to have a penis, but don’t use it” you know what I mean, “I want sex to feel good, but you better not have it” you know, “I want you to be able to laugh, but you better not, you son of a bitch” I just don’t believe that’s the kind of god that I believe in.  I think that we’re supposed to laugh; it’s proven that it’s good for your health, people who laugh live longer.  As long as it’s inspiring for me, I’m going to continue to do it.


RIS:  You just got back from your second tour with the USO in Kuwait, how are the guys doing over their?

CM:  Going to the Middle East is unbelievable, you go over there, and these guys are in a war, and they have a great attitude.  Their walking around, “hey what’s up Carlos, I can’t wait to see you tonight” and I’m just watching these guys, and thinking you guys are in a war, you probably don’t want to be here, and if you do, you can’t say that you want to, you just have to be here, an you’re in a good mood.  I was just about to bitch about something stupid that has no meaning what so ever anymore, it makes you realize what’s really important.


RIS:  Your about to hit an 80 city, ‘AT CLOSE RANGE’ Tour.  How do you do it?

CM:  You know what, I’m getting tired, and this is the first time in my career that I’ve said this.  I’ve been doing stand up for 21 years now, and the only break I get is the week before and after Christmas, and I’m always working on New Years.  I would like to take regular people time off.  I think if you worked for a company for 20 year, you would have a month off, accrued vacation; I just want my month off.  I feel at the end of this tour I’m gonna take a big long break.  I don’t know, if it might be from the TV show, or it might just be from everything.  I literally just want to live again.  I remember when I was a kid, well a teenager with my brother, and hang out at Balboa Park, we use to have fun, I need to have fun again, it’s not like I’m not having fun, I just feel I need to do this again.  Of course that’s what I say, but I go to Balboa Park now and someone’s like “Carlos Mencia, sign my taco” dude, I’m not going to sign your taco, “I’m not going to eat it”, alright I’ll sign your stupid taco.  I could literally walk away, and be ok with it.


RIS:  When you were growing up, were there any comedians that inspired you?

CM:  No, when I grew up I was a studious kid. I always knew I was going to get out of the ghetto, and I was going to get out by going to college.  I never thought comedy; I wasn’t even a funny kid.  It wasn’t until college, when some friends said that I was really funny, and should do stand up.  This was a time in my life, even though I was in college; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  I knew from the moment I stepped off the stage, on that first open mike night.  The next day I stopped going to work, and stopped going to school, and that was it.  I have been doing this from that moment on.  In many ways I was a remedial when it came to comedy.   I didn’t know what it was, what you could do, or more important what you can’t do.  I wasn’t one of the guys that said, hey that guy did this, or Cosby did that.  I had never seen stand up before.  In a way it was bad for me, because I got into a business that everybody knew.  In another way it was pretty cool, because I didn’t have any preconceived notions.  I just went for it.


RIS:  Any movies coming up?

CM:  Part of what I’m taking off some time to do, is to go out there and do some of that kind of stuff.  I had a couple of movie offers that I wasn’t able to do, because of either the tour, or the TV show.  We’re working on a project right now.  We’ll see what happens.


RIS:  Last question.  You have one day left on this planet, 24 hrs to live.  What does Carlos Mencia do?

CM:  That’s a great question.  The answer to that is, I truly live every day as if it’s my last.  I really do.  I don’t have a lot of shit to make up.  I don’t have a lot of people to apologize to, I don’t have a lot of people to tell that  I love them, I don’t have any of that stuff.  I let people know that I care when I have to, and I live my life as if this is going to be it.  Honestly, I have no homework.  When that day comes, literally I can keep doing exactly what I been doing my entire life.  If that day comes, I wouldn’t mind just sitting in my pool and chilling all day.  I’ve told my family how much I love them; I’ve let my fans know how much I appreciate them.  I’ve taken all the risk I wanted to take, jumped off the ledges I wanted, and the ones I didn’t jump off of, I don’t want to.  I left my stamp on the people I care about; they’re going to tell a great story about who I’ve been.  I’m sure it’s not all going to be great, but it can’t be.  My wife’s going to say I was a good husband, but I was a much better performer, because I gave more to my fans than to her, perhaps.  But, on the other hand I’ve changed lives, I’ve had people come up to me and say I went to college because of you inspired me, or I got out of a gang, and that’s somebody who could of shot someone , and didn’t because they saw me tell a joke.  That’s a peace that I have. I’m good.

This article took a long time to condense. We had such a great conversation and so many incredible topics were discussed.