Craig Glazer Talks Carlos Mencia
TKC NOTE: Here's what our pal Craig Glazer's weekend is looking like . . .
Comedy Sensation Carlos Mencia at Stanfords
Stanford & Sons has a long history with comedy guru Carlos Mencia. Mencia was a twice a year regular at Stanfords in Westport from the mid-nineties to the early two thousands. Carlos was considered the latino version of George Carlin. I’ve often been asked who are the best stand up comics I’ve ever seen and post 1995 I would certainly include Carlos as one of the top five. Mencia, originally known for being aggressive and political, has now lightened up to be much more jovial and crowd friendly. Mencia was always the consummate professional, polite, courteous and very sure of himself. You never saw Carlos party after his shows like most comics, in fact, in those days he didn’t drink or do drugs at all.
In the nineties Carlos was chasing the number one spot for Latino comics, at that time it was Paul Rodriguez. His competition was George Lopez who also played Stanford’s during that time. Mencia was bitterly disappointed when Lopez was picked over him to have his own series on Network TV. The Networks were looking for a crossover to white audiences. Clearly Lopez was the safer pick as Carlos’ brand of humor was much more controversial and aggressive. Most experts including myself would tell you that Mencia was the more talented of the two, but Lopez had more of that ‘Jeff Foxworthy’ family type appeal. Lopez would go on to have the most successful latino comedy series since ‘Chico and the Man’ decades earlier. Later, George would get his own talk show which has recently gone off the air.
Carlos finally got his big break when Dave Chapelle left Comedy Central, and his show was replaced by the hit show ‘Mind of Mencia’ starring Carlos Mencia. The show catapulted Carlos into the multi million dollar a year income category. Mencia went on to do three HBO specials and movies, most notably ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ starring Ben Stiller.
Mencia is well known for staying on stage way past his scheduled appearance time. He is one of the few comics outside of Lewis Black or George Carlin who have five or six hours of material memorized. As his TV and film career slowed down in the late 2000’s, Carlos went on national theater tours, including doing the Midland in Kansas City a couple of times. It was around this period that Joe Rogan went out of his way to accuse Carlos of borrowing jokes from other comics without their permission. The customers lined up on both sides of the equation. Rogan was better known for being a TV host for the show ‘Fear Factor’ than being a stand-up comic. Many comics have borrowed or taken material from others and reformatted it to be their own. Whether this is joke stealing or not is in the eye of the beholder. We also worked with Rogan during that time frame, but in the end supported Mencia’s position.
Both comics were hurt by the ongoing internet war, Rogan was dumped by his agency CAA and they signed Mencia as a client who remains with them to this day. Both comics landed on their feet, Rogan with a second run of ‘Fear Factor’, his announcing for the UFC, as well as one of the top podcasts. Mencia continued working theaters and casinos, most notably his long term deal with Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where he appeared last week.
Look for George Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias and Carlos Mencia to do a monster million dollar extravaganza for NYE in Las Vegas in one of the large theaters. Carlos is working on his new one hour Showtime special this weekend at Stanford & Sons. Shows are tonight at 8pm with two shows each Friday and Saturday night. This is Mencia’s first full weekend at a comedy club in KC in fifteen years. We promise he will bring the funny. Carlos does a Meet and Greet before the shows that includes DVD’s and signed t-shirts. Call (913) 400-7500 for tickets or go to stanfordscomedyclub.com. Next week look for new comedy superstar T. J. Miller.