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Carlos Mencía
Comedian Carlos Mencia in 2009.JPG
Mencia performing in December 2009
Birth name Ned Arnel Mencía
Born (1967-10-22) October 22, 1967 (age 56)
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Years active 1990–present
Genres Observational comedy, black comedy, insult comedy, physical comedy, satire
Subject(s) Latin American culture, race relations, family, everyday life, pop culture, human behavior
Spouse
Amy Mencia
(m. 2003)
Children 1

Ned Arnel "Carlos" Mencía (born October 22, 1967) is a Honduran-American comedian, writer, and actor. His style of comedy is often political and involves issues of race relations, Latin American culture, criminal justice, and social class. He is best known as the host of the Comedy Central show Mind of Mencia (2005–2008). Around the time of the show's cancellation, several comedians accused Mencía of plagiarism and stealing jokes.

Early life

Ned Arnel Mencía was born in San Pedro Sula on October 22, 1967, the son of Mexican mother Magdelena Mencía and Honduran father Roberto Holness. He has 16 older siblings and one younger sibling. At the time of his birth, his mother was engaged in a domestic dispute with his father, and she subsequently refused to give Mencía his biological father's surname. Out of respect for his father, he later began using the Holness surname anyway, and did so until the age of 18. He moved to the U.S. as a child and was raised Catholic in East Los Angeles by his aunt Consuelo and uncle Pablo Mencía. By his own admission, staying out of trouble was difficult while growing up, but his family helped him excel in school and stay out of gangs. He robbed a house when he was 19 years old. He attended Garfield High School in Los Angeles County, and later majored in electrical engineering at California State University, Los Angeles; however, he dropped out to pursue a career in comedy after a successful performance at an open mic night at The Laugh Factory. In 1988, at the suggestion of Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore, he began using the first name "Carlos" to appeal to Mexican audiences.

Career

Carlos Mencia hat
Mencia prior to a live concert at a U.S. Army camp in the Persian Gulf

Mencia performed at venerated LA stand-up venues such as The Comedy Store and The L.A. Cabaret. His success in these venues led to appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show and Buscando Estrellas, where he attained the title "International Comedy Grand Champion." Then, in 1994, Mencia was chosen to host HBO's latino comedy showcase Loco Slam.

Mencia followed up Loco Slam by hosting Funny is Funny! on Galavision in 1998. He would continue to do stand-up, including a successful tour in 2001 with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco, "The Three Amigos." Mencia also did two half-hour specials on HBO, the second of which won him a CableACE Award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special. After the release of his first comedy album by Warner Records, Take A Joke America, Mencia performed his break-out performance on Comedy Central Presents in 2002.

By the time his career began to take off in the early 2000s, Mencia was also working as an actor doing guest appearances in the television shows Moesha and The Shield, and starring in the film Outta Time and the animated show The Proud Family.

In 2002, he performed on Comedy Central Presents. In March 2005, Comedy Central announced Mencia's own half-hour comedy show, Mind of Mencia. The show mixed Mencia's stand up comedy with sketch comedy, much like Dave Chappelle's Chappelle's Show. The show achieved moderate success in its first season and was brought back for a second season in the spring of 2006, becoming Comedy Central's second highest-rated program behind South Park. It was brought back for a third season that summer before being cancelled in 2008. Mind of Mencia was produced by Nedlos, a portmanteau of Mencia's birth name and the name he took prior to naturalizing in the US.

Mencia was sometimes a guest on the Opie and Anthony radio show on XM Satellite Radio and CBS Radio. He took part in the first Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus Comedy Tour in 2006.

Mencia starred in a Super Bowl XLI commercial for Bud Light. In November 2009, Mencia began appearing in commercials for a weight-loss product called Belly Burner.

Mencia went on a 2011 stand-up comedy tour, including dates at the Improv in Schaumburg, Illinois, on June 24 and 25, and ending in Las Vegas at Treasure Island on September 16, 2011.

Mencia was a co-founder of the restaurant chain Maggie Rita's, and a co-owner of several locations. By January 2013, Mencia's restaurants had closed amid poor reviews, though one franchised location continued to license the name.

Personal life

Mencia married his wife, Amy, in 2003. They reside in Los Angeles and have one son named Lucas Pablo Mencia.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Outta Time Juancho
29 Palms The Comedian
2005 The Proud Family Movie Felix Boulevardez (voice) TV Movie
2007 Farce of the Penguins Juan Sanchez (voice)
The Heartbreak Kid Tito
2010 Our Family Wedding Miguel Ramirez

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1990 In Living Color Valet Episode: "The Black Man's Guide to Understanding the Black Woman"
1995-97 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Poncho/Xolotl(voice) Episode: "Sleeping Beauty" & "The Shoemaker and the Elves"
1999 Moesha Himself Episode: "Life Imitating Art"
2001 The Bernie Mac Show Chuy Episode: "Pilot" & "Now You Got It"
2001-05 The Proud Family Felix Boulevardez (voice) Recurring Cast
2002 The Shield Gabo Episode: "Two Days of Blood"
2005-08 Mind of Mencia Himself/Host Main Cast
2006 Drawn Together King of Mexico (voice) Episode: "Captain Hero and the Cool Kids"
2007 MADtv Himself Episode: "Episode #13.5"
2022-Present The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Felix Boulevardez (voice) Recurring Cast

Mencia has also appeared on Comic Relief, and hosted Loco Slam in 1994, Latino Laugh Festival in 1997, Funny is Funny! in 1998, and Uncensored Comedy: That's Not Funny in 2003.

Discography

Albums

  • Take a Joke America (2001)
  • America Rules (2002)
  • Unmerciful (2003)
  • Spanglish (2006)

Albums and DVDs

  • Not for the Easily Offended (2003)
  • Down to the Nitty Gritty (2004)
  • No Strings Attached (2006)
  • The Best of Funny is Funny (2007)
  • Performance Enhanced (2008)
  • Mind of Mencia Season 1 (2006)
  • Mind of Mencia Season 2 (2007)
  • Mind of Mencia Season 3 (2007)
  • Mind Of Mencia Season 4 (2008)
  • Carlos Mencia: New Territory (2011)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Carlos Mencia para niños

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