Mind of Mencia
“If you ain't laughing, you ain't living baby.” Carlos Mencia
Comedian, writer, and actor Carlos Mencia is popular among TV viewers as the host of the show on Comedy Central called “Mind of Mencia” (2005-Present). As an actor, he has appeared in "In Living Color," "Moesha," "The Bernie Mac Show," "The Shield," "The Proud Family" (voice of Felix), and "Drawn Together." On the big screen, he could be seen in the films "Outta Time" (2002), "29 Palms" (2002), and "The Heartbreak Kid" (2007).
Mencia was a frequent guest on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show on XM Satellite Radio and CBS Radio. He has released three albums, “Take a Joke America” (2001), “America Rules” (2002), and “Unmerciful” (2003).
This 5' 8" comic man has been married to Amy Mencia since December 2003 and has one son.
Childhood and Family:
“I've gotten in trouble with every race you can imagine.” Carlos Mencia
The 17th of 18 children born to a Honduran father, Roberto Holness, and a Mexican mother, Magdelana Mencia, Ned Arnel Mencia was born on October 22, 1967, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. When he was a baby, he was given to his aunt Consuelo and Uncle Pablo Mencia, who weren't able to have children of their own. He was then raised in East Los Angeles, CA. He went by the name Ned Holness until he was 18 years old.
“I grew up in the projects and I know how important it is for kids to have hope.” Carlos Mencia
As a child, Carlos attended Hammel Grade School in East Los Angeles, where he had exceptional school grades and skipped to the 10th grade. Growing up, he was sent to live in Seiko, Honduras, to escape the gang culture and thug life that dominated Los Angeles.
After graduating from Garfield High School in 1985, Carlos went to Cal State L.A., where he majored in electronic engineering, but never graduated. He left early to pursue a career in comedy after a successful performance at the world-renowned Laugh Factory. He also has an older brother named Joseph Mencia who often appears on his show “Mind of Mencia.”
In December 2003, Carlos, nicknamed “The Punisher,” married Amy Mencia and the couple live in the Los Angeles area in California. They have one child together, Lucas Pablo Mencia, who was born on December 14, 2006.
Take a Joke America
“I think we all feel the same things most of the time, we just don’t know how to put it into words. When I’m on stage, I say it. The truth makes people laugh.” Carlos Mencia
Following a successful performance at the world-renowned Laugh Factory, Carlos Mencia left his studies to pursue a career in comedy. He subsequently performed successfully on some of the hottest venues of the stand-up circuit, including The Comedy Store, The Ice House, and The L.A. Cabaret. He was also spotted as a guest on “The Arsenio Hall Show” (Fox, 1988-1993) and “Buscando Estrellas,” the Latino version of “Star Search” in which he earned the title of International Comedy Grand Champion. Additionally, he appeared on Fox’s sketch comedy television series “In Living Color” and “An Evening at the Improv.”
In 1994, Mencia got his first break when he was asked by HBO to host their Latino comedy showcase, “Loco Slam.” Meanwhile, he also continued to do his stand-up routine and hosted “Funny is Funny” on Galavision in 1998.
After releasing his first successful album, "Take A Joke, America," in 2000 through Warner Bros, Mencia headlined (with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco) the successful “The Three Amigos” tour in 2001. During this time, he also worked on two half-hour specials on HBO, the second of which won him a CableACE Award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special. In 2002, Mencia performed his break-out performance on “Comedy Central Presents.”
By this time, Mencia had branched out into acting and could be seen in an episode of the UPN sitcom starring R&B singer Brandy Norwood, "Moesha." He also appeared in the Fox sitcom starring comic actor Bernie Mac, "The Bernie Mac Show" and FX Networks’ drama "The Shield." He then provided the voice of Felix on the Disney Channel animated television series "The Proud Family" from 2001 to 2005 and in its TV movie version "The Proud Family Movie" (2005).
On the big screen, moviegoers could catch Mencia in the 2002 films "Outta Time," which was directed by Lorena David and starred Mario López, and "29 Palms," a direct-to-video comedy helmed by Leonardo Ricagni and starring Jeremy Davies, Michael Lerner, Litefoot, Russell Means, and Chris O'Donnell. Meanwhile, Mencina also released his next albums, “America Rules” in 2002 and “Unmerciful” in 2003.
In 2005, Comedy Central, who desperately needed something to fill the void after “Chappelle’s Show” (2003-2004) abruptly and controversially stopped airing, gave Mencia his own half-hour comedy show titled “Mind of Mencia.” It ran for four seasons and received positive reviews and earned him nominations at the ALMA Awards for Outstanding Male Performance in a Comedy Television Series (2008) and for Outstanding Actor - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (2007). He was also nominated for an Imagen Award for Best Actor - Television in 2007 and a Vision Award for Best Performance - Comedy in 2008 at the NAMIC Vision Awards.
During his “Mind of Mencia” tenure, Mencia also guest starred in an episode of "Weekends at the DL," and in Comedy Central's animated television series "Drawn Together." He also joined the voice cast that included Bob Saget, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christina Applegate in the direct-to-DVD parody film of the 2005 documentary "March of the Penguins," "Farce of the Penguins" (2007), and costarred with Ben Stiller, Malin Åkerman, Michelle Monaghan, and Jerry Stiller in the Farrelly Brothers' comedy film "The Heartbreak Kid" (2007).
Off screen, Mencia was a frequent guest on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show on XM Satellite Radio and CBS Radio. He also released a number of DVDs, including “Not for the Easily Offended” (2003), “Down to the Nitty Gritty” (2004), “This is Carlos Mencia” (2006), “No Strings Attached” (2006), “The Best of Funny is Funny” (2007), and “Performance Enhanced” (2008).
Mencia, who was recently named the “12th-Worst Comedian of All Time” by Maxim, but was voted into 2nd place of the “Top 25 Stand-Up Comics” in Comedy Central's 2006 "Stand Up Showdown," was dropped from the Krewe of Orpheus' celebrity lineup for New Orleans Mardi Gras in February 2009 because of inappropriate comments he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“Racism is exclusion. That's why I make fun of everybody.” Carlos Mencia
Mencia has also faced several plagiarism accusations from other comedians. Joe Rogan posted on his website that Mencia stole jokes from a number of comedians. George Lopez also accused Mencia of plagiarizing his material and accused him of plagiarizing 13 minutes of his material in Mencia's HBO special. Mencia also been accused of stealing a routine from Bill Cosby.