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Interview:
Carlos Mencia at Sound Board, 3 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Mind of Mencia is a terrible thing to waste. And Carlos Mencia isn't.



The veteran comedian -- and former host of "Mind of Mencia" on Comedy Central -- has been making people laugh for more than 30 years, in clubs and on TV and in the occasional film, such as "Outta Time" and "Our Family Wedding." "Mind of Mencia" was Comedy Central's second highest rated program behind "South Park" from 2005-2008, and he also appeared in a Bud Light ad during Super Bowl XLI.



The Honduras-born Mencia is still hitting the stand-up trail and preparing for his mind, and his mouth, in fine form...



•These are ripe times for comedians, especially one of Hispanic descent. But Mencia, 51, says by phone that he tries to avoid the easy paths. "Everybody wants to talk about immigration. Everybody wants to talk about the divisive emotional rhetoric that we use -- without it being political. Nobody wants to hear political jokes, but they want the emotion attached to the politics. That's interesting. I have a premise that's somewhere between 20 and 45 minutes that America has more stupid people than other countries 'cause we save more idiots than other countries. All the things we do, other countries don't do or care about it. People want to hear that, but they're also kind of afraid of it; At first it's kind of like, 'Whoa, is this me, or is he talking about everybody else?' Then after a few minutes, everybody gives into it."



• Mencia feels he's grown as a comedian as he's gotten older. "I think I've been able to layer my comedy more and more, and it's easier now because I have the ability to slow things down. Back when I was doing 'Mind of Mencia' I was so young in the game and everything was going so fast that I don't remember it that much. I didn't enjoy it the way people think you could. I was in every sketch, I was writing every sketch, and if I wasn't doing that then I was doing a reshoot. I'm working on a few shows now, and I have the ability now to slow it down and be able to look at it from a different perspective and be able to take a breath and take five minutes and chill, where I couldn't do that before. That makes it much easier to do the performances today, even though they're more complex."



• Mencia is also planning a stand-up special for which he'll record 20 shows in a row and then edit the best material into one presentation. "Every show is slightly different, kind of like when we shoot a movie and do different takes. It's a fun place for me to live; When you've been doing this as long as I have its difficult to get creative 'cause you've done so much creative stuff. Plus, I'm losing weight as it goes, so by the time it's done I'm not gonna look the same, which will be funny, too." Mencia has not decided how the special is going to be released yet, however.



Carlos Mencia performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at t Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. $31 and up. 866- 782-0622 or soundboarddetroit.com.

Web Site: www.soundboarddetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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