Carlos Mencia (born October 22, 1967) is a comedian, writer, and actor, born seventeenth of eighteen children as Ned Arnel Mencia in San Pedro Sula, Honduras to Magdelena Mencia and Roberto Holness. He was raised by his aunt Consuela and uncle Pablo Mencia in East Los Angeles, California, going by the name Ned Holness in honor of his father. By his own admission, staying out of trouble was difficult growing up, but with the help of his family he excelled in school and stayed out of gangs. He would go on to CSULA majoring in electrical engineering, but would leave early to pursue a career in comedy after a successful performance at open mike night at The Laugh Factory.
Taking the stage name Carlos Mencia, he was a quick success at such venerated LA stand-up venues as The Comedy Store and The L.A. Cabaret. This led to appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show and Buscando Estrellas, where he attained the title "International Comedy Grand Champion". Then, in 1994, Carlos was chosen to host HBO's latino comedy showcase, Loco Slam.
Carlos followed up Loco Slam by hosting Funny is Funny! on Galavision in 1998. He would continue to do stand-up, including a very successful tour in 2001 with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco, "The Three Amigos". Carlos 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, Carlos performed his break-out performance on Comedy Central Presents in 2002.
By the time his career began to take off in the early 2000s, Carlos 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.
The cover for the DVD Carlos Mencia: Not for the Easily Offended.Carlos Mencia's comedy markets itself under the perception that his material is highly controversial. Like many comedians, he focuses on race, politics, religion, class and society, in a style some consider politically incorrect. He mixes blunt and unforgiving observations with angry reactions to current events while railing against the actions of people he considers to be "retarded". Some consider his jokes to be intentionally provocative, or racist, focusing on stereotypes for the sake of publicity. Carlos Mencia, however, says he does not focus on any one race, instead creating comedy about all races, ethnicities and religions equally. It is fair to note that Carlos Mencia's material has yet to generate notable controversy on the grounds of being offensive.
In a 2005 interview by Howard Stern, comedian George Lopez claimed that he picked up Carlos Mencia, slammed him against a wall, and punched him out at The Laugh Factory. Lopez alleged that Carlos Mencia was "pretty liberal with some of [his] material" and appropriated 13 minutes of Lopez' material, without permission, for Carlos Mencia's HBO comedy special. In response to this Lopez and his crew contacted HBO who, in turn, pulled the special for a while. Lopez then goes on to say that Carlos Mencia is either Honduran or German and pretends to be Mexican. Howard is shocked by this saying he didn't know it was now hip to be Mexican. Lopez told Stern, "It's not really a feud, I mean, I think I won." Shortly afterwards, comedian Joe Rogan wrote a post on his website publicly accusing Carlos Mencia of being a plagiarist, alleging that Carlos Mencia stole jokes from a number of comedians.
Carlos Mencia responded to the accusations while being interviewed on Tucson's The Frank Show, stating that Joe Rogan had fabricated these allegations out of jealousy. On his own website, Carlos Mencia denied accusations of plagiarism, arguing that the material in question was too generic to be attributed to any single comedian.  Additionally, he confirms Lopez's statement that there is no feud between them.
He is also criticized by some critics and members of the public for calling himself a "beaner" and a "wetback", both terms have traditionally been derogatory terms used against Mexican Americans -- not Hondurans.
Carlos Mencia recently released his first retail DVD, Carlos Mencia: Not for the Easily Offended, as well as his latest comedy album Down to the Nitty Gritty. Most notedly, he has started his own television series: he is the creator and star of his newest project, Mind of Carlos Mencia, on Comedy Central, which he also produces through his production company, NedLos. The show, which began airing July 2005, is a mix of stand-up, sketch comedy, and street comedy. The show was renewed for a second season and is now in production with new episodes set to premiere March 22, 2006.
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