Believe it or not, Carlos Mencia is the 17th of 18 children, and was born in Honduras. As an infant he was sent to the US to be raised by an aunt and uncle in the Maravilla Projects in Los Angeles,” but went back to Honduras as a teenager to get away from the gang culture in his neighborhood. When he came back to the U.S., the school system took notice of how smart he was and automatically put him in the 10th grade.
Carlos started performing stand-up at The Laugh Factory and went on to become a regular at The Comedy Store, which is where I first met him. He performed there every night and drew quite a following. There was always a buzz about Mencia, and even the comics who were hanging out would all run in to see him perform.
So when I found out he was headlining Gotham Comedy Club I made sure to attend. But he lost so much weight I almost didn’t recognize him.
To address that, he comes out and right away tells the audience that he doesn’t have AIDS. He tells the story: One day a friend of his made a comment that he was fat! (I understand it was Gabriel Iglesias who said it, which is hysterical, on many levels!) His new material — which crushed the Manhattan crowd — addresses the concept of being an American, and he’s still making political and racial observations– like discussing why it’s a common thought that most Black people can’t swim. “Cause we used to chase them away from the pool. So ironically they became fast runners, but they never learned how to swim!” he told the sold-out crowd.
You can check out more info and photos at the Comedy Matters Blog.