Carlos Mencia on Miami Comics, Losing the Weight, and Making Peace With the Haters
Carlos Mencia has never been so uncontroversial.
For years, the comedian navigated the seas of mainstream success with his show Mind of Mencia while being thrashed by storms of criticism for allegations of stealing material within the community. It's rare for a comedian to experience soaring adoration or scathing hate, let alone both at the same time.
But this was years ago. Mencia never stopped writing and performing, but these days he's mellowed into a guy who's over the drama. This weekend he's at the Miami Improv at Homefield, Thursday to Sunday.
Carlos spoke with New Times about his evolution, losing the weight, and handling the hate.
I'll begin with a traditional Miami greeting: Yo bro, what's good?
Heh. Everything, man. Everything is good with me, bro. After Mind of Mencia and all that, I took the time to just find myself on stage. You go through those waves of success and then you realize you have to evolve. You either remain stagnant or you move on. So I decided to go back to the comedy clubs and find myself in the roots of that.
You come to Miami often.
For me it's different. It's like the one place I fit in. I fit in as a Latino, and American, because I speak Spanish, I know Central and South America. It's just a different vibe, for me it's a perfect place.
So you're building material for a new special?
I definitely already have the material, now I just have to figure out which company will record the special. Within the next few months.
So the people coming to the Miami Improv this weekend will catch some of that material?
Eighty to 90 percent, depending on how much I write and anything happening. At the top of my game I think I wrote an hour of material in about 10 days.
That's the best I've ever done. But that was right after September 11 and there was so much to talk about. So I've been known to write 20 minutes in a weekend, and then three minutes here and there, and then in a month or two -- boom. It just depends on whatever's going on in my life.
It's hard when you've been successful at something to do something different. I wish Sam Kinison was still alive to see what kind of stuff he'd be doing. How his act would evolve... same for me. It took me a while and right now I'm hitting on all cylinders, working on a couple movie and TV projects. My stand-up has never been better. I'm in a great place right now.