Venue: Treasure Island
Thought to be the Latin answer to Dave Chappelle, comedian-writer-actor Carlos Mencia first gained notoriety as the host of his own TV show, “Mind of Mencia” (Comedy Central, 2005), in which his excessive use of his favorite catchphrases, “DEE-Dee-dee!” and “beaner,” provoked general ire amongst those who desired political correctness at all costs.
Born Oct. 22, 1967 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Ned Arnel Mencia was the 17th of 18 children born to his Honduran father, Roberto Holness, and his Mexican mother, Magdelana Mencia. The youngster was raised in East Los Angeles, CA by his aunt Consuelo and Uncle Pablo Mencia, where he went by the name Ned Holness in honor of his father. By his own admission, avoiding the street violence of East LA was difficult when he was growing up, but with the help of his family, he excelled in school and stayed out of gangs. He majored in electrical engineering at Cal State University-LA, but left early to pursue a career in comedy after a successful performance on open mic night at the world-renowned Laugh Factory.
Mencia became a quick success at the hip stand-up comedy joints in and around LA, such as The Comedy Store, The LA Cabaret and The Ice House. His reputation led to guest appearances on “The Arsenio Hall Show” (Fox, 1988-1993) and “Buscando Estrellas,” where he bagged the title “International Comedy Grand Champion.” A big break arrived in the form of a call from HBO, who in 1994, selected Mencia to host its Latino comedy showcase “Loco Slam.” Capitalizing on the HBO connection, Mencia hosted “Funny is Funny” on Galavision in 1998.
As he continued moving up the ranks, he continued to hone his stand-up routine; like many comedians he focused on race, politics, religion, class and society, but in a style which intentionally violated all rules of what was considered political correctness and going out of his way to offend liberal sensibilities in order to sustain an edginess in his act.
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