June 13, 2006

Carlos Mencia

Normally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are loath to take aim at comedians. After all, unimpressed readers of this “weblog” may respond: “Hey, at least the comedian you excoriate is funny, unlike you.” Or words to that effect.

As such, it is with some trepidation that we discuss the subject of today’s humble “post.” Yet we felt as if we simply had to say something about purported funnyman Carlos Mencia. We’ve seen a few episodes of his Comedy Central vehicle “Mind of Mencia,” and that’s been way too many for us. In fact, Mr. Mencia has really begun to annoy us, and we need to take him down a peg. Or two, depending on how high he’s climbed.

First, from his noxious appearances on “The Big Picture” (and small audience) with Donny Deutch, it is clear that Mr. Mencia perceives that he is something of a trailblazer. He thinks he’s a unique figure in contemporary comedy, and he can both make you laugh and make you learn.

In fact, however, Mr. Mencia seems to offer nothing but unfunny retreads of racial routines Don Rickles offered 30 years ago. Except Don Rickles is actually humorous and has more guts.

We mean, come on: How does harping on the stereotypical attributes of different racial groups amount to cutting-edge humor? The only thing older than that are knock-knock jokes, for crying out loud.

What’s more, Mr. Mencia clearly gets a pass for making numerous derogatory references to minority groups because he himself is of Latino ancestry. He lulls the audience into enjoying negative portrayals of, say, blacks and Asians by also lampooning his own people.

And that, we think, is cheap; it’s the politically correct way to be politically incorrect. In short, Mr. Mencia possesses all of Andrew Dice Clay’s sophistication without any of his balls.

But what most irks us about Mr. Mencia is that he packages his stale brand of stereotype-based humor as a harbinger of racial comity. As unappealing as his “Asians have small eyes” jokes may be, Mr. Mencia advertises them as the quintessence of can’t-we-all-just-get-along multicultural bliss.

It is this, and not his unfunny Don Rickles knock-offs, that we find offensive. Sure, tell racial gags for oodles of cash, if you can get away with it. But stop pretending that there’s something high-minded about this schlock. It’s just racial humor; it’s neither novel nor good-natured. You may have lots of money and success, Mr. Mencia, but let’s try to remember where you are on the comedic food chain.

Posted at June 13, 2006 12:00 AM | TrackBack