A Brief History Of The Rise And Fall Of Carlos Mencia

Carlos Mencia is one of those comedians who quickly became a household name and just as swiftly vanished from the public eye. So what happened to Carlos Mencia? After two HBO specials and hour-long special with Comedy Central Presents, he hosted his variety show, Mind of Mencia, one of the most popular comedy shows of the mid-2000s. For a while, it seemed like Mencia was only ascending further into stardom

Mencia's career took a turn for the worst as accusations of joke-stealing piled higher and higher. The pressure culminated in several public accusations from notable comedians, including Joe Rogan and George Lopez. Soon after, Mencia disappeared from the limelight. He has been quietly working and touring since his last special in 2011, so by now there may be a few things you didn't know about Carlos Mencia.

Carlos Mencia's career has had some pretty big ups and huge downs. Just like his contemporary Dane Cook, it appears Mencia is prepping for a possible comeback. Before he steps back into the spotlight, it may be wise to find out who is Carlos Mencia today, where he went, and what exactly happened to him? There are certainly no shortage of interesting stories about Carlos Mencia over the years he has been in and out of the public eye.

  • Many Comics Insist He Stole Jokes

    Joe Rogan is the perhaps the most reputable comedian who insists Mencia repeatedly stole material from a wide variety of comics. In his 2007 confrontation-turned-viral-video at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, CA, Rogan accuses Mencia of widespread joke-stealing in front of a packed house. Eventually, he is granted a microphone to air his grievances.

    It's a brutal standoff between Rogan and Mencia, and later, a large group of respected comedians back Rogan's claims while standing on The Comedy Store's infamous back porch. Accusers present included Ari Shaffir (Comedy Central's This is Not Happening),  Steve Rannazzisi (FX's The League), and Jimmy Kimmel's longtime warm-up comic, Don Barris. In a separate incident, George Lopez mentioned on Howard Stern's show that he recognized his material in Mencia's HBO Special.

  • Mencia Doubled Down And Bragged About Stealing Jokes

    Mencia Doubled Down And Bragged About Stealing Jokes
    Video: YouTube

    Warning: the above video contains repeated profanity and offensive language.

    In the 2010 Showtime documentary I Am Comic, Mencia goes so far as to admit, without question, not only that he steals jokes, but that he will always steal funny material. Mencia compares the practice to rappers sampling tracks, while missing the obvious point that rappers have to pay for the rights to copyrighted material to use in their music.

    Instead of helping, his brazen attitude further tarnished his name within the comedy industry.

  • He Made Insensitive Katrina Jokes

    He Made Insensitive Katrina Jokes
    Video: YouTube

    Warning: the above video contains repeated profanity and offensive language.

    Mencia also made several different jokes about Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005 and 2006. His off-color material even got him uninvited to Mardi Gras in 2009. While not nearly as bad as having a career in tatters after accusations of plagiarism, getting uninvited to a party hosted by arguably the most open-invitation event in America had to sting a little.

  • He Is Widely Hated In The Comedy Community

    Mencia is frequently named as one of the most hated comics of his time (along with Dane Cook), with critics citing his use of racial jokes as a crutch. Comedians primarily despise him because of his joke-stealing, and even moreso because of his casual attitude about it.

    He has been confronted on numerous occasions, and has yet to make peace with the comedy community at large. Whether he can turn things around and improve industry relationships has yet to be seen.

  • He Lost Weight And Went To Therapy


    A post shared by Carlos Mencia (@carlosmencia) on

    After his fall from grace, Mencia decided to work on himself. He eventually lost 70 pounds after a diabetic friend who was on his way to have a toe removed called him fat. He also saw a therapist to help him work through his career fallout. In a 2013 interview before a Charleston, SC performance, he admitted:

    "It's so easy to become angry and to become bitter, but you have to grow and change and evolve and become better." 

  • He May Bring Back 'Mind of Mencia' (Or Something Like It)

    Though he has shied away from television work for some time, Mencia may have not one, but two television shows in the works. Mencia claims the first could be a dark, edgy half-hour program. He offered few details as to what this tonally different show would be about.

    The second show he briefly discussed would be in the same vein as Mind of Mencia. The show would tackle current events, presumably using his social commentary as a starting point. No networks or partnerships were mentioned in picking up either of the projects.