Not completely, as Carlos Mencia proves in live
outing in Atlantic City.
recent viewings, Carlos Mencia’s “Mind of Mencia” show, now in its third
season, seemed to have run out of ideas, going only for crude and crass
sketches, and mostly simple-minded material, but his two-hour-plus live
show (three hours with opening acts added in) seen at the Borgata in
Atlantic City on September 2, gives a fuller dimension to his humor.
Mencia frames a lot of his takes on race and politics with hypothetical
questions he supposedly gets asked by those who might not get his point
of view, and this device gets a little shopworn -- are people really
questioning what’s basically a “can’t we all just get along” philosophy?
But when Mencia lands his shots at political correctness, it’s great to
A 20 or 30 minute counter-intuitive monologue about Hurricane Katrina
that Mencia gave in the show is a perfect example of his ability to
burst the political correctness bubble about who exactly a victim is.
For instance, Mencia recalls the photos of backed-up freeways trying to
get out of town, with no traffic on the normal incoming lanes -- “It
might be time to drop that structure, people.” And he defies the
conventional wisdom that New Orleans should be rebuilt right where it
was -- that might have been fine before people knew where sea level was
and about flooding, but when you look at it objectively, makes no sense.
Mencia’s act is certainly not a soapbox, though. He does a lot about
life and sex, not just race, such as his ideas about how parents now
baby their kids too much, and how it’s women who really love to call
other women “hos.” In fact, in Mencia’s flawless logic, if a ho is
really more about the money than love, that means a woman isn’t actually
a ho for putting out on the first date. It’s the ones that brag about
making a guy take them out three or four times and give them all sorts
of presents that are the real hos. It actually makes a kind of sense
when you think about it. … “Some of the guys in the audience are just
realizing something,” Mencia laughed.
Taking it even further, Mencia had with him Brad Williams, the dwarf who
appears on “Mind of Mencia” and did one of the opening stand-up sets. To
demonstrate the ignorance of types of dwarfism, Mencia explained that
Williams has achondroplasia, which means he has a normal size torso but
short limbs. And what’s the drawback of that? Not being able to jerk off
standing up, of course, as Williams demonstrated, or you could say
failed to demonstrate. Education through humor, Mencia says.
Also to his credit, Mencia passed on the usual practice for star
comedians playing casinos of doing two shows a night to earn more money,
instead playing one long show so that he could really stretch and give
his audience more, as he alluded to during the show. He had played two
shows at the Borgata on Labor Day weekend in 2006, he noted, and made
the change this year. He’s also planning to make Labor Day in A.C. a
regular performance each year.
There has been a lot of carping among other comedians or comedic
performers about “Mind of Mencia” being a dumb show, but Mencia’s live
performance shows there’s a little bit more to him, and some shred of
intelligence -- OK, maybe it’s just a small shred -- underlying his
humor. Regardless, Mencia really is a genuine guy, and gives his all in
entertaining an audience.