“Mind Of Mencia” — Season 1

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
April 8, 2006

It’s not easy to balance the fine line between being funny and offensive, but Carlos Mencia manages to make it work on Mind of Mencia–Uncensored Season 1. Born in Honduras to a Honduran father and a Mexican mother, Mencia takes glee in mocking uncomfortable stereotypes.

No one is immune from his sharp tongue, least of all “beaners.” Part of his show is dedicated to “outing” Hispanic celebrities who try to pass as anything but. Nicole Richie, Reggie Jackson, and Bob Vilas all are part Hispanic, he points out.

Ironically enough, Mencia has taken some slams for being a white man trying to pass as a minority. In reality, Mencia has some German roots on his father’s side, but he was raised in a Hispanic household and speaks fluent Spanish.

Mencia makes jokes about Asians, whites, Arabs, and African Americans, but he rarely says anything that makes the viewer cringe. Somehow, the manic comic makes the person he’s making fun of feel he’s in on the joke. In one segment, Mencia brings a metrosexual-type male audience member on stage, orders him not to speak, and tells the man to dance. Mencia then asks the audience to decide whether the man is gay or foreign. He’s neither, but with the help of the good-natured participant, Mencia makes a telling point that looks often are deceiving and that we as a society are all too happy to jump to the wrong conclusions.

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