Apparently Carlos Mencia is being hyped as the latin version of Dave Chappelle when it comes to the eyes of Comedy Central, as he appears to be the guy who says whatever is on his mind, and is an equal opportunity offender. But as we all know with brussels sprouts, if you try to force something on someone, chances are they’re going to resist it.
To his credit, Mencia (who looks suspiciously like George Lopez) does immediately try to shoot that perception down, or at least make fun of it, …n a mariachi band tribute to the Chappelle’s Show openings. But when he does his stand-up routine, it basically doesn’t sound too different from Eddie Griffin, aside from the occasional funny joke and after six minutes, there wasn’t any ha-ha’s. But as I watched him do his stand up, he apparently is willing to make fun of anybody. Just ask him, because he says it several times during his comedy. Like other Comedy Central shows, the shows are aired free of bleeps and other objectionable material, which is nice.
There are parts of it that are funny, and watching Everybody Loves Raymond’s Peter Boyle read some of Mencia’s hate mail is kinda funny, but it leaves me wondering just how Carlos Mencia and Peter Boyle know each other. The meat of Mencia’s humor and act is in his interview segments, which are even better. Getting him to help confront one race about another’s prejudices are good, and watching a California traffic spokesman try to avoid using the words “Mexican” and “family” when examining an insulting road sign is hilarious. Mencia’s suggestions for improving it are just as good until the end, when it’s clearly staged.
Now, Mencia’s writers enjoy making fun of Arabs and they explain the reasons why, but after awhile, it just gets tired, and some of the jokes are just so patently stupid that you can see them coming a mile away. He even has some bits that explain some of his jokes, because they are so effective the first go around. I’m sure his comedy caters to a certain group, but if I’m on a desert island, and I’m asked to pick a funny and effective Latin comic, I’m going for Paul Rodriguez.
When watching sketch comedy TV shows, know that anything above a 2 channel Dolby mix is a bonus, so you’re just getting standard listening pleasure here. It all sounds OK.
Shot in various locales, the Mind of Mencia appears in full frame only. If there’s some in-joke to be had there, I don’t know where it is, but regardless, this looks all good when you watch it.
The first season of the Mind of Mencia runs for 12 episodes covering 2 discs, with 6 episodes on each disc, and bonus features on each. On disc 1, there’s some behind the scenes footage that has some optional commentary, that’s become the norm on Comedy Central releases and it’s pretty cool, not to mention extensive, as it runs over a half hour long. On Disc 2, there’s a segment called “You Can Say Anything”, which lets you say, well, anything, and some people do, for about 90 seconds. There’s an additional group of deleted material (generically listed as “extras”) that’s semi-funny, and some “Mencia Moments” that are also reminiscent of “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey”. A bloopers section is about 2 minutes, and there are some words of wisdom by KISS honcho Gene Simmons, as he talks about life, love and relationships. Where else would you get better wisdom than from Gene?
Highly produced and looking good, the style that the Mind of Mencia exhibits lacks any comedic substance. There are some moments of decent laughs, but those moments are few and far between at the end of day. Fans of the show will like that this is on disc, but I’d pass on this personally for better sketch comedy by more appealing comics.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- Behind the Scenes Featurette
- Bloopers/Gag Reel