Carlos Mencia talks South Park, Name Changes, and Family Dysfunction
Carlos recently dropped 70 pounds, too. Oddly enough, with less of him physically, there is more to love! Catch this funny guy tonight and Saturday as he offers up a special performance at the Brea Improv!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I was surprised to hear that your real first name was Ned! I had no idea!
Carlos Mencia: Yeah, Mitzi from the Comedy Store told me Ned was not a good name and Carlos was my uncle's name. Mitzi was like, "Yep! That's it! Carlos Mencia! You can't be an angry Mexican with the first name of Ned." I was like...I'm not Mexican! [Laughs.]
What's the deal with that?
Well I had to start getting used to the fact that people would think I'm Mexican. People assume that and they get mad when I say I'm not. So I'll go on stage and say I'm from Honduras and then people will be like, "Yo it's cool your Mexican!" And I'm like, naw...I just said I'm from Honduras! And they're like, "Why'd you trick me man?" Or they'll say, "What part of Mexico is Honduras?"
Wow. I hope those people weren't from Orange County. Let me get this out of the way because I am a huge South Park fan. What was your immediate reaction to being on South Park? Embarrassed or honored?
Oh honored, of course! Hell yes! Listen, I've been mentioned and been made fun of by all of the big ones. The Simpsons did it, South Park did it, and so did Family Guy. I love those guys and I wish they would have called me so I could have done my own voice! It was awesome really, I couldn't believe it. I mean, that's what they do and that's how I looked at it.
I love that you're a team player, I'd be beyond excited too. So you are the 17th of 18 kids so you pretty much know your parents liked to do it.
My parents talk about it all of the time so I guess so!
And how were the holidays around your house?
They started off awesome with 18 kids, girlfriends and wives, kids...hundreds of people in a house. All of them saying, "I love you and we're here for you." It's all perfect. Then a few hours later someone will bring out beers and everyone gets a little nicer! Then someone brings tequila and about an hour later someone is yelling at somebody going, "Your wife is a whore!" It usually ended by someone saying, "We gotta go. Your dad stuck my dad with a fork."
Sounds like you had no choice but to find humor! Who gave you your "big break?"
Probably Mitzi. Her making me a regular at the Comedy Store is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Being able to sit there and learn from the best comedians of all times in my era was just amazing. I got the opportunity to learn how to be great through these guys. I mean, I got advice from Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Louie Anderson, and Robin Williams. I mean, these are the people who taught me how to do my craft so that was the biggest break of all time! Without that foundation the house that I built would have fallen. It wouldn't be what it is!