Mind of Mencia: Season Four
Currently one of the greatest places for a network to mine new talent for a series is the stand up club. Many of the best television and film comedians have come from this most difficult of humorous formats. For a person to succeed in this type of venue he has to be quick witted; able to adapt to any situation. He also has to have the ability to change his act to reflect the swings in society. One of the best of the lot is Carlos Mencia. He looks at all things that are politically correct and finds humor in them. Mencia is able to walk up to the usual line of what is socially acceptable and gleefully jumps over it. When you think about it a little the premise of his humor is simple. He looks at everything that keeps people apart and pokes huge wholes in it. Mencia takes the socially forbidden words and uses them in such a fashion that they are laughed at instead of causing pain. He has reclaimed the politically incorrect and uses it as a sword to cut through the nonsense that divides human beings. For him we are all just people and re celebrates the cultural and ethnic that is part of mankind. Sure, this is a form of tough love where he will fling a racial slur but it is all to demonstrate just how ridiculous such pejoratives actually are. When he comes across something that is too silly to be taken by a sensible person he uses his catch phrase ‘Dee Dee Dee’; indicating that even a mentally challenged person would see that something is just plain stupid. Those out there who have not seen this series on Comedy Central really need to reprogram your DVR. There is an energy here that is captivating. Mencia draws you into his strange world and you will keep laughing all the way through each episode. One caveat; this is not for the easily offended. You need an open mind and more than a passing understanding of current events to get what is going on here. Once again Comedy Central has released a full, uncensored version of a season, in this case the forth. The DVD is presented through their main distributor, Paramount Home Entertainment.
Carlos Mencia is not some dumb guy telling off color jokes. He has a degree in electrical engineering from the California State University, Los Angeles. He is also one of eighteen children so comedy was something that he had to rely on growing up. Instead of getting into trouble with some street gang Mencia chose to read and learn about the world. It is this fascination with our society that fuels his humor. While there has been some controversy over accusations that Mencia lifts his bits from other comedians his approach and delivery remain fresh and innovative. This season is formatted in the same way as the previous three but the material is for a large part ripped from the headlines. Every episode begins with a little prepared shot featuring Mencia. Typically he is in some elaborate makeup emulating a stereotype of one ethnic group or another. From there he moves into the studio with a live audience. He begins his opening rant frequently pulling people into his act either directly or by inference. He also has a plethora of standard ethnically oriented characters and alternate personas of his own such as a judge or a convenience store owner. In any case he nails his subject.
In his opening skit of the season Mencia is dressed as a distraught white man who is about to appear on the sensationalistic cable show ‘Cheaters’. The host of the show, Joey Grecko, wants to make sure the man wants to confront his cheating spouse since he is a fundamentalist Mormon. If you take a close look at his left hand you will see a row of wedding rings. Mencia and Grecko run out of the van to find the wife in question is a ten year old girl with that high living at the compound hair on a swing set with boy of her age. It turns out Mencia’s character is also the girl’s father; creepy but funny and right on target for the then recent events in Texas. The season is only a minute and a half old and already polygamy, incest and pedophilia have been targets. In the stand up portion of this episode he talks about how Americans are moaning about a recession. He tells them right out that here in the States most people do not know what true poverty is. For some Americans being poor is having a ten year old car not the complete lack of food or sanitation. Mencia gets off on a rant about just how spoiled we are as a society. One character for this season is a homeless man named ‘Triple A’. He makes a living testing drugs for celebrities. He figures that they are too busy being photographed to make sure the drugs they take will work so he offers to try them out. In another skit Mencia is a political analysis in India. It turns out that the network outsourced that job to his country since American talking head political correspondents are just too expensive. His news cast is interrupted when he has to take a dell computer support call and another from Pottery Barn. Most of his humor hits home in one way or another helping people to laugh at their own predicament. A recurring bit is when Mencia goes into the streets to ask regular people a question. In one the question posed is an age old one; how can men make their women happy. One woman compares buying a woman dinner is like gambling; you don’t know if you will hit the jackpot later on. After certain answers Mencia breaks away to some prerecorded bits making fun of them. Mencia than dresses up as both McCain and Obama and demonstrates how a comment is viewed differently by Republicans and Democrats. There is a certain common sense in his humor that takes little getting used to but once you do it is great.
Typical of a Comedy Central DVD season set there are plenty of extras provided on this set. Every episode has an optional deleted or extended scene. Often this is a bit overe the edge even for this network. There are also outtakes that are from the breaks for commercials where Mencia interacts directly with the audience. Many of these were previously available on the Comedy Central web site. Rounding things off are little Mencia minutes, bloopers and other deleted material. This is an uncensored DVD so make sure the kiddies are not around when you play it. If you can take the raunchy nature of his humor this is a great show to enjoy with some friends over.