I'm on a flight to Washington Reagan airport in DC and I'm exhausted. I've been dealing with having to fight accusations for far too long. Accusations like I pretend to be Mexican when I'm not. I've never hidden the fact that I was born in Honduras. My mother who raised me is from Jerez Zacatecas but I was born in Honduras. That my name is not originally Carlos it's Ned. That fact has never been hidden either. When I was maybe a month or two into comedy I was told by Mitzi Shore, Pauly Shores mother, the owner of the Comedy store and at least in the comedy community, a comedy legend because of the comedians she discovered that "you can't be an angry Mexican named Ned" when I told her I'm not Mexican she replied "you can't be an angry Mexican named Ned". I said I just told you I'm not Mexican she said "everyone will think you are no matter what so accept it" so I did. I had no idea that her words would be so prophetic nor that people's perceptions regardless of the truth would be used against me. I've even been accused of being German. At the time I knew of many artists throughout history that changed their names so I didn't think it was a big deal. As a matter of fact I knew that in everyone of those instances at least at the time, this was 1988, they changed it to sound less ethnic. I changed my name to something more ethnic. I actually thought is was cool to embrace that I'm a born Latino. Then came the accusations of being a hack. I've heard many comedians speak of similar personal stories here's mine. I discovered stand up months before I did my first open mike. My idols weren't legends. I, two months into Standup, got a job at The Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood as a doorman. So the people that I saw then were the ones I tried to be like. I emulated them and their styles because I wanted to be like them. Charles Cozart, John Caponera, Fred Greenlee, Paul Rodrigiuez, Loui Anderson and many others. The most influential was Paul Mooney. I emulated them but didn't do their act. Then came the accusations of being cocky and or arrogant. I was 20 years old from the projects. I came from a neighborhood where at the time I was told in not so kind words that I was a fool for even trying to do Standup. I guess that part of me was there as a shield to protect me from the negative voices. I also didn't drink. I didn't smoke or do any drugs of any kind so I didn't hang and make friends. Looking back wish I had. I could have used some friends later on in life to tell the world who I am not from my perspective but from theirs. I don't deny coming off as whatever the perception was. I was in this to win it. To make the amount of money necessary to get my family out of the projects so those perceptions didn't affect me. I was then attacked for being selfish and never doing my time on stage and always ignoring the light. The light is turned on when you are supposed to get off stage. I was also attacked for bumping other comedians. That's when you are not on the list to perform but because of your standing in the comedy world you are given the privilege of going on even though you're not on the schedule. I could tell you that being a doorman for years at The Store I witnessed many comedians bump others and run the light but that would be an excuse. The truth is those accusations are definitely 100% true. I had a huge chip in my shoulder and so much to prove that I was abusive in doing both of those things and oblivious to who it affected. To those I did it too I wish I was then who I am now. Never the less I am sorry. Then came the joke stealing accusations. I remember I was having dinner across the street from The Laugh factory with my girlfriend at the time. I saw George Lopez on the marquee and as I always have when finding out that someone said I took their joke, I went to talk to him. I asked him what joke I took from him. He said a Taco Bell bit I was doing about the enchurito the joke was, did they get an enchilada to fuck a burrito. I told him I'd never seen him do the joke cuz I was a comedy store guy and he wasn't so I didn't have the opportunity to see his act. He told me I should stop doing the bit out of respect that he'd been doing Standup longer. Obviously I didn't stop doing the bit because as I said earlier I was way too cocky. If I was then who I am now I would have but such is life. Any time I've been accused I've always tried to address it by going to the source and talking it out. The thing about it is that an overwhelming amount of the people who accuse me of being a joke thief never accused me of stealing their jokes. They just accused me of being a thief. I understand why it's been easy to dislike me or believe the negative narrative. At first I was cocky or arrogant then after all this I have become very guarded. Many comedians whom I have brought out on the road and mentored have said unbelievably disparaging things only adding fuel to the negative narrative. I won't give names because when all this came down on me I went to therapy and made a vow to myself to not become angry, bitter and more arrogant or cocky. I'm happy to say that the Internet is filled with negative comments from others towards me but there are none of me towards other comedians. I vowed to go on the road, redefine myself and let my work speak for itself. My father told me when deep in this that I needed to be a bubble in water and rise to the top. I've put out numerous specials and anyone who has seen me live multiple times will tell you how hard I work to write new bits constantly so they never see the same show. I'm putting out Ned's Head and The Hashtag on Facebook so the world can see what I do and how I constantly write and stay fresh. For the past 6 to 7 years I've been doing minimum of 50 weeks on the road trying to show the world what I do and how I do it. Recently someone on Twitter pointed out to me that when other comedians are accused of stealing it comes and goes and all is forgiven or forgotten and yet in mine the accusations persist. They asked could it be because you're the only "ethnic" comedian and none of the other accused are? I don't know nor do I wish to pull out the race card. What I know is that I'm exhausted. I'm so tired of trying to show the world that I'm not all of those negative things. I really want to stop doing comedy. I have no energy left. I just needed to tell you how I'm feeling as loyal and supportive fans you deserve that. Well there you go, that's how I'm feeling. Let me know how you feel or ask me anything you want I'll be up.
To all of you who shared your love and stories with me in recent weeks, I can not thank you enough. Your thousands of posts and emails were exactly what I needed. I thought I needed a departure or in the least a break but what I needed was to be reminded of the purity of the love that I have for affecting people through laughter. I lost sight of who I am and you reminded me. I promise until the day I am not able to physically, I will always share my light, my gift of love and laughter with you. When in the darkest of places, you need not fight it. All you need to do is shine your light and the darkness will disappear.
Congrats Spurs, like true cowboys, last year you fell off the horse and this year you got back on and rode it to a championship.
The Reason I love This Country -Carlos Mencia #Americaisgreat #Merica #Iloveusa #usa #comedy #carlosMencia #Carlosmenciatour #Standup