Joe Rogan VS Carlos Mencia, ONSTAGE VIDEO.
So here’s how it all went down…
I had a set at the comedy store Saturday night, and after I closed, I was bringing on the next comedian, a guy named Kirk Fox that works for Carlos Mencia.
I introduce him saying that he’s a funny guy, and that he opens on the road for Carlos “Menstealia.” That’s the name we call him at the comedy store, and of course Carlos doesn’t like it one bit.
Carlos was apparently in the room when I said this, and the perfect combination of ego and timing made him decide that this was the night to put his foot down.
As I got off stage and headed towards the back of the room, he grabbed the mike away from Kirk, and said that I was too much of a pussy to say that shit to his face.
Which to me, is something akin to the hottest girl in the world daring you to fuck her while you’re standing there in her bedroom naked with a boner.
Of course I had to disagree with him, and I decided to get onstage with him and have this “meeting of the minds” as it were.
On video, and for the whole world to see via the internet.
Now, a lot of comics have had a problem with Carlos stealing material for a long time now, but for whatever reason, many of them don’t like to talk about it publicly, mostly because they’re afraid that people are going to think that they’re just jealous. That, and they’re worried about him using his power in “Hollywood” to have them black balled for talking badly about him. But in private, they talk about it. A LOT.
It’s a huge problem at the comedy store, to the point where some really good comics are refusing to go onstage if he’s there watching the show, and others have a signal system to alert the guy onstage that Carlos has walked into the room.
It’s really THAT BAD.
It’s like a dark cloud that hovers over the place when he’s performing there. He walks by and people literally stop their conversations and move away.
For whatever reason, the owner of the comedy store, Mitzi Shore, has always let him go up there, perhaps because he started there and the fact that she was actually the one to name himself Carlos Mencia instead of his actual name of Ned. Or, maybe she just wasn’t aware of how big of a problem it had become. Either way, it’s her club, and she’s done so much for comedy in general, and me in particular, that I would never question her about any of her decisions. In fact, I had never even talked to her personally about the problem until today.
Quite honestly, I’m happy to get this video and this blog out there, so that hopefully this can be the last time that I have talk about it.
Even I’m getting sick of me talking about it at this point.
To give you a little background, when I first moved to Hollywood way back in 1994 Carlos and I were actually friends.
We hung out together a bunch of times. Played pool together, went to the gym, hung out at the store, all kinds of shit. That’s also how I know that he’s really half German and Half Honduran and not Mexican. I know it, because he told me himself.
I thought that it was weird to use a fake name, but who gives a shit really. No big deal.
Other than that he seemed to be a cool guy.
Then I started to see it. Over and over again, I would see him do jokes that I knew I had heard before. Then I saw some real obvious shit. Some jokes that I knew were Paul Mooney’s, some that were right off a Richard Pryor album. I brought it up to him, and he gave me this half assed denial that I knew was a lie. That was the end of our friendship.
I didn’t hate the guy, but there was no way I could hang around with him knowing he’s a thief.
For someone who is not a comic, and doesn’t understand what the big deal is about comics stealing jokes, please let me try to explain it to you.
It’s hard to come up with material. It takes a lot of work, a lot of rewriting, sometimes an approach bombs and you have to rethink it, and often it’s a long process until you get to a finished product.
Now, occasionally a joke will come to you in full form, but for the most part it’s just an idea that can become a great bit with some work.
Now, when you work hard on a bit and polish and craft it, and then someone just disrespects the whole process, steps in, steals it and performs it as his own, that’s a pretty intense creative violation.
I’ve been in the back of a club while a guy was onstage doing one of my bits and believe me that’s a shitty fucking feeling. It’s like watching your girlfriend getting fucked onstage by a liar while the whole audience cheers.
What’s even worse, is if you’re a struggling comic, and the guy stealing your shit has his own show on comedy central.
Now, our little “beef” started out about a year and a half ago when Carlos was on the radio in Tucson, Arizona doing “the Frank show”, and he started talking shit about me, mainly telling a bunch of weird lies about a recent night where we had worked together back to back at the store. Unfortunately for him, the DJ sent me an mp3 of the discussion, and we actually had the evening he was referring to in his story on video, and we posted it up on the internet for all to see and laugh at. His version of the night was nothing more than a weird mix of lies and bragging, and it was pretty obvious to anyone seeing the video and listening to him on the radio that the guy is screwy. You can check it out here.
Ever since then, shit talking has been going on back and forth from both sides, and to be honest I’ve been baiting him into a “conversation” to expose him and end this all for a while now, I just never thought he would actually be dumb enough to want to do it in front of an audience, especially when he knew that we were filming it.
Ego is a motherfucker, I guess.
Either way, I’m glad we got this over with.
For the record, I don’t hate the guy. I never really did.
I hated what he was doing, but him as a person it’s really more like I felt pity for him.
The dude was living a gigantic lie, and no matter how fucked up and powerful your ego is, there’s got to be a part of the back of his brain that realizes what’s going on, and cringes at the reality. I think maybe it’s even his own subconscious knowing that he’s doing something wrong that forced him into this un-winnable battle.
I’m completely convinced that if I ever got that dude high he would curl up into the fetal position and cry for hours.
Either that, or launch himself off a cliff.
When all was said and done at the end of the night, especially after I saw the video, I actually felt sorry for him. I think there’s part of him that actually believes his own bullshit. I compared him to OJ in the video, in that they’ve both convinced themselves that they’re innocent, and really I think it’s a valid comparison.
Stand up comedy is an awesome, amazing way to make a living, and the comedy store is the greatest place to practice it in the known universe. It’s just a really fun place, and there’s a ton of funny comics that hang around there, and for the most part it’s a really positive environment.
We support each other, and we make each other laugh. We have fun together, except for this one little problem. Hopefully this video will help fix that, and make everything nice-nice again.