Honduran Comic Causes Stir on Comedy Central

August 12, 2005

NEW YORK (EFE) – Carlos Mencia, the Honduran-born, L.A.-raised comic making waves on U.S. cable TV’s Comedy Central, tends to inspire either admiration or disgust among those who hear him lampoon aspects of Latino as well as non-Latino life.Mencia is an equal-opportunity dagger- thrower. He ridicules Hispanics, Jews, African-Americans and celebrities alike on his weekly show, “Mind of Mencia,” which has been airing on Comedy Central since July.The program is not “politically correct” or for the easily offended, asMencia, who speaks Spanish-peppered English, targets racial and cultural stereotypes and social and political problems. Mencia is a rising star in the U.S. comedy world, one of the few Hispanics to nab a prized slot on U.S. television.His producers have given him free rein to “do whatever I want” and “tell certain truths,” such as who should sit on the Supreme Court, and to explore, for example, West Hollywood’s gay neighborhood.Shot in a studio and on the street, “Mind of Mencia” relies on parody, standup comedy, improvisation and audience interaction to dissect world news and everyday matters that some would prefer remain taboo.“I have had the chance to talk about so many things and from so many points of view that it’s natural some people would applaud me and some reject me,” said Mencia.“The irony of being Latino in the United States is that when I say I am from Honduras, I’m asked, ‘Where in Mexico is that?’” jokes Mencia. “Outside the United States, all Latinos are different, but here we are all the same.”Mencia believes the stereotyping of Latinos can only be overcome by force of unity.“We Latinos tend to split up rather than present a united front,” he said. “That separation, especially here in this country, hurts us.”

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