Fri. Nov. 28, 7 p.m.
5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston
The easily offended — those who prefer their comedy vanilla, in a sugar cone, with no sprinkles — may well look elsewhere for laughs. But those of us with thicker skins can find snickers aplenty in the rocky-road medley offered up by Carlos Mencia.
Born in Honduras and raised in East Los Angeles, he rapidly rose through the stand-up comedy ranks to star in HBO and Comedy Central specials as well as the comedy series Mind of Mencia.
Controversial? Sure, why not? Comedy Central's Equal Opportunity Offender is hardly shy about sharing his thoughts on gender relations, immigration, politics, and the great grab-bag of absurdities we call life in the United States.
Now, as the mind behind Mind of Mencia prepares to take the stage at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, part of an 80-city U.S. tour, we ask him to share a few thoughts on Charleston, the state of the union, and the role of comedy in times of economic unrest.
CHARLESTON CITY PAPER: Besides the show, do you have any plans while in Charleston?
CARLOS MENCIA: Oh, yeah. Charleston was one of our favorite cities on the tour last time. We had a good time. Every once in a while, you get to go to a place that actually has some history, you know?
CCP: And we have good food, too.
CM: Yeah, you know what? One of my friends on the tour loves catfish. Last time we were in Charleston, he ordered some at this restaurant downtown and was just unbelievably thrilled with what he got.
CCP: Cool. If there were a couple of people sitting on the fence, trying to decide whether or not to buy tickets, what would you say?
CM: It's really simple, man. I promise if you come to the show, you're going to enjoy two hours of laughter and escape from all this stuff going on in the world and the news right now. Everyone is trying to make everything so serious and so glum. It's like, come on, man! We got through the Depression; we'll get through this. So relax, everybody!
CCP: Because comedy can be a good way of getting through tough times.
CM: Comedy has always been the best way of getting through times like this. There's a reason that in bad economic times people are very willing to go to entertainment. I take all of the stuff that's going on in the news, in the world, put my spin on it, and make it funny. So we have something funny to take home with us and think about when we're watching the news. We can make fun of the president or the guy who didn't become president. There's always a way to put a smile on no matter what happens. As a comedian, you find a way.
CCP: Anything new upcoming?
CM: Well, you know, I'm not doing Mind of Mencia anymore. We decided to walk away from that while the show was doing well rather than drive it into the ground. To be quite frank, I'm looking forward to the great unknown, whether it's in movies or a different kind of TV show. I just got an offer to possibly be in a Broadway play. I don't know if I'm going to take it, but it's showing me that there's a big world out there. It's ready for me to do something new and different, and, hey, so am I.