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Carlos Mencia, superstar and stand up comedian, is undoubtedly one of today's most lauded entertainers and feared comics. Whether he is doing man-on-the-street interviews, studio comedies, commercial parodies, or nationwide sold-out tours, Mencia demonstrates an extraordinary ability to connect with a diverse audience.
Mencia was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the 17th of 18 children. His parents sent Mencia to the United States when he was about three months old, where he was raised in the Maravilla Projects in Los Angeles, California, by his aunt and uncle. In his early teens, Mencia moved back to Honduras because his family wanted him to avoid the destructive gang culture of East Los Angeles.
When Mencia later returned to Los Angeles, he showed such educational progress that he was immediately promoted to the 10th grade. Soon after, he successfully graduated from James A. Garfield High School.
Mencia began his career doing stand up on amateur night at the comedy club, the Laugh Factory. He later showcased at the Comedy Store and became a regular, performing nightly. After he found success in the Los Angeles comedy circuit, Mencia was named International Comedy Grand Champion from Buscando Estrellas, which is the Latino version of Star Search. This led to appearances on In Living Color, The Arsenio Hall Show, Moesha, and An Evening at the Improv. In 1994, he hosted the HBO comedy series Loco Slam, and in 1998 he hosted Carlos Mencia: The Best of Funny Is Funny on Galavision. Mencia released a comedy album in 2000 called Take a Joke America, that showcased his brand of confrontational humor.
Mencia continued his journey up the comedy ladder by headlining The Three Amigos tour with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco in 2002, which sold out in record time around the United States. He was also featured in the independent films Outta Time and 29 Palms, and starred in guest spots on The Shield and The Bernie Mac Show, among others. In 2002, he received a CableACE Award nomination for Best Stand Up Comedy Special for his HBO special. That same year, Mencia was featured on Comedy Central Presents. Mencia remained busy, and after the success of his solo DVD, Carlos Mencia: Not for the Easily Offended, Mind of Mencia went into development. The show was an instant hit, and after the first season, Comedy Central signed Mencia back for his own original stand up special, Carlos Mencia: No Strings Attached. The special was the first Comedy Central stand up special DVD to achieve platinum sales status.
Mind of Mencia debuted on Comedy Central in early 2005. Since then, it has become one of the strongest shows in the network's history, averaging about 1.5 million total viewers. Mind of Mencia is executive produced by Mencia and Robert Morton, who has produced Late Night with David Letterman. With the continued success of the show, the network has ordered a fourth season of the weekly hit, that premiered in the spring of 2008, with 10 all new episodes. The new season took on such topics as the election, the recession, and the war, as well as other controversial issues.
In the summer of 2007, Mencia starred opposite Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan in the Farrelly Brothers' hit feature film, The Heartbreak Kid. In the fall of 2007, Mencia headlined a nationwide comedy tour titled Carlos Mencia Live Presented by Bud Light. The highly anticipated tour brought Mencia face to face with his fans from September 2007 through December 2007. In December 2007, Mencia embarked on his first USO tour to the Persian Gulf, where he entertained the troops serving overseas. Mencia returned from his second trip to Kuwait after hosting Operation MySpace, an exclusive concert for American troops in the Middle East, alongside Jessica Simpson and The Pussycat Dolls. The special aired on FX in April 2008. In addition, Mencia taped a new comedy special for Comedy Central, Carlos Mencia: Performance Enhanced.