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WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Comedian Marc Maron is tackling the most complex philosophical question of our day - WTF? He'll get to the bottom of it with help from comedian friends, celebrity guests and the voices in his own head.
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May 24, 2010 53

Carlos Mencia is a major name in comedy. He's also one of the most reviled characters in the business among other comics. So, naturally, Marc wants to find out what makes him tick, what it feels like to be so controversial, and what he says in his own defense. This may take a while.

53 Comments
  • over two years ago
    Joe
    Am I the only other person who can't find this second interview with Mencia? I have the Premium App and can't seem to find it?!
  • almost four years ago
    jake
    Great episode, but did anybody else notice that Brian Regan told the same story about playing for the first time, doing poorly, and having people think he did it on purpose on Comedy and Everything Else?

    Haha...I'm sure Mencia didn't steal the story, it's just an unfortunate coincidence
  • four and a half years ago
    Solomon Raabe
    A funny thing to check out (and I think it applies to what I'm thinking here) on You Tube =
    "Mr. Show - More money equals better than"
    just open you tube in a new window and copy and paste this.....I have a lot of nasty things to say about Carlos but I also know that after listening to this episode of WTF you really need something to laugh at.
  • four and a half years ago
    richard
    @Mike (immediately above)

    what you didn't say: "culture is about stealing"

    it is a great red herring, though, bringing up that old chestnut of "everyone takes from everyone!!" especially considering how you admit being a fan of Maron. So, clearly you can recognize a comic who, while being derivative to an extent, offers something honest, original & brave when doing his thing. Mencia does *none* of that. I'm not familiar with Joe Rogan's stand-up.

    Did enjoy your tired "Stan's Soapbox" style of rhetoric, though (i'm not being truthful).
  • four and a half years ago
    Phisher
    Marc, great podcast. the need for a follow up is exactly what I was thinking just before you said it. Keep on keeping on!
  • four and a half years ago
    stacy
    F*cking solipsistic tripe! Thank Jeebus I read the comments. I'm 80% through Mencia's masturbatory barrage of "I have power ..." and I was this close to turning it off. I'd reached my limit. Can't wait til the cliffhanger.

    My problem with Carlos Mencia is that he's just not funny. How can he steal and plagiarize and _still_ be so damn unfunny? He should be grateful for what success the fates have bequeathed him: know he's beaten the house and gotten away with the money. Then, he should dissolve into obscurity, spare the public and inflict himself on his therapist and his therapist alone.
  • four and a half years ago
    Steven Doyle
    So, he could write "smarter", but doesn't because he wants it to hit. Way to insult your audience, Mencia.
  • four and a half years ago
    TJ
    He threatened you and a whole bunch of people in the last two minutes.. Oy.

  • four and a half years ago
    disconinja
    The cosby joke is an excellent illustration of why mencia is a hack, cosby's joke has about ten punches in it, sound effects, physical humor, mencia's is a sincere rant on how a father invested himself in his sons sporting success and is pissed off when he doesn't get thanked. Cosby points out that being a little over-zealous in training could approach child abuse and that some sports teach kids to use violence for conflict resolution or at least that's what I got. Mencia gives a boring list of things a father might do and then a list of things a football player can achieve and then a punchline which I didn't hear get any laughs, but that might have been because he was screaming and assaulting a chair while shouting bitch.
    If mencia stole anything it was the weakest part of the joke and replaced the funny parts with a man angry at his wife for being a better parent.
  • four and a half years ago
    Zounds
    I don't know Carlos Mencia personally so I have no animosity towards him and everything I know about him is second hand at best, but in listening to him talk, I get the feeling I'm listening to a bullshitter, that much of what he's saying about his life is fiction.
  • four and a half years ago
    Ned's mom
    Great job Marc. I look forward to hearing the second segment.

    It's unacceptable that Mencia steals jokes. Stealing from Cosby and Lopez is unforgivable, but imagine how many struggling comedians that Mencia has probably stolen from. A comedian spends hours writing a bit, then spends more hours perfecting the act on stage, then a piece of shit like Mencia comes along, steals it, and takes credit for it cause he can get on TV. To think that this guy probably exploits comedians who probably don't have health insurance.

    Also, I am appalled by the fact that Mencia actually admits to not caring about being original.

  • four and a half years ago
    Ned's mom
    This is Ned's mom. He izah ah goodah boy, don'tah makah fun of him. But yeah he is a fucking thief and doesn't give a shit about other people.
  • four and a half years ago
    steve B.
    God god Carlos, self-aggrandizing much? He talks about himself in the same reverent tones that are usually reserved for great civil rights leaders or firemen who died on 9-11. And for him to claim that he never heard that Cosby bit is ridiculous. He not only stole the premise, but the entire execution of the joke. Puh-lease! On the other hand you have to admire the guy for turning Marc into the LEAST self-absorbed person in the room. That's like knocking out Ali in his prime.
  • four and a half years ago
    noah
    Joe Rogan steals a arabic sound effect from Bill Hicks, he uses it on Shinny Happy Jihad.
    AND
    Humans are a virus is a Paul Mooney bit, but Rogan does that as well.
    And i think Joe rogan's whole angry persona is definitely (at best) an homage to Bill Hicks or (at worst) idolatry.

    First Mencia is a douche, he is a classically mediocre, uninformed hack!!!
    "I bought a joke book for the first time i went on stage, see I still keep it on me"

    i have seen Lopez say that Carlos took that HBO special right from George lopes' act
    - the entire thing basically (more than one similar premise and i think you have issues)

    But George Lopez made it, he has his own show, do you think he really cares? he is still funnier than Carlos any day

    But Carlos does have good energy on stage and a popular persona---
    Why doesn't he just pay (split the proceeds) the other comedian he STOLE from- That is what Robin Williams said he did ( i am sure thier is some unwritten rule about sharing the money).
    If someone else writes your jokes, that someone should get a small portion (like a writer on TV), not the whole paycheck but some restitution.

    Carlos HAS ONE very funny bit about how large his familly is and how his mother told him at a very young age-
    "look at your family Carlos, they can't all be winners, You have to be the successful one"

    That is probably how he sees the world- you want something you gotta take it, (no one is more or less deserving) sure he may compromise his ideas or depict a character that most of us don't like
    But he was very famous b/c alot of people liked his performances and persona,
    now that you find out he doesn't write his own material you lambast him with insults.

    WHO CARES

    Some people will always like Carlos (and hack comedians like him) he is the blue collar comedy tour except that blue collar is flanel.

    Some people like Marc, probably people who are more experienced with life , thinking, reading, and comedy. Like fine wine its great to enjoy

    But some people can;t afford wine (or the time it takes them to find it) so they drink wine coolers, hey at least its a start!
  • four and a half years ago
    MG
    i've never really been much for mencia's humour.. and regardless of the joke-stealing.. one thing he said a few times was "it was an obvious joke" and he talks about the skit about arizona and says "it's exactly what you think it is" - why does anyone think he has talent if he can't come up with anything that's not obvious? my 4 and 5 year old come up with obvious jokes all day long! shouldn't professional comedians be able to put an expected slant on things or come up with something a little original? i'm guessing he has to steal jokes since he seems to admit he's not a great joke-writer..
  • four and a half years ago
    MKG
    I thought you were a bit too easy on him and almost feeding him some of his excuses, so I'm glad you're going to have a follow-up where you get other people's input. It is waaaaay too much of a coincidence the cosby bit and his.. there's no way he didn't see that. it's one step away from being word for word!! even if he sincerely doesn't think he's stealing.. if he finds out there are such huge similarities, why not just stop doing the joke? in any other art form, plagiarizing has no excuses - should be the same in comedy..
  • four and a half years ago
    seamus
    Great interview. Great podcast (as always). This struck me as a man swimming against a tide, despite the 'no swimming' sign. When I read that CM was going to be on WTF, my first reaction wasn't 'oh, fuck him, I hope he gets burned' but 'ok, let him speak. chances are he'll talk a lot and it'll amount to nothing other than a good interview with a guy that's caused some controversy'. If anything, all it did was reinforce my opinion that the guy clearly has no regrets, that he's more than willing to sidestep issues by offering back stories instead of opinions and depth, and that he can think on his feet when being challenged. However, when challenged, he doesn't reply with actual good arguments but the intended force of a good argument. The arrogance of not being afraid of pissing off his peers is a huge sign. So much backtracking I'm surprised his heels aren't bleeding. Marc, in fairness, I think you let the guy speak his mind by remaining unbiased and giving him the platform to challenge some myths/stories. Sadly, all that he said came out as bullshit. Maybe part 2 will make me change my mind, but I doubt it.
  • four and a half years ago
    Leo
    Marc, Just dropping a little comment to say that I've seen you in NYC, I've watched you on TV on the come-up with a packed bole in my hand (your acid bad trip story is one of my all-time favorites), I've done drugs and quit drugs and done them again, I've read the messiah book you wrote, and it's heartening to see you that you're still dropping your unique and thought-provoking philosophy on the masses by whatever means necessary. I admit that I haven't listened to your WTF show until now...I get your e-mails and the Mencia thing just seemed too good to pass by. Now I'm hooked and I'm digging in to the back library hungrily...thrilled to see names like Odenkirk and Fingerman in the roster.

    This episode really leaves on a cliffhanger and I don't know where it's going. I feel you on the paying dues thing, I've always said that myself, but I remember watching Mencia on TV as a kid, thinking to myself "Ok I'm 10 years old and I feel a little embarrassed for him, his comedy is so fucking immature." But the dude has been around. His show is shit, his routines are worse, his empty brat-inspired yelling is a perfect example of his arrested development. He's a fucking idiot. But I like that you're giving him his day in court and I'll be back after the recess to see how it all plays out.

    Really, Mr. Maron, thanks, keep on keeping on. This is GREAT shit you've been doing.
  • four and a half years ago
    Passing Shot
    It's a rare interviewer that can humanize Carlos Mencia. Kudos. Too bad you couldn't make him funny.
  • four and a half years ago
    chad
    At first I thought it sounded sincere, but then I started to think about that scene in 'the usual suspects' when verbal starts making up stories based on stuff in the guy's office. Mencia started getting really shady, vague, and mixing up his dates. Almost like he was looking around the cat ranch and making shit up off of maron's posters.

    Maron, I'm glad you picked up on that, and how he let you lead things for him. Can't wait to here part II.
  • four and a half years ago
    LAinWLA
    I wasn't sure I'd even listen because I just don't care about Carlos Mencia, but I'm glad I did.

    I am still somewhat undecided on the joke-stealing issue. To me, it seems impossible that EVERY stand-up could know EVERY joke ever told by even the most famous comedians. So I'm willing to give people a pass on that issue, to some degree.

    BUT, the thing that blew me away was his fucking EGO!! "I could cause riots" GMAFB! And "I knew I'd be bumping someone so I tried to show up really late...." And then Marc's story about Mencia bumping him when Marc's name was on the marquee!?!? It really exposed Mencia's selfishness and narcissism.

    I am always suspicious when people accused of doing something wrong say, "Well, if I had done that thing, would I now be doing _____?" That's a huge red flag in my opinion. And I can't even remember how Carlos finished the sentence, "If I had stolen jokes, would I now be ______" but that just set off all kinds of warning bells for me, almost like he's trying too hard to convince us....
  • four and a half years ago
    sintalentos
    One of my folks is from abroad and I grew up in the States, so I too can relate to the feeling of being from neither here nor there. But I didn't hear his thoughts on what this means besides a lot of actions that seem to stem from insecurity. As fans of Marc and the podcasts well know, exploring and confronting your fear and anxiety through art is one thing, but reacting to it or running from it is another.

    Definitely looking forward to part 2, though!
  • four and a half years ago
    Dan T.
    I followed the whole Rogan/Mencia thing when it happened, and as much as I like Rogan and respect the fact that he did what a lot of comics wouldn't do and challenged Carlos in public, I came away thinking it was a waste of time given the material in dispute. The "wall" bit is kind of easy. How many comics of any ethnicity have done jokes about Mexicans doing low-rung labor? Lots. I've done it myself.

    Joke stealing is comedy's cardinal sin, but lifting topical jokes (if that's what happened) is not the same as lifting personal material or a point-of-view, as Leary MIGHT have done with Hicks' stuff. I'm not sure about that allegation either because those two worked together more than once, and who knows what's get bandied about while doing blow off the back of the green room toilet?
  • four and a half years ago
    Steven
    I say it is - you say it isn't - we have to disagree.

    I think his "original" material is hilarious. you think it's hateful, pointless, and violent. I disagree. I would also love to see examples of what you consider to be his violent, hateful material.

    I've been watching Joe Rogan bitch about Mencia in videos on youtube. He sounds like a jealous, scorned girlfriend. You don't have to agree. it's just my opinion.
  • four and a half years ago
    Steven
    all the Carlos haters should watch this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZu0DGrv2EA&feature=related
  • four and a half years ago
    Steven
    Can't wait for part II!

    As for Carlos - the guy is funny. If George Lopez is fighting over the "incharitto" bit then he must really be struggling for material. I'm sure every 6th grader that's ever been to a Taco Bell has made that joke.

    As for the wall between Mexico and the US goes - I wrote that joke and I'm not even a comedian! I know five people who made that fucking joke!

    The Cosby bit is harder to defend - but I can see it happening. Comedians do overlap from time to time (listen to Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks!). Like Marc says "there is only so much reality to draw from". Its going to happen.

    Some people just hate to see others have any success in their life and they can't wait to piss on them. That's where all this Mencia hate is coming from now. Its jealous bullshit plain and simple
  • four and a half years ago
    Solomon Raabe
    He talks a lot about "if I stole stuff, this is how I'd react"and ......the main thing I'm getting from this is that he is a somewhat conscious human being, and not just another mexican sociopath he doesn't need any of the stuff he steals. The football joke is delivered the same, the focus is the same, and if it was an original idea why wouldn't it sound different in any way.
  • four and a half years ago
    Allen Schwartz
    lol, im like carlos, im amerasian (1/2 white, 1/2 korean) and like when i go to my home town they look at me like a asian, and when i come to korea they all let me know that im white. yeah so i dont fit any where WTF!!!
  • four and a half years ago
    Joe Tily
    DAVID CROSS STOLE from MARK LAMARR!!!
    DAVID CROSS STOLE from MARK LAMARR!!!

    Not really - but kinda . . . . . . . .
    I know nothing of Carlos Mencia, never seen or heard any of his act, don't know what he looks like and have no opinion on the fella BUT this issue of stealing jokes made a great episode and cliff-hanger!

    Back to my topic, at the start of the new dvd by David Cross he does a theatrical style joke where someone is signing his show as a deaf interpreter and a large part of the pay-off is that the guy is signing his own material . . . . funny stuff . . . .

    BUT – about halfway through a 1997 VHS release ‘Mark Lamarr - Uncensored And Live’ Mr. Lamarr does the same joke. “i once did a gig for the deaf . . . . . i was nervous and worried and there was a bloke next to me on the stage doing the sign language . . . . . weeks later i found out the bloke doing the sign language was doing his own material.”

    Now, Mr. Cross does a larger more expanded version of this joke, but it IS the same joke. I don't think for an instant that David watched that old British VHS and ripped-off the joke for his new show – i just think that no matter how obscure the reference you never know how many other people will think of something similar or the same.

    Its a very tricky and sensitive area amongst comedians especially when they get called-out and their reputation is on the line (remember the Denis Leary / Bill Hicks debate!) .

    Cant wait to hear what some of Mencia’s contemporaries have to say about him! – ANOTHER GREAT PODCAST MARON.
  • four and a half years ago
    rastausty
    I, like most of my fellow wtf'ers, was starting to feel bad for this guy. Thank god Marc's podcast is called WTF, and he obviously had a WTF moment after snapping out of it. Ironically I've been listening to old eps of The Marc Maron Show and had just heard Maron ranting about Mencia bumping him. I was waiting for that to be brought up, so thank god for the second installment!
  • four and a half years ago
    PunditFight.com
    I think Kurt's comments earlier summed up my feeling about right...

    I think Maron did his usual great job of finding the humanity in Mencia. Whether it allowed him to open up and reveal himself or if he just gave him enough rope to hang himself we will find out soon enough.

    Either way its quality listening and great human theatre. Its interesting reading through the comments where people think aloud about whether Mencia really believes his own stories, not to mention the fact that people already have the default setting of "yeah I probably should take this with a grain of salt". And thats even coming from people predisposed to the guy.

    I couldn't help but picture people like Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck. People with money, influence and popularity, who are met with skepticism of their authenticity.

    This podcast will probably the closest we get to fleshing out the dynamic of the 'Delusional egomanic as the everyman hero'. Having an astute, philosophical conversationalist in Maron probe an infamous, possibly pathological, misunderstood popular entertainer.

    I'm recalling two different things.
    1) Patton Oswalt calling out unknown comic Nick Madson
    http://aspecialthing.com/forum/f42/stop-thief-actor-steals-comedians-jokes-16840/

    2) John Safran (Aussie raconteur) interviewing the makers of 'Manufacturing Dissent' (unflattering doco on Michael Moore's methods) and the light hearted schadenfreude they had sharing MMoore stories.

    I like that Maron was skeptical but understanding. I like that Mencia is happy to talk and take things head on.
  • four and a half years ago
    Steve C.
    Frost vs. Nixon round 2:

    MM: "I heard you with Willie Barcena and Steve Trevino, and you're on there talking about stealing their jokes and bumping their sets, and all that...and I would say, you endorsed or ratified stealing and bumping ..."
    CM: "I didn't endorse or ratify that, bro!"
    MM: "Then why didn't you stop yourself?!"
  • four and a half years ago
    Lenny
    I would recommend reading Mencia's Bio from his website at carlos mencia.com and then surf over to Marc's at marcmaron.com and read his Bio. The difference you will feel in your heart will be earth shaking and it will put to rest any discourse you may have about this subject.
  • four and a half years ago
    Tim
    Dear Mike,

    Most excellent post on 'sociopath'!

    love Tim
  • four and a half years ago
    Izzat
    Hello, WTFPod people,

    My initial reaction of seeing this episode's guest: "holy shit"..."whoa". I have to admit, after the Robin Williams & Steven Pearl episodes, my interest level seemed to dipped down a bit.

    Until now. And then, comes that ending. Holy shit.
  • four and a half years ago
    Lee
    There's a lot going on in the mind of Mencia, a lot of twisting of reality. Halfway through the interview I realized that I was buying this bullshit and worried that Maron was as well. I was glad to hear the capper on the interview.

    I had heard an interview with Mencia a while back that convinced me that there's something not quite right about him. He seems to just make it up as he goes, but whether or not he believes his own stories is unclear to me. Could be that he's compulsive liar or maybe he really is a sociopath as someone else suggested.
    Two more thoughts:

    I saw a clip of him doing the Bill Cosby bit a few months back and it nauseated me. I grew up watching Bill Cosby perform that bit. But, what upset me was not that Mencia did the bit, it was that he mangled the fuck out of it. So cut to this interview and him telling us that his fans say that he steals the jokes but makes them better! WTF? Nobody says that, Carlos...nobody.

    And what was with that ultra creepy threat of turning his Mexican minions against white Americans? WTF was that about? What a weird thing to say.
  • four and a half years ago
    Blake
    Thanks for adding the guest's name to the filename! Really helps with organization.
  • four and a half years ago
    TJ
    "Duh da da daahhhh" Oh Carlos....


    Oh Marc, you and your interviewing skills, thanks for this one. Holy shizit.
  • four and a half years ago
    Felipe
    Wow, what a slimy guy.
  • four and a half years ago
    Shawn
    I want to compare this with the Robin Williams interview where Marc confronted him about joke theft. Robin was very somber and subdued through most of the interview and seemed like he had his gaurd down, revealing himself. He admitted to taking jokes, whether he was fully aware he was doing it or it was just something he had overheard and absorbed. In either case, he admitted it and cut the comics who came forward checks.

    With this interview you can hear Mencia making excuses and backwards justifications. I felt he never had his guard down and was still in his on stage persona. What a dink. There's no way he could have not known the Bill Cosby bit was Bill Cosby's or at the very least had enough control over his own product to cut it out of the DVD performance. Dink. Can't wait for Thursday.
  • four and a half years ago
    M. de Varona
    Mencia is a pretty smart guy. He's marginally talented, but he's got street smarts and a huge set of balls. It's challenging to believe him or feel what he says, but like it or not, the guy works it. I'm sure Maron had a WTF moment while talking to this guy. When is Joe coming on? Great episode.
  • four and a half years ago
    Kurt
    i'm excited to hear the second part, but only in a "springer" kind of way. which is sad. i thought you button-holed it well at the end with, they maybe broad,lame, jokes, basically you aren't funny and are a hack, but you worked hard and got the dough, just like everyone in the horrible kind of society we live in.

    that's the end of the story. he's unfunny and there is injustice in the world. joe rogan did fear factor for how long for christs sake. that should be embarrassing enough for him to shut the fuck up. the world at large applauds mediocrity, and it's more about resentment at that then any joke thieving.
  • four and a half years ago
    Jeremy
    It seems that there is a big difference between those comedians who got into the business because they love it and comedians who got into comedy because it pays the bills.
    Carlos is admittedly in the latter group.
    It seems to me that a person who started doing stand up for the love of the craft would be A LOT less likely to take somebody elses work and pass it off as their own.
    Also, what he said about his power to get the latino community up in arms against whites... was that a veiled threat?

  • four and a half years ago
    MONKEY the CAT
    Ned Holness is a douchebag and Carlos Mencia is a thief.
    Viva la Chupacabra!
  • four and a half years ago
    Brad in Ohio
    Investigative journalism!
  • four and a half years ago
    Jeremy
    This was an incredible episode. The way you begin to feel bad for Mencia after his problems that he had to overcome, after all of the stories about him stealing bits or people saying that he stole bits, and then the punch in the mouth that Marc throws at the end has created the most intense podcast cliffhanger that I have ever experienced. This next episode cannot come fast enough.
  • four and a half years ago
    MG
    I... think?... I liked this ending.
    As I listened to it, I thought "PLEASE tell me you aren't buying this lawyer-meets-publicist-meets-politician-meets-car-salesman bullshit."

    Dude, I get the whole thing about "paying dues" and "I've worked at comedy since 1988," but if someone who worked in filmmaking (my line) pulled that shit-- naybe copied several script pages verabtim-- his balls would be cut off (and rightfully so).
    I ended this interview hating him more than ever because he is rationalizing his behavior. He is a cheap hood.
  • four and a half years ago
    fancynancy
    Dude Bro...he's not serious right? :(
  • four and a half years ago
    Tina Gonzalez
    Nope, didn't change my impression of him. If anything, this interview really reveals what a sleazy guy he is. The entire interview was him patting himself on the back and singing his praises, and not even addressing the stealing issue.

    And him going basically, "I have so much power and I can do so much shit and rail against white people but I won't because I'm responsible" - like, really? You think we're going to praise you for not being a flaming racist?

    I totally get why Marc feels what he felt after the interview, and I hope these guys just come in and rip Mencia apart.
  • four and a half years ago
    ryne
    i say fuck carlos, but i love the pod and am glad marc had him on
  • four and a half years ago
    marty flipman
    What's next, Dane Cook?
  • four and a half years ago
    Tina
    First!

    Haha. Haven't listened yet. But I doubt he'll change my mind about the fact that he's a lazy comic and an ass.
  • four and a half years ago
    Toheeb
    OMG, Even Lost would be jealous of this cliffhanger. WOW, Great Interview so far. For a Sec there, i was starting to feel sorry for the guy, then i came to my senses when u spoke at the end. Cant wait for the next pod, will still go into it with an open mind. U ROCK MARON!!!!!!!!!