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Carlos Mencia’s Comedy Special “New Territory” Is More Of The Same

 by Fidel Martinez

This past Sunday, Comedy Central aired Carlos Mencia‘s new comedy special entitled New Territory. Originally, my plan was to have Lucas Molandes, a regular contributor and stand-up comedian himself, watch it for the site. Unfortunately, Lucas doesn’t have cable so he couldn’t do it. Balls. That meant that if Tu Vez was going to cover the special, I’d have to do it. That didn’t happen. Instead of sitting at home and watching it, I decided to go to a bar. But Carlos Mencia, whether I like it or not, is a Latino comic and as a site that covers Latino culture, it was my duty to cover it. As a result, I purchased the special on iTunes (it went on sale today) and sat through the whole thing. How was it? Well, let’s just say that I would’ve been better off watching it for free than begrudgingly giving him monetary support.

Before I go on, I’ll address the question I’m sure is on everyone’s mind: did he steal jokes from other comedians this time around? Besides one bit where he rants about an undocumented worker with a thick accent manning the drive-thru window of a McDonald’s– a joke that’s suspiciously similar to George Lopez‘s “Jack In The Box” bit– I didn’t recognize any stolen material. What he did steal, however, was Dane Cook’s on stage mannerisms and stage persona. Throughout New Territory, Mencia exerted himself physically to the point where it bordered on pantomime.

As per the jokes, American exceptionalism– the belief that as flawed as this country might be, it’s still the best in the world– was a running theme. In one joke, Carlos claims that Americans hate soccer because it’s a sport in which ties are allowed.  America loves games where there’s winning, and tying is unacceptable because it equates to mediocrity, something that is incongruent with this country’s ethos. That last statement, of course, is nonsense, because if that were the case, if America really hated mediocrity, Carlos would never have a successful career.

And then there were the immigration jokes. Mencia touched upon Arizona’s infamous anti-immigration law SB 1070, at first to make fun of his older brother, and then as a launching point to talk about his very simplistic views on the issue:

So not only is he an asshole of a brother, but he also doesn’t think that racial profiling is that big of a deal.

Last week, before his special aired on Comedy Central, Mencia sat down with The Huffington Post for an interview. The special was supposed to be a departure from the way he did comedy, from the way he told jokes. That was not the case in New Territory. It was more of the same.

Towards the end of his set, Mencia claimed that he’s not supposed to be taken seriously and that he’s nothing more than a glorified clown. I’ll give him credit. That’s the smartest thing he’s ever said.

Fidel Martinez is Managing Editor of Tu Vez.

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