Sunday, February 25, 2007

JIVE! #3

Man, there’s just a superfluous amount of "Jive!" in this ca-razy-razy world, ain’t it?

This next bit was related on Joe Rogan’s website, specifically,
here. Here's a direct link to the video that will soon be in question.

I gotta give Joe Rogan some respect. I always loved the guy on "NewsRadio" because he held his own with the immortal Phil Hartman and brilliant Stephen Root; no easy task.

I wasn’t so much on "Fear Factor," but that really had nothing to do with Rogan; a steady job and a paycheck on a hit show is a steady job and a paycheck on a hit show.

I do like him as a stand-up but I got burned out on stand-up (except for Carlin and Hicks) so long ago that I really don’t watch it anymore.

And, since I’m also a UFC fan, I’ve gotten enough exposure to Rogan to like him and recognize him as a weird and funny guy.

Of course, Rogan was on
Penn Radio (twice) recently doing the Moon Landing Hoax thing with Bad Astronomer Phil Plaitt, and though we’re solidly on Phil’s side, Rogan at least took the time to know what he was talking about and gave Phil a run for his money on several points. Aside from the Moon Landing Hoax thing and, possibly, a few other quirks, Rogan’s a generally skeptical cat, and we’re always cool with that. As long as he doesn’t believe in Ramtha.

So, I’m not some psycho-obsessive Roganbot, but that’s really beside the point...

Carlos Mencia

Even without the current controversy, I never liked the guy.

I saw one of his comedy specials some years back and said, "Meh." You could tell even then that he was, at the best, a third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns (no offense to the Browns). I’m tempted to say, "Only the Funky Lord knows how he got his own show," but I think even the Funky Lord would shrug, mumble something about "demographics," and discreetly change the subject.

His whole act seemed to be predicated on the fact that, "he says what you only think." Which is complete bullshit.

Does Carlos Mencia know any males between the ages of 15 and 30? If so, then he’d know just how tame his act really is. He must be hanging around with Mennonites or something. If he’d have hung out with my high school and/or college crews, he would’ve gotten a comprehensive education on "offensive, crude, and vulgar."

He thinks he’s a comedic genius simply because he’ll make fun of race. Ooh, so edgy! Sure, a little good-natured racism amongst friends can be funny (on the same level as a well-timed "Your Mom" joke), but the racist joke is always the cheap joke, and you have to be naturally funny or very clever (Pryor, Murphy, Dice, Kinison) to pull it off well.

"Ooh, look, a brown-skinned guy wearing a turban. Cab driver or convenience store clerk? Ha! Hey, a couple of black guys on the corner! Must be drug dealers, right? Ha! How about a Mexican guy driving a car? Must be 20 more in the back! Ha! All Asians are good at math! Ha, ha, ha!"

See, any moron (e.g. Yours Truly) with a passing knowledge of commonly held racial stereotypes can write this crap. Richard Pryor material it ain’t. Besides, there are other current comedians (e.g. Sarah Silverman) who actually are edgy and offensive and funny.

So, if someone had told me a year ago that Carlos Mencia was accused of stealing jokes from other comedians, I wouldn’t have believed them, if only for the fact that I thought all his jokes were bad. I would’ve then made a bad joke of my own, "Unless he’s stealing jokes from Bazooka Joe!"

I might (might) could’ve seen the "Ah, Rogan’s just jealous" angle, if it was only Rogan accusing him. Add in George Lopez (who, evidently, jacked Mencia up for it) and at least half a dozen other comedians (some of which are on tape saying, "Yeah, he steals jokes," in front of Mencia) and you either have an elaborate and mean-spirited conspiracy amongst unscrupulous comics or a single jerk-off joke thief.

Rogan and Mencia recently had it out on stage (and on "the question") at the Comedy Store which resulted in Rogan being banned from the venue and dropped by his agent, whom also represents Mencia. Mencia calling Rogan "a little bitch" is probably the funniest joke he’s ever come up with; and he’s lucky Rogan didn’t rip his face off.

So, why write about this when we have, say, the whole Iraq/Iran/North Korea fiasco being decided by corrupt or impotent politicians more interested in gaining a swing vote than actually governing the country? Well, we are a Church based on Funk, humor, and entertainment in general. And politics make our hearts hurt.

Theft is theft, be it your TV, your car, or your intellectual property. For me, it’s even worse when it’s something you’ve had to develop from scratch and craft into something insightful, beautiful, or funny. You can replace a TV or a car, but people can only hear a really good joke once.

Stealing someone else’s routine is tantamount to stealing their livelihood; it’d be quicker and easier for all of us if Mencia just hacked a comic’s bank account and put the mic down for good.

And we at the Church despise cheaters. Doubly so when they parlay their dishonesty into a (for some reason) popular show on a network that we otherwise respect. It almost irreparably sullies Comedy Central, to have a phony putz among such brilliant jokesmiths as Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Trey Parker, and Matt Stone.

And if you still feel like giving Mencia the benefit of the doubt, Rogan provides documented proof of Mencia stealing a two-year-old joke from a comedian that once opened for him, Ari Shaffir. Then Mencia denies that Ari ever opened for him.

In closing, we at the Church would like to urge all of our Funky Monkeys to take a giant crap on Carlos Mencia (and all art thieves) the next time you hear his name mentioned. We’d also like to offer a hearty "Huzzah and Kudos" to Joe Rogan for having the conviction to loudly challenge this particularly pathetic shitheel.

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Theft aside, Rev, I must say your use of active links is looking mighty fine! Bravo!

I'm still waiting for you to hang the pictures on the walls...