Stories from the Road, read and comment on them!

 

Austin, Texas: April 25, 2005


Sorry it has been so long since I have written a road story but I have been that busy. I know it is hard to believe that I have not had time to write a story but I truly have not. With all the meetings with possible writers and directors for the show it’s been crazy. Austin was out of control. On Friday morning I was on the Dudley and Bob show and it got crazy. They had this game that had 4 handles with a red button on each handle. The handles are attached to a unit with a light in the middle that changes from red to green. When you push the button in the middle of the unit the light blinks green and music plays. Then when the light turns red, all the players must hit the button on their handle, and the last one to do so gets an electric shock.

I offered to put up $500 if at least 4 women would come in and play the game. The catch was that they would have to put the handle on their “panooch”. (By the way panooch means vagina). Part of the reason I did it was because I did not think anyone would really do it. I was wrong. Four women came in and played the game. It was so funny because we told them not to curse on the air, but when they got shocked they all did... well, three of them did. Ironically the lady that won didn’t even want to be there. She said her husband made her do it. He was right.

After the ladies did it, two of the interns said they would do it too, but they were really fishing for some money too. We called the game “Char the Star”. I’m laughing as I write this. There is a big sh*t eating grin on my face at this very moment. I thought it would be funny to take it further so I offered the guys $100 each to put the handles in their asses and then play the game...they accepted. Just to hear them say “start the game now man, hurry” because it was already in the “culo” was worth it. To see the look on the guys face when he got shocked in the ass was like the MasterCard commercial, “priceless”. He was so pissed off when he lost that I offered another $100 for double or nothing...and revenge for the loser. He lost again and his reaction was even better the second time. I wish you all could have seen it. My words do not do it justice.

As for the comedy shows they were great and I will miss performing at the Capitol City Comedy Club in the future.

 

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Columbus, Ohio: January 10, 2005


This week I was in Columbus, OH and to be honest I did not know what to expect since it was the first time I have ever performed there. I was scheduled to perform there before but I had to cancel. It is so difficult to put in new markets into my schedule. I have worked very hard to cultivate and grow the markets that I perform in now. I actually have to drop other ones from my performance schedule to put in new ones since as you can see if you look at my schedule I am completely booked till years end already. You have no idea how many emails I get that say "when are you performing in my city". If I live long enough I intend to get to all markets, until then I will do what I can. Anyway, this weekend was the bomb. The shows were sold out and the crowds were unbelievable. I was thoroughly surprised. Most of the time the first time you perform in a city it is not this way. It seems like every week I am blown away by the reception I get from audiences but I guess I truly don't expect what I see. Thank you all.


By the way look at the view I had from the window of my hotel this week. A little different from Maui isn't it?

 

 

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Maui: December 29, 2004


I just got back from Maui and to tell you the truth, I have no words to describe to you how awesome and beautiful the "Maui" experience is. I will tell you that I saw Nick and Jessica Simpson, Damon Wayans, and a few other celebrities. Here are some pics. That is a panoramic view from my bedroom window. That is what me and my wife woke up to every morning.

 

 

 

Maui: December 14, 2004

 

Today I go on my way to Maui with my wife. I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Oh and happy whatever to all you people that celebrate something different. C-ya

 

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Comedy Central Show: December 6, 2004

 

I just finished taping a pilot for Comedy Central. I know that I am supposed to feel something, either good or bad, but I really don’t. Maybe it is age or maybe I am jaded but I am numb to my emotions regarding the show. Why lie, I know exactly why I feel this way. The truth is I am not always understanding of how show business works. In many ways “Hollywood” runs like a business and in many ways it does not. After all, remember that the people that are in the business are also creative people. Show-business is an oxymoron. Those two words will always conflict because they are opposite in nature. By definition artists do not do what we do for profit and by definition business is all about profit. Another aspect of art is that is subjective. What is art to one person is sh*t to someone else. Now put this into the mix. When a brand new show is in the prospect of being put on television, these are some of the steps that need to be taken. The executives see it and decide if they like it, then they show it to the sales department. They in turn somehow find out if advertisers will buy commercial time during that shows time period. They then show it to the programming department to see if they have a place for it on the schedule. They need to ask questions like how long is this show one or half an hour. What is the theme of the show and does it fit with another or conflict with already scheduled programs. What about all the other shows they got made for that time are they better worst, do they have producers, writers, directors, studios etc. that the network needs or wants to be in business with. These are just some of the things that need to be taken into account. The chances of a show actually getting on the air are infinitesimal. Because of all this, I can’t get too emotionally attached to this show. As good as I think it was if it didn’t get picked up I would be depressed for I don’t know how long. Having been through this process a few times before and not having gotten on the air, I know not to put too much onto it. I hope that someone who was at the taping would write something so you could get a perspective on how it went. I will say that I am very proud of what we accomplished and I am glad for the opportunity. The show was fun and I hope I get the chance to do the show on a weekly basis. We shall see.

 

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El Paso: October 17, 2004

One of the most interesting places in the world is El Paso. When you travel interstate 10, there is a stretch of highway where you can see both sides of the border. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is astonishing to see what a man made line and a different system of government can do to the same humans. What you see on this side and what you see on that side is so different it’s almost unbelievable.

The interesting thing about EP is that every time I go there, the people are always talking about how broke the town is. For a big city, they have a very small town mentality. The thing is though, every time I go there, there is a new mall, a new theatre complex, a new nice restaurant, etc. I can’t believe that these people have no money when, from an outsiders perspective it seems they are doing fine. I just hope that they soon grasp the concept that they are not a small town.

As for the shows, well I could not ask for a kinder or for a more loyal audience. It’s always fun to perform for the folks from that area because they act like they know me on a personal level, and that’s cool.

 

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October 3rd: the Doghouse Comedy Jam

For those of you who do not know, “The Doghouse” is the name of an unbelievably popular morning show in the bay area (San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland). They’re on WILD 94.9. You can stream their show if you want to get a sample of the crazy shit these guys do. I actually found myself breathing fire on one of their shows. You can see a video of that on jvsworld.com. These guys do some outrageous but f*cken funny sh*t.

To give you an idea of how popular they are and how loyal to the show their fans are, their comedy jam which has been going on for 5 years, usually boasts an attendance of about 20,000 people. Luckily for me, the guys who host the show have been fans of mine for a long time and have had me be part of the show from the beginning. I am the only comedian to have performed at every single jam. I consider myself fortunate for the opportunity to perform in that venue and in front of that many people. Those guys have been good to me.

This year, a week or so before the show, the guys stated to ride my ass about the fact that my birth name is Ned… relax, I’ll tell you the story about that… My birth father’s name is Roberto Holness. When I was born, my mother was pissed off at my father and decided not give me his last name. She had a brother who was married but unable to have children. (Her brother is the one in my family that came to America first and then went back to Honduras to get the rest of his family). My mother did the most amazing thing a parent could do; she gave me to her brother and his wife to be raised as their own. I grew up with my biological mother and father, brothers and sisters living just next door. Out of respect for my birth father, my mom and dad decided I should still use his name even though my legal name (the one on my birth certificate) is Ned Arnel Mencia. All through school I was known as Ned Holness. I’ve never try to hide this, but only people who know me personally or have heard and or read all of my interviews and articles would know this. Somehow the guys got a hold of that information and they rode me hard. They actually had a contest to see who is the whitest man in America! The contest was between me, Bill O’reilley or Charley Brown and I won. I thought it was funny as sh*t.

For those of you that know, there was some other sh*t that went down, but I can’t talk about it for legal reasons. I was sent a letter by a lawyer. I say this so that the people who know about it understand why that part of the story is not in here. As for the rest of you I’m truly sorry for this.

This year’s show was the best yet. The audience was the best ever and the energy could not be described. The only thing that sucked was the fact that there is a curfew at the venue which only allowed me to go on for 18 minutes when I was supposed to do 35. I’m not worried about ego, I just hope that the fans didn’t feel cheated, especially because in the days leading to the event, I had talked all kinds of sh*t about how I was going to go long. The fact that I have always been the one that goes on last, also puts some added pressure. Interestingly, because of the way that the Shoreline Amphitheatre is designed acoustically, I can’t really hear the laughter. It seems that every year I need to be reassured about the performance I gave as I’m never certain I did well. This year was no exception to that, but I want to thank you all for the great emails letting me know what you thought about the show…you make me feel good about it.

 

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October 2nd: Sacramento

Sorry about the gap, I’ve been very busy. Anyway, I was just in Sac about a month ago for the KSFM Comedy Jam. I was only onstage for about 25 minutes on that specific night. Usually I perform for much longer (at least 1 hour and 15 minutes minimum). I didn’t know what to expect as far as attendance. I know that this will sound weird to some of my fans but I never take for granted that I will sell out any shows. Even though lately I have been fortunate enough to sell out pretty much all of my shows, I still don’t take it for granted. To make a long story short, the shows were sold out and we had to add a midnight show on Saturday. The crowds were phenomenal!

If you ever find yourself in Sacramento, go into a restaurant called The White Swan on Howe. I do not recommend you eat there unless you have a craving for the unknown. Just take a look inside at one of my favorite places to eat in the entire world. Yes, I said in the entire world. You take an empty plate and you put whatever you want on it. The selections range from cilantro to most vegetables and meats. You put all of the sauces that you want in the mix and then hand it all over to some giant Asian man (who I’ve only made smile with a $20 tip) who cooks it for you. I have visited this place enough times to have found the perfect “Carlos” combination. I’m salivating as I write this.

 

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San Jose: August 12, 2004

Last week I was at the Improv in San Jose, Ca. San Jose has the best looking comedy club in the country. It's not really a comedy club as much as it is a small theatre. That is where I recorded last years DVD. The crowds are unbelievable too. The coolest thing about being there is hanging out with "The Dog House", they do the morning show on Wild 94.9 in "The Bay Area". I end up doing crazy shit on that show. That week I breathed fire. Go to jvsworld.com, then go to media, click on videos and find Carlos and you will see me breathe fire. Sometimes I wonder about me.

 

Chicago July 19th -  25th

This was a crazy week. Chicago is always a crazy week. Unlike most cities that I go to, where I’m there from Thursday through Sunday, in Chicago, I go from Monday through Sunday. On top of that I get up at six in the morning to be on Mancows Morning Madhouse Monday all the way through Friday. If you don’t know the show, it is hell a crazy and fast in the studio. Mancows morning show is so fast paced you don’t understand. If you even take a moment to breathe when you are in that studio you will not get in a word. It is a lot of fun to be on the show no bullshit. I love that cow fucks with me on the “beaner” shit.

This week I got into this thing on the air where I was telling these old Mexican jokes all in a row and fast and people started calling in with their own jokes. It was actually out of hand. The phone guy told me later that he didn’t let a lot of people through because their jokes were bordering on racist. It was stupid funny. I don’t know what you guys think of him in Chicago but I will say that he is cool enough to let me on his show whenever I show up. Cow didn’t know I was coming in. When he saw me through the window of the studio he was genuinely happy, that felt good. Cow rules in Chi town.

I know a lot of people don’t know this but Dj’s throughout the country that let me on their shows all the time don’t have to do so. I really do appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. This might sound like ass kissing but you need to understand that I don’t think that I am the all end all of comedy and I thank God for all the opportunities I get. There are people out there that have real jobs, no matter what I say, I know I tell jokes for a living. As for Cow, he’s a cool dude and I’m proud to call him a friend.

On top of this, there are three Zanies in the Chicago area (Downtown, Vernon Hills and St. Charles). I go to them instead of them coming to me. By the way, would like to thank all of the people that drove from places like Wisconsin and Indiana. Truly no words can tell you how that makes me feel. I won’t even try. We {my brother, Steve (the opener) and I} did get to go to see a few movies. I saw Fahrenheit 911 and maybe I was delirious but I could not stop laughing at some of it. I did not go to see anything but a movie and that’s how I approached it. I think if you see it as a movie you will have a good time. If you make any of it personal whatever side you’re on, it is a different experience.

On Sunday night I walked out of the club and a couple of women were still hanging around at the club in St. Charles. They said that they wanted to take a picture while their husbands changed a flat tire on the car. A while after this, I walked out to the parking lot and they hadn’t fixed it yet. They couldn’t get the jack to work. I have used a jack like the one they had a “few” times before so I got under their car and helped them. They couldn’t believe that I was out there getting my hands dirty, as if it was some big deal. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do as human beings, help people in need. It kills me that when a “celebrity” does some shit that all people should do, they get more credit for it. Bottom line, everyone in Chicago wants me to go back before the year is over. I just might have to.

Much love Chi town.

 

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Orlando, Fl July 29 through August 1, 2004

This was not the first time to Orlando but I don’t really remember the first time I was there. First of all, I want to thank all the people that drove from all over the place to see me perform. I am always blown away by the fact that people come from so far to see me perform. I was taken back by the energy level of the crowds. They might have been the most energetic crowds I have performed for all year, I know, what a shocker. Maybe living in the town of kids, tourists, golf and Disney world, the uncensored nature of my act was truly appealing to them.

I did not realize how many Puerto Ricans lived in Orlando, Holy shit. It’s like all the flights that leave San Juan either got to New York or Orlando. Personally I love to connect with my audiences on a personal level and I’d have to say that it was fun doing so with the Ricans. Every group of people has their own idiosyncrasies and every different city has its groups. This weekend was fun. I guess that people like to be recognized and they got recognized this weekend.

I was in Orlando so the obligatory trip to Disney world was necessary and it was not a waste. On the way out, I saw this mother who had the look of utmost determination on her mind and she had a little boy by his arm. As they got closer I could hear that the boy began to get louder. I guess he thought that if he had a fit in front of people his mom would chill out. By the way, I personally saw that strategy work a few times earlier that day but when I saw the look on his mom, it didn’t look good for the kid. As they got really close, the kid got out of control loud. It got so loud people started making comments about what was wrong with the mom and why she was being so mean to the child. I know that look on a mother. It was the “if you don’t listen to me and do what I ask right now I am going to take you to the car until you behave” look. To be honest I have been on the other end of that look. I seemed to be the only person that was on her side. I kept waiting for her to look up so I could give her the “I agree with you” eye but she didn’t need it. She looked at the boy right in his eyes and said “I don’t care what people think, I told you what would happen if you didn’t listen and this is what you get”. I actually gave her a round of applause. It seems to me that it is getting harder by the day to raise your kid with the understanding of things like respect, obedience fear of authority etc. and the people around you do not fucking help at all. That mom said to all the people in that tram I don’t care what you think, this is my son, he will learn his lesson and you all can go fuck yourselves, except for me of course, because I was on her side

 

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San Angelo

This was an interesting weekend for me. I was supposed to be in Kansas City at Stanford and Sons, but something happened to change that. I have heard different stories, so I don't know the real truth. I will say I enjoy performing in KC very much. To be honest, KC is the first place that I remember having an audience that was almost 30 % White, 30 % Black, 30% Hispanic and 10% other. If you don't know by now, although you should, that is an ideal environment for my comedy. Anyway, because of the fallout weekend in KC, I had an open week and decided to perform in San Angelo, TX, since a friend of mine had told me to go there. To be honest, I had never heard of this place before and had no idea what to expect. Maybe you hadn't heard, but on Thursday the 24th of June, I received word that we had the go ahead from Comedy Central to create a show for them. I don't say this to seem grand or anything of the sort, but most of the comedians I know would have cancelled the show, especially in a small market like San Angelo. My parents tell me all the time, that I work too hard and should take more time off. I just think about how many people have real jobs and would give their left arm to make the kind of money I make telling jokes. See, the thing is I feel fucking lazy and pathetic if I don't work and can't bring myself to taking that time off as often as I maybe should. Maybe someday I will feel differently, but until now I feel like I must work as much as I can. I didn't know what to expect in San Angelo. It is a small city, but I heard good things about it. I did four shows there (two on Friday and two on Saturday). The turnout was OK; but it was actually the least amount of money I have made in a weekend in about 10 years. By the time I went to sleep on Friday, I was asking myself "why the fuck did you come here?  You should have stayed at home and celebrated the fact that you just got a show on Comedy Central with your family, especially your wife". I asked myself if I was a bit overzealous about this whole "I need to work" thing. On Saturday, I pretty much slept all day and got up to go to the show. All the shows had great crowds, but what happened on the last Saturday show is what was cool. In the middle of the show I had a moment where I realized how much fun I, and the audience, were having. Not that the other shows weren't fun for me, nor did I give them a weak ass show. I just realized during that last show that I do comedy because I love to make people laugh. Yes, my subject matter seems to sometimes do more than just garner a smile; but in my heart, I love when people around me are smiling. During that moment of purity when I was onstage, I remembered that it is not and never was (and hopefully God and fans willing, never will be) about anything but the laughs. It seems that a good lesson was learned right before I start to tape a television show. I could possibly take it too seriously and forget how and why I got there. After this weekend, it is all in perspective. Let's hope it stays that way!

 

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Stories from the Road: Shoreline

 

This story should have been told about 9 months ago. I apologize it has taken so long for me to share my thoughts on this. A few years ago the guys from the Doghouse (these are the guys on the morning show on Wild in San Francisco), discovered me. We became friends and began to do this show called the Doghouse Comedy Jam. Though it started kind of small, it became huge and was being held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Jose, CA. Well last year, JV (one of the guys on the show), saw the "light". I thought it was cool as shit that my buddy spoke to God and saw the truth and the light. Well, there it was- all was good and the show was coming up. On Friday morning before the Shoreline show, I was on the Doghouse radio show and so was Gary Spivey. For those of you who don't know who he is, he is a well known faith healer and seer of the light himself. Gary is a distinctive looking person with a big, white afro. During the radio show, I heard that they were going to heal a blind woman and make her see again. I said that I was going to heal someone myself during my performance. Everyone laughed and it was clear it would be a joke. The day of the show came and someone, actually Elvis, from the Doghouse show, brought a big white afro wig for my "healing" joke. After about 6 comedians the time had come for me to perform and close the show. Prior to me being introduced, they played a video of poor children from all over the world, while the song "heal the world" was played. At least that is what I was told, since I was in the back and never got to see the video myself. After the video came the healing. They brought out the girl and told the audience that if anyone didn't believe or have faith, it wouldn't work. They began to do their thing and the energy and the vibe were truly amazing. You could really feel the magic of life and the energy of the universe. It was taking some time for the healing to take place and the skeptics were getting impatient. They began slowly and began to get louder and louder, saying things like- "get to the comedy", "this is bullshit", "bring out Carlos" and some things much nastier than that. At some point they said that a decision was made to stop the healing and bring the last comic up, which was me. I had no fucking idea what to do. So many thoughts went through my mind until all my training kicked in. It was like that scene in the movie "For love of the game" with Kevin Costner. When he is about to pitch and he clears the mechanism and all is drowned out and the only task at hand is real. That is what I felt at that moment. You must understand that I had done many of these shows and my job as the "closer" was to accentuate and end the show with a bang. I went onstage like a madman, knowing that only one thing could possibly overcome all that had just occurred. I ranted and raved with all the energy of a desperate man and I plowed ahead. I had already planted my friend Steve in the audience as the man I was to heal. I pointed him out, made him come down to the stage and called myself the anti-healer in order to go to the other extreme. He walked on the stage with a two legged limp that seemed so real; some people actually thought it was. I told him to walk correctly and he wouldn't. So I began to kick him until he was "healed" and began to walk straight. I had the audience energy going at this point, so I threw the wig on the floor and began to angrily and energetically rant. I was so focused on the task at hand, I kept thinking, "you must do your best for the guys and the show by kicking ass and ending the show the way you're expected to". The video, the healing and the subsequent feelings that were stirred by all of this, were the furthest things from my mind at that moment. There is a joke that I tell, where I talk about rich people always asking me to feel sorry about the poor people in other countries. The punch-line is that they could have swum, ran, or jumped here like the rest of us. The intent of this joke of course is to empower people to take their life into their own hands and make positive things happen for themselves, instead of waiting for something to fall from the sky. Another part of the joke is that I don't believe I am better than anyone else. If I can do it, you can too. Well you can imagine after watching the video of the kids and the healing that didn't play itself out as was hoped, how the audience must have felt. On top of that, the naysayers yelling "it was bullshit", my "healing" or as it was seen by some as insensitive mocking and my joke about the kids was not appreciated by many. The guys and I had a falling out because of this and JV said that he had had a vision of me laughing at him. That could not be what he saw because I did not laugh at him, nor at his attempt to do good. I guess JV didn't watch my performance because he was with Amber (the blind girl), attending her. The next day I told JV that maybe his lesson in this was that there will always be people in this world who don't get it. Even Jesus himself could not get the message across to all and was killed for trying. Well, on the day they got back to the radio station they got phone calls about what I had done and the shit hit the fan. I got a message from JV telling me that I was wrong and fucked up. I should have been humble and asked him to call me so we could discuss what happened. Instead, I left a message that was a bit aggressive, telling him that he should know better and that I was shocked that after all these years he would think I was a fake and a dick. My aggressive message and tone did not go over well. I realized this and drove myself that night to San Francisco and waited in the lobby of the radio station until their show was over. JV had left word to me that he would see me after the show. As he walked into the room that I was waiting for him in, I realized how angry and hurt he was and that I should have been there for my friend in his time of need rather than being selfish and leaving him that aggressive message. What I did, truly hurt him and others, and all I could think about was "why are you mad at me"? We talked it out and understood each other and all is well now. I wish that I had talked to him before I went on stage that night, because if he had given me the ok, I would have apologized to the crowd and told them that because of a few assholes that couldn't shut the fuck up for a few seconds while people were trying to make a difference in a persons life, I was not going to perform, for in my eyes there was too much negativity in the air that had ruined the atmosphere. I guess that in the end, I just want everyone affected in this situation to know that I am truly sorry for your pain and I hope that you know that I am all about happiness for all. I hope that if I am ever in this situation again, I am guided by better judgment.

 

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