For those who aren’t aware, Joe Rogan, comedian, UFC commentator, and former star in NBC’s Newsradio, has not performed at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA since 2005. If this doesn’t sound important to you, that’s probably because you’re not familiar with the Rogan/Mencia incident. After a confrontation between the two performers, The Comedy Store backed Carlos Mencia, as he could draw more people into seats within the Latin/Hispanic community, and subsequently banned Joe Rogan from performing there. Read on for the full story.
In stand-up comedy, joke thieves are the equivalent to pasty faced, handle-bar mustache wearing villians who tie up women and throw them on train tracks. Carlos Mencia was one of the most notorious of these villains while on the road to becoming one of the biggest names in comedy. I have heard rumors that he has an uncanny ability to show up to any show and memorize entire sets from other comedians, sometimes performing their material even better in his honed “dun dah duhh!” style, which was dangerous. Joe Rogan explains it in more detail on his own blog post here. It’s an interesting read, to say the least.
A comedian’s jokes are his or her livelihood. To have your joke stolen means having to generate new material for sets, sometimes right before a show that can make or break your career. Nobody wants to be known as a joke thief for any reason. A comedian spends hours, sometimes even days or years, coming up with a perfect joke or a perfect set. Standing in front of a paid audience and knowing exactly what to do and say to consistently make those people laugh, regardless of where you go, takes painstaking precision and hard work. As of writing this article, I can honestly say that I’m not even close to being ready for prime time.
That being said, I am personally afraid of guys like Carlos Mencia.
If you have never seen this video, then you’re in for a treat. This is a bit of comedy history.
Since the incident, Mencia has been called out on other occasions. Comedian Marc Maron has two premium episodes on his WTF podcast that has Mencia admitting to being the most notorious joke thief in the business. In the second episode of premium content, comedians tell stories on how, when, and where Mencia stole material from their sets.
As of this moment, Joe Rogan, Doug Stanhope, and Joey Diaz are booked to perform at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA for shows on both November 29 and 30, 2012. This is a huge event, and tickets are selling at $25 per person, which is relatively cheap considering the names. You should buy tickets now, as I am sure that they will be going fast this month.