Category Archives: Humor

I like comedy and humor. Sometimes I try to be funny. Sometimes I succeed. Posts in this category might be funny haha. Or, they might be satire or dark humor. But, if it’s marked humor, keep that in mind. I may also just be discussing humor and comedy in general.

Defending Mencia

I will probably take massive amounts of flack for this from all five of my regular readers (God bless you, or you know, whatever), but I think Carlos Mencia is funny, smart, and misunderstood.

I will wait for you to clean whatever beverage you were previously enjoying off of your iPad or cellphone (My stats tell me at least one of you is reading my blog on an iPad, a cellphone, and an iPod. Or one of you is loading the blog up on multiple computers. And the other three of you are using Windows. There was one guy on Linux but he only read like one post and hasn’t been back and frankly, we won’t miss that neckbeard.)

All clean now? Let me start with misunderstood because it’s his own damn fault. My only experience with Carlos Mencias was from his race-baiting Mind of Mencia show on Comedy Central. It was like they said (and I’m about 98% sure it went exactly like this), “You know, that f@cking Dave Chappelle show is awesome! We get great ratings from him! I think it’s because of all that racial s#it he does. We need a Hispanic version of Chappelle.”
“What about George Lopez, sir?”
“No, f@ck that guy. He sold out. His show is on Nickelodeon now.”
“Okay, then how about Carlos Mencia?”
“Orale! Get him on the phone!

You might not realize it, but practically every show business executive curses like a longshoreman. I guess. I don’t know any longshoremen and neither do the show business executives which is probably why they get away with telling everybody that’s who they are swearing like. Regardless, they swear a lot.

So, this is why it’s his own fault. Mencia goes on his show and proceeds to give us all the impression that his comedy consists of racial nonsense, half of which is not very funny, Then, on top of that, there’s a controversy that Mencia has stolen material from other comics. And, there’s YouTube videos that make a compelling case for it. So, I had decided that Mencia was an unfunny, talentless, hack.

Then, MFWITWWW* goes and tells me that, in fact, Mencia is hilarious. Now, she is my favorite woman in the whole wide world for a good reason. She is SMART. She is so smart that I actually have to write it in all caps as I properly did right there. She is so SMART that she actually knows how and when to keep her mouth shut, which probably makes her smarter than me. Hmmm. Oh well, no time to think about stupid stuff like that. So, she tells me that she went to see him in concert and that it’s nothing like his show. Okay, yeah, so you say, I thought. I didn’t argue with her because she’s Latina and I’m still afraid she might cut me.

I let it pass. I mentioned that I didn’t like the show and didn’t find it funny and she said he was smart and I started to think she might only be smart instead of SMART. Cause, to me, he seemed like a buffoon. So, months later, she mentions that Mencia is going to be at the San Manuel casino and will I go with her despite my objections to his comedic stylings, she asked.

I acquiesced to her request. Just like that. Acquiesced. If nothing else, I would get to see this casino out in Highland, CA that I’d always been curious about. Was it a dirt shack out there with some slot machines? I dunno. I thought it was like this old, run-down building about the size of Costco and with as much charm. The parking lot would be gravel and the marque would be one of those signs with the movable letters, “TONITE! C RLOS MENCI “. Someone stole the “A’s” I guess.

San Manuel is about 3,000 times better than that. There’s parking structures, fountains, a covered skyway, and it’s really nice inside. It looks like a nice, but smaller, Vegas casino. Not Bellagio, but at least Rio nice. But it doesn’t smell like a Vegas casino. Can’t smoke in California, you know. Anywhere. Ordinarily, that’s a good thing. But, in a casino, you should smell cigarrettes, like, everywhere.

So, we get there and Mencia is funny. I laughed a lot! And, to me, the most impressive thing was that he did, no kidding, at least a two hour set. Being funny for two hours onstage is not easy. Even more impressive? At least a half hour of that was him improvising on stuff from the audience. That’s not easy. I’ve seen comics try to do that and you can tell they just want to get back to their material. But, he was funny then, too.

Does he steal material? I don’t know. But, he was smart enough to write his own material on stage in front of us. As well, he had a good message about thinking critically and realizing that the world could be a better place if we realized that politics was goofy. Or something. I forget exactly, but it was good; not mind searing truth like George Carlin, but in that vein.

So, if you haven’t seen Carlos Mencia live and you like comedy, you might consider taking in a show of his before you declare him a talentless hack.

Oh, and I also think that some of Dane Cook’s routines are funny, too. Louis CK and Oswalt Patton are funnier, but still.


Bill Hicks: comedian, prophet, pale demon

Just watched “Bill Hicks: Sane Man” on my Netflix stream. This is not my first exposure to Hicks. I have five or six recordings of his. But, good lord he was funny. He was sacrilegious, profane, vulgar, offensive, dark, full of hate, bile, and spewing gouts of flaming truth wherever he went.

I think my favorite part of a Bill Hicks set is how much his audience hates him. I have one recording where they get downright hostile toward him. And let’s face it, he wasn’t there to win friends. That might be what I love most about him. He was telling the truth as he saw it and if you didn’t like it, too bad. He was probably going to make fun of you next.

In case you’re not familiar with Bill Hicks, he was very liberal. He absolutely hated Reagan, the first Bush and was intensely critical of the first Iraq war. Can you imagine what it would be like if he lived today? Here’s what I think he’d being saying:

What is wrong with you people? You elected the son?! Did you miss all the crap his daddy did? And you let him go back to Iraq to finish the job? You believed that bit about the WMDs? You people are dumber than I originally thought!

Seriously, Bill had it nailed. He spotted the anti-intellectualism movement, the take-over of corporations, the awfulness of pop culture and on and on. He reminds me a lot of George Carlin, another truly great comic. The great thing about both of these guys is that they are funny but they are telling great truths and making serious points. They are using the laughs because, I think, that is a great way to get you to listen to some things that are otherwise unpalatable to most of us. I think they can’t help making the jokes either. I think they are those guys that are in a car accident, have their arm amputated and look at the doctor to say,”I’ve been meaning to lose weight, doc, thanks.” They’re the ones getting dirty looks at funerals because they couldn’t help making the people around them giggle.

The thing is, we need guys like this now more than ever. I think this is where Jon Stewart and The Daily Show come in. And, Stephen Colbert, yes. We have to hear some humor. Maybe I should try writing more humorously when I have something serious to talk about. Hmmm…

Mr. Hicks was, if you can believe it, darker and harsher than George Carlin. Hicks would point out how the great people of history tend to be murdered, they don’t die of old age. Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, JFK, etc. But, Ronald Reagan? He got shot, lived through it, and was old as Hell when he died. Note: this is well before the beatification of Reagan and the whitewashing of his legacy (go read the record, that brother raised taxes lots of times! And he dug spending tons of money on defense.) so Reagan was still the devil as far as Hicks was concerned. At the end of his set, Hicks sometimes would tell the audience his plan for world peace: if you took the trillions being spent on wars and gave it to the citizens we could build a home for every person in the world, then spend our time and money exploring space together in peace and harmony. What a wonderful world to live in. Then, Hicks stands with his arms up as the audience applauds, his set over… And gunshots ring out loudly in the room. Hicks crumples to the ground, clutching his chest, apparently shot to death, assassinated. The lights go out. Hardee har har.

In the tradition of dark comedy, Hicks makes sure that the laugh you were having a second ago gets caught in your throat. Sure, it’s a little self-aggrandizing, but, well, the man had some awesome, funny, truthful, and brutal bits. And, guess what? He was right. We could easily house the entire country if we wanted. But, no we can’t do that. House freeloaders??? No way!

It’s kind of weird. How would you rather spend trillions of dollars. Ending homelessness and giving the American Dream to everyone in the country? Or bombing people in another country that may or may not represent a threat to us? As George Carlin put it, they call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. I am so grateful for people like Hicks, Carlin, Stewart, and Colbert for helping to wake me up.

Ze Frank and The Show anniversary

Ze Frank did a video podcast every day, Monday through Friday, from March 17, 2006 to March 17, 2007. At the time, there weren’t a lot of video podcasts. Heck, for that matter, there weren’t very many podcasts, especially not good ones.

The Show was a good one. It was (I was about to write “in my opinion” but, then, I realized, this is my blog so of course it’s my opinion. I guess, I only need to point out if it’s not my opinion. That’s the nice thing about it being my blog.) very funny and clever. The show was experimental, as I understand it. Like, I think that Ze Frank wondered if he could even pull it off.

Each episode was short and usually about news items. And, it was, and is, inspiring to me. First, I like funny things. I love humor and comedy. So, when things are quirky and funny I find them very interesting. Ze Frank is definitely quirky. Secondly, I think that Ze Frank is a critical thinker. I like critical thinking. I like that he seems to use a variety of sources to get his information. After watching a few episodes you can see that he uses the internet and, very occasionally, print periodicals, to get his news. (The advantage here is that, like interviewing eyewitnesses to a crime, you can get at “the truth” by synthesizing the versions of what happened that you get. Right?)

To mark the five year anniversary, Ze Frank is rewatching his episodes and making commentary at this page. Ze Frank The Show anniversary recap And, if you want to watch the episodes, you can get them from iTunes here. iTunes link to The Show

By and large, The Show was “safe for work” and family friendly, though not completely. I would give it a PG or PG13 rating. Like, when he makes the shampoo bottles vomit and then one of them, um, bathes in the “vomit” saying, “I’m a pervert, I’m a pervert!” That is extremely amusing to me and probably disturbing to some and definitely not something I want my kids to emulate. At this point. Maybe when they’re in college.

Mostly, the show is safe and gives me a warm, happy feeling. I feel like Ze Frank cares about me. Not me, specifically, but me as a human being in general. I’ve never met Ze Frank so I don’t pretend that he actually cares about me, but I think that he, ultimately, wants people to be happy. I think that’s really cool. And, interestingly, I care about you in the same way. Except that, if you’re reading this, I probably do know you and probably have met you. And, I care about you anyway.

Also, I have decided to follow Ze Frank’s example. I am going to try to blog daily. And, rather than just throw crap out there about how I brushed my teeth today and, dang it, wouldn’t you know, there were strawberry seeds in my molars!, I will try to make each entry give you something. A movie or music review, a reaction to some current event, a link to something interesting to me (like this entry). Hopefully, at least once a week, there will be something worthwhile to you, dear reader, enough to justify my narcissistic urge to write this in the first place.