Comedian. Born on October 22, 1967, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Raised by his aunt and uncle, Mencia credits his family for helping him stay out of trouble and away from gangs in his East Los Angeles neighborhood. He graduated Garfield High School in 1985 and attended California State University, Los Angeles while working full time. Only one credit shy of graduating, Mencia decided to leave school to pursue a career in comedy in 1989.
Mencia became as a regular performer at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, where he met comics, such as Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor, and Paul Rodriguez. In 1994, he had his own half-hour comedy special and hostedLoco Slam, a show that featured Latino comics, on the HBO cable network. Over the years, Mencia has appeared on the late-night television talk show circuit, performing on The Tonight Show and guest hosting later. He has won over audiences with his take-no-prisoners performing style and his humorous, if not harsh, observations about social, political, and racial issues.
It was his aggressive approach to stand-up comedy that led to his first television series, Mind of Mencia. It debuted in 2005 on the Comedy Central cable network and was paired with Chappelle’s Show, featuring Dave Chappelle, another comic not afraid to challenge or offend his audiences. A mix of sketches and straightforward stand-up, Mencia’s show pokes fun at everything and everyone, from talking about racist road signs to having religious figures wrestle each other. Mencia has received critical praise for his show, but he is not without some detractors. Some find his material objectionable while others are put off by his bold, brash personality. Whatever the case, the show was renewed for a third season in 2006.
Besides his show, Mencia often performs his stand-up comedy in clubs and theaters across. Not afraid to tackle controversial topics in his routines or on his show, Mencia has described himself as “the first Richard Pryor of Hispanic culture.”