Monday, October 4, 2010

Carlos Mencia

I’ve always loved watching Carlos Mencia perform his bits of comedy because he tends to talk about race and ethnicity in a way that blurs them—not by meshing them together but by speaking about each and every one of them in the same way as to imply that we all have our own identities that are equal.

I was reminded of the video we watched (the one that won an award) where the narrator was on a stretcher speaking about how people were mistaking some ethnicities for others and causing unmerited danger to those people when I watched this clip of Mencia talking about race. However, he takes a more comedic stance but also seems to contradict himself quite a few times.

He comments on how he could say he was from “Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina…etc.” and everyone would think he is Mexican. Later on, however, he also comments on how Asians are angry when people get their race wrong, and he implies that they all look the same.

When he tells the story of mistaking an Indian man for a Mexican one, he makes the audience laugh by acting out how overly offended the man was. However, his response to people in Chicago thinking he was Arab is “f*** that sh** man!”

Though there are some contradicting points in his piece, the comedic way he conveys his overall message of equality is effective as it convinces people to listen to how ridiculous the notions of stereotypes are. In the end, the whole idea is tolerance and acceptance of others and our differences.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Jocelyn's assessment that at the end of the day the take home message of this video is to be tolerant of one another. He does this in a contradictory manner by saying that "who gives a fuck what race you are!" and then saying making fun of Asians, Indians, and Latinos. Another comedian that does this is Russel Peters, who like Carlos makes fun of race and unlike him, is Indian. What is so striking to me is that while I found a lot of his jokes offensive I found them quite funny at the same time. There is something special about race and how we construct others to be that gives it this special quality. Carlos makes good use of this. Thanks for posting this video.