EXCLUSIVE: Carlos Mencia: "I Was Losing My Humanity And Becoming A Celebrity"

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Honduran comedian Carlos Mencia called us earlier this week to give us all of the deets on his new Comedy Central special, Carlos Mencia: New Territory (premiering this Sunday, December 4th at 10 p.m. ET). Read on to find out what the 44-year-old comic had to say about the special, his new style of comedy and why he took time off to find his humanity.

Tell us about your new comedy special!

It's something different, man—it's a different me. Call it a reinvention, call it an evolution, call it growth, call it maturity—I don't know. I guess everybody's going to have their own {opinion} of it. For me personally, it's an evolution. I took some time to look within myself, travel a little bit, get a perspective on life—and that perspective is now a huge, huge part of what I do for a living. 

Has your style of comedy changed

Style yes—substance no. Believe it or not, the things I'm talking about now seem edgier or more out there than what I used to do. The funny thing is that there were times before where I never thought I was being controversial, but people thought I was—and now that I think some of the things I'm saying are pretty edgy, people are like, 'no, it's not controversial at all.' It's just really bizarre. I think it has a lot to do with how you put things in perspective. One of the things this special has is perspective. For instance, i talk about my family a lot, but they're not just goofy stories about my family. They're stories that relate to why I am who I am—how those stories made me become the person that I am today. 

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Did you take a hiatus from comedy for a while to find yourself?

Oh God, yeah! Because I was losing my humanity and I was just becoming a celebrity. I love Kathy Griffin, and it’s not a knock on her—I just don't want to be the comedian that only does jokes about s*** they did around Hollywood, like "I went to dinner with the Jonas Brothers...and then I was out with Steven Spielberg and oh my God, let me tell you about Steven..." That's now who I am or what my life experience is about. 

Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say you were losing your humanity?

Well, when you live in a world where anytime you go somewhere, a car is going to come and pick you up, or you go to a restaurant and it's free—I'd go to a store and I'd take a picture and sign an autograph—it gets to a point where everybody's telling you you're great, you're funny, blah, blah, blah.  That becomes reality. But that's not real. I ended up traveling and going to places and trying to be forgotten so I could live in those moments again. I just took the time to become human again, to become a regular person with pros and cons, good and bad, with everything that entails being a human being. And it started reflecting on my comedy. 

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Would you say you’re happier now?

I was always a happy person. I just had been doing that kind of comedy for such a long time and had the label of being controversial, that that was a real part of who I was.  I just got to a point where I was like, 'you're right, 'What the f*** am I so mad about?' I just didn’t want to be angry. I didn’t want to be the screaming comic my whole life. 

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