After three years of staying away from stand-up comedy, Carlos Mencia is back and touring across the country. The Los Angeles resident is staying away from larger venues and focusing on smaller comedy clubs – including a return to Pechanga Casino & Resort.
Tickets are on sale for two performances on July 16 ranging from $35 to $55. The first show will go on at 6:30 p.m. followed by a later show at 9 p.m. The comedian will be using the two shows for a Comedy Central live comedy show to air later in the year.
Mencia is known for his comedy show “Mind of Mencia”, various movies, and a number of comedy awards and specials. Mencia was sent to Los Angeles to live with his aunt and uncle from Honduras when he was an infant.
In 2008, Mencia ended a 80-city comedy tour and went on a touring hiatus.
Why was there a break in comedic touring?
For the past couple of years nothing was funny. I was 22 years into it and needed to step away. Sometimes I would go to clubs but not go on stage. I just was not feeling it. There was a point where my body was like, “we gotta do some jokes”. It was never a conscious decision to slow down.
What is like going back on stage?
There is nothing like stand up. The immediacy of it. There is no wall or barrier. There is no outside influences, no network, no standards or practices telling me you can’t make fun of Tide or McDonald’s. It’s awesome.
You have been called out and criticized for jokes. How does a comedian walk the fine line between offending listeners and creating jokes?
The biggest problem is apologizing in the first place for stand up performances. The intent is to be funny, to make people laugh. I would apologize for hurt feelings but I wouldn’t apologize for something that was funny. My intent is not to be mean.
I don’t make comments, I make jokes. The joke was intended to make you laugh.
Every joke has a target and so the thing is, people love it when they agree with what the target is. But they hate it when they disagree. It’s a matter of perspective.
How do you craft your jokes and stage presence?
It is always better to write a joke clean first and always add to it. It is harder to take away the curse words. I like my jokes to function on a musical level.
The way I view my performances are in a mathematical way. If I say America is the greatest county, then I have to prove it.
The second part of the joke is the music of it. It’s a symphony. If you speed up comedy the percussion comes when the audience laughs.
Then I have to determine what to do on the stage. How intense do I want it to be? Do I need to smile more? Walk around to make it aggressive or goofy?
Why did you schedule some of the smaller cities on this tour?
When I perform in the big cities I know how it will work. I know the pulse of Las Vegas or San Diego. San Diego is a big city but laid back and are not desperate for something to do.
In these smaller cities I have found myself connecting with a new set of fans. It’s so refreshing.
The regular American is not caught up in the city scene and are just regular people with a regular job. My whole thing was I wanted to go on a tour that was like performing at Pechanga for the first time.
How do you approach Temecula?
Temecula knows me. I always make a point to always connect but it is hard to do in certain places. The thing about Pechanga is the connection is immediate. I could have recorded this anywhere but when they asked I said this is my fave. I wanted to be in SoCal and I wanted it to be at an Indian casino.