Carlos Mencia: Performance Enhanced - Extended and Uncensored
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (26th January 2009).
The Film

Many comedians are known to linger on small stages, never to really break out into the world of stand-up comedy. Once they start getting more and more famous, they can move on to specials, HBO, Comedy Central, whatever channel decides to pick up their act and put it into the public. For the most part this seems to be about as big as many comedians get, even those that break beyond that will usually linger and let their popularity build for a few years until it reaches critical mass for their own TV show, huge comedy tours or sold out arena style performances (which usually then become specials or even feature films of their own). Once a comedian hits that critical mass, for me it turns quickly into a love or hate relationship. When the comedian just has a medium following they can be easily ignored or loved, there’s no real reason to hate them because they haven’t done anything to me. That is until that critical mass hits and I either love what they do or it builds into a deeply seated hatred of the unfunny essence that they represent. Carlos Mencia exists almost in a space beyond that.

The story of Mencia basically begins after Dave Chappelle famously walked away from the big the millions that Comedy Central tried to throw at him so that frat boys around the world could keep yelling “I’m Rick James Bitch” (though a few still haven’t stopped). Enter Carlos Mencia. In the frantic rush to replace the hilarious Chappelle, Comedy Central was looking for a rebound comedian of color, someone to help them get over the loss of Chappelle, so quickly “Mind of Mencia” (2005-Present) gets thrown onto TV putting Mencia into the public mindset. Now here comes his new hour-long special “Carlos Mencia: Performance Enhanced” (2008). Carlos is back with the same jokes he’s done on his show that I can’t even like to hate, or even fathom how to move that down to a simple dislike. I feel like Carlos Mencia is the Ward Connerly of comedy. His jokes don’t do anything intelligent, rather they simply reaffirm white prejudice while supposedly acknowledging some instance of racism, and instead he reaffirms subtleties that racism is in and of itself dependent upon. In this special Mencia spends a good amount of time talking about how now that Obama is running for President the ‘race card’ can no longer be played, how much he supports troops in Iraq, how awesome America is, Gays in the military, and women.

I’m not sure what frustrates me more, Mencia’s jokes or his smug self satisfaction that seems to follow up each attempted punchline in a smirk that creeps across his face. His routine isn’t particularly funny, it isn’t particularly entertaining either. He spends most of the special stalking around the Hard Rock Casino stage and talking to his audience about how it’s okay that he says racist things because then you can just tune out. It’s a fine first amendment point sure, but unfortunately I have to sit through the whole thing, so not as easy for me.

Overall I’ve figured out what frustrates me the most about Mencia. None of his jokes feel clever, smart, or thoughtful in anyway whatsoever. It sounds like he’s seen the greats like Richard Pryor and wanted to turn it into something for himself, but instead of emulating he’s just taken the words and none of the ideas or the wit. I realize this review is more rant than anything else, but for me it’s frustrating to know that Mencia is making millions off of his unintelligent, unfunny and unoriginal routines.

Video

Presented in 1.33:1 full screen the video transfer isn’t particularly great, it looks about the same as it would on TV with a bit higher quality, though it’s a little suprising that they didn’t use a higher quality of filming for this special.

Audio

Much like the video track, the audio is only available in the original broadcast English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio which is fine, but flat. The transfer in and of itself isn’t terrible, but sits at a lower end of quality that I would expect from a DVD, even a made-for-TV comedy central special.
There are no optional subtitles available on this disc.

Extras

The DVD comes with few extras, featuring only a featurette, a TV segment, some Comedy Central quickies and bonus trailers.

Carlos Mencia’s Appearance on MTV’s ‘Cribs’” runs for 8 minutes and 45 seconds. Mencia takes the “Cribs” crew through his L.A. home and treats the audience to some jokes.

“Additional Dean Carlos” TV segment from “Mind of Mencia”” runs for 4 minutes and 19 seconds. Mencia says what does or doesn’t make you gay, its like a more homophobic you might be a redneck routine.

There are also four Comedy Central quickies which are basically previews for other comedy central shows. These come on nearly every comedy central disc and so don’t really count towards special features. They include:

- “Reno 911! – Prostitution Sting” runs for 2 minutes and 8 seconds. Lt. Dangle tries to set up a prostitution sting on a Thai food delivery service/prostitution ring.
- “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – BaracKnophobia” runs for 2 minutes and 11 seconds. Obama Campaign coverage from the 2008 campaign of the fear of Barack Obama.
- “The Colbert Report – The Cookie Monster” runs for 2 minutes and 12 seconds, Colbert points out how un-American fruit is and how its overtaken cookies as the number one snack.
- “South Park – Mr. Cartmanez” runs for 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Cartman talks about his role teaching inner city kids in another one of his wacky hijinks or some other libertarian philosophy.

The single disc also comes equipped with some bonus trailers for:

- “TV Funhouse!” runs for 1 minute and 35 seconds.
- “South Park: The Complete 11th Season” runs for 1 minute and 20 seconds.
- “Without a Paddle 2: Nature’s Calling” runs for 53 seconds.

Overall

The Film: F- Video: B- Audio: B Extras: F Overall: D+

 


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