Carlos Mencia (born October 22, 1967), born Ned Arnel Mencia, is a Honduran-born American comedian, writer, and actor. His style of comedy is often political and involves issues of race, culture, criminal justice, and social class. He is best known as the host of the Comedy Central show, Mind of Mencia. Mencía was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the seventeenth of eighteen children. His mother, Magdelena Mencía, was Mexican, and his father, Roberto Holness, was a Honduran whose distant ancestors included immigrants from Germany, England, and the Cayman Islands. At the time of his birth, Mencía's mother was engaged in a domestic dispute with his father, and declined to give her son his biological father's last name. The name appearing on his birth certificate is "Ned Arnel Mencía", although Mencia has said that out of respect for his biological father he went by the Holness name anyway, and was known as "Ned Holness" until he was eighteen years old. Mencia was raised Roman Catholic in East Los Angeles, California by his aunt Consuelo and uncle Pablo Mencia. By his own admission, staying out of trouble was difficult while growing up, but with the help of his family he excelled in school and stayed out of gangs. He majored in electrical engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, but left early to pursue a career in comedy after a successful performance at an open mic night at The Laugh Factory. He has an older brother named Joseph Mencia who often appeared on Mind of Mencia. Mencia was a quick success at such venerated LA stand-up venues as The Comedy Store and The L.A. Cabaret. This led to appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show and Buscando Estrellas, where he attained the title "International Comedy Grand Champion." Then, in 1994, Mencia was chosen to host HBO's latino comedy showcase Loco Slam. Mencia followed up Loco Slam by hosting Funny is Funny! on Galavision in 1998. He would continue to do stand-up, including a very successful tour in 2001 with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco, "The Three Amigos." Mencia also did two half-hour specials on HBO, the second of which won him a CableACE Award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special. After the release of his first comedy album by Warner Records, Take A Joke America, Mencia performed his break-out performance on Comedy Central Presents in 2002. By the time his career began to take off in the early 2000s, Mencia was also working as an actor doing guest appearances in the television shows Moesha and The Shield, and starring in the film Outta Time and the animated show The Proud Family.
Ned Arnel Mencia