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Comedy Central Home Video presents
Mind of Mencia: Uncensored Season 3 (2007)

"If you ain't laughin', you ain't livin'."
- Carlos Mencia

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: October 29, 2007

Stars: Carlos Mencia, Joseph Mencia, Brad Williams
Other Stars: Mario Lopez, Josh Blue, Peter Boyle
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for explicit content; adult language and situations
Run Time: 05h:08m:00s
Release Date: October 23, 2007
UPC: 097368524842
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C B-A-B B+

DVD Review

Comedy Central has announced that Carlos Mencia will be returning to that network for a fourth season of Mind of Mencia, which has moved from gathering a fairly small audience to becoming one of the more popular shows on the network. The third season contains ample amounts of the many ways Mencia uses to get a laugh or a groan, including combinations of stand-up and sketch comedy. This two-disc boxed set includes all fourteen episodes from Season 3.

Sometimes it seems there is no taboo topic in the world of Carlos Mencia. Politics, drugs, bathroom material, sexuality, the physically-challenged, stereotypes and more all play a large part of the humor of the show. Another large part is the visual impact of Mencia as he portrays various characters with costumes and facial mugging. Some parts of Mencia's humor are intellectual and do actually make you think, however briefly.

Mencia says and does things that make you laugh and things that make you groan. There is an odd defensive, line-treading aspect about his humor that alternates with an anything-goes/no-holds-barred breakneck approach. His stand-up is a weird mix of "comedic ethical philosophical" discussion and bathroom jokes. Often the least interesting material is the overly self-conscious attempt to push something beyond the limits of liberal sensibility to make a statement. Some of his "let's analyze people and their stereotypes" bits become labored in an attempt to educate about discrimination. As I watch, there are times I think "Okay, got that, now let's tell some boom-boom jokes." The path from Lenny Bruce to Carlos Mencia is a tortured one and the list of truly great philosopher-comedians is short. Richard Pryor, Mort Sahl, George Carlin stand head and shoulders above the many with their level of intelligent engagement in comedy. Mencia aspires to their level but doesn't quite seem to be there yet and it is hard to pinpoint exactly what is the negative drag on his gravitas. Maybe the "dee-dee-dee" jokes and the jackass humor hold him back. Humor that exploits the wrong-headed programming that we receive as children to ridicule what is different is unpleasant and to wrap it up in some kind of flag of fighting stereotyping while continuing the exploitation is even worse.

It's interesting to listen to Mencia's commentary on the seventh episode, #307. Especially poignant are his discussions of working with Josh Blue, a comedian with Cerebral Palsy, and his feeling about the creation of Beaner Man. Brad Williams joins in some of the commentary and we find out that he draws the line at dwarf tossing. Brad plays a "whorf," a star of a dwarf basketball team (Coach Carter Parody), and gives a hilarious rant on audiences confusing him with Wee Man from Jackass. They discuss the sketch about jobs that the cast could never do. (Brad figures he would have trouble being a gangster and in a similar vein, Joseph Mencia is shown having a little problem with being a gangster actor.)

Some of the bits that that stand out include one in which President Bush says that being President is "so easy, even a caveman can do it" and the response of the caveman to that remark. In a parody of a certain prime-time quiz show, they question is posed, "Are you smarter than an wetback?" with questions and answers involving a white contestant against a cleaning lady, day laborer, baseball player, Joseph Mencia, and so on. This particular sketch has extended material in the deleted scenes that certainly plumb the depths.

In a school setting, "Dean" Mencia has some heart to heart straight-forward guidance for some high school students involving realistic life choices. Several political sketches are mixed in, including "Black Man for President", "First Man If a Woman Is Elected" (a chance to revisit some Bill Clinton material) and "Republican Politicians Who Just Don't Care". Carlosaurus fields questions that kids can't get answered by adults. Carlos also plays a woman speed-dating in a serious groaner with some awful jokes. In another sketch, aliens decide if the human race is worth saving.

One sketch is obviously important to the theory of Mencia's humor. The "Stereotype Olympics" pits a group of stereotypes in stereotypical activities. This bit represents those times when the attempt to create something "meaningful" really ends up occupying the middle ground where it isn't very funny and yet not very meaningful either. As the final sketch of the season, it appears to try to reach a kind of climax, but instead is clumsy and the characters are not very interesting even beyond the clichés they are meant to represent.

In many cases, a typical episode might only have two sketches and one stand-up segment. With the bleeping on television, the momentum of the humor is broken up and, even though we know the word being bleeped, there still is an intellectual pause to interpret what the word or phrase is and, oddly, why or why not it was bleeped. On DVD, the scatological runs can careen to higher levels of humor without the bleeping obstacles.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Typical television full screen transfer found on this disc. No artifacts of any note.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The soundtracks are each presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in English. The sound mixes are fine and unremarkable. Each track is clear of any major hiss or distortion. No alternate subtitles or soundtracks are available on this set.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
20 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Boxed Set
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Episode Commentary: #307
Extras Review: This set could have been released with no extras and most likely would not have impacted its sales. So the inclusion of an episode commentary and deleted scenes is a nice bonus. Some of these scenes don't add much to the episode, some are probably cut for time and some go way outside the boundaries of taste.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Carlos Mencia tries to get in your head with his Mind of Mencia comedy show. It's all a matter of personal taste as to whether you want to let him in.

 


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