With his pop culture and politics-skewering Comedy Central series “Mind of Mencia,” you might not think of comedian Carlos Mencia as your average patriot. But the 40-year-old funnyman who immigrated to Los Angeles from Honduras as an infant spends much of his time performing for troops on U.S. bases and overseas. He spoke to The Observer last week from his home in L.A. about politics, the Olympics, and his favorite audiences. He performs Friday at Ovens Auditorium.
Q. What did you think of Obama's speech?
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I think it just sucks the way TV is now – you know that (each network) is going to have three or four people talking about it. The Democrat is going to say it's the most amazing speech ever. The Republican is going to say “He sucked. It was horrible. He missed his opportunity.” I'm so happy Martin Luther King was born back in the day when it wasn't like this. If Martin Luther King had given his “I Have a Dream” speech today it would be on Fox News and one guy would be going “It's amazing” and the other would say “That dream is a nightmare!”…
It was an awesome speech. I don't care if it's McCain or Obama if it's an inspiring speech.
Q. Are you optimistic about the election?
In truth, America kind of runs itself. One of the worst presidents in the history of the world couldn't (mess) it up. We're not broke. We're a little sick. He didn't give us a debilitating disease. That says something about how great our country is. We're a resilient country.
Q. What did you think of the Olympics?
The Olympics are cool because it's about people just trying to be the best at one thing.
There was not a lot of cheating this year. But ya know – those Chinese girls did look 12. I'm sure they weren't 12. I was having an argument with my friend. You can't have it both ways. (People say) Asians are little people, but just because she beat us doesn't mean she's cheating. They have a billion more people to choose from than we do. We did awesome. We won more medals. We got to see history being made. Michael Phelps. Dana Torres – makes you think you can do anything and then you can do anything until you're old. I think she was on Viagra.
Q. Did anything bother you about the Olympics?
Two things. A lot of the gold medal winners from other countries live in America. Why does he have to fly from Zimbabwe to train here? And my dad and I were watching the equestrian events. During the gold medal ceremony they put the medal on the chick riding the horse. Why not give the medal to the horse?
Q. Tell me about performing for the military.
I've become the most unlikely guy for the military. I'm so much not like Bob Hope. It's incredible to me that I'm becoming that guy. He's an icon, but he was such a happy-go-lucky. I'm like “Let me tell you about stupid people.”
Q. Do you have anything coming up with the military?
Next Tuesday or Wednesday I'm jumping out (of an airplane) with the (Golden) Knights.
Q. Have you done anything like that before?
I've done some crazy stuff, but jumping out of a plane is not one of them.