Carlos Mencia, performing at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Beavercreek through Sunday, was at a professional crossroads in 2008. He could’ve easily knocked out a few more seasons of his hit Comedy Central series “Mind of Mencia.” Instead, he turned down a lucrative payday to focus on stand-up comedy.
“Telling Comedy Central I didn’t want to do a season 5 was a real shocker to me,” Mencia said. “I grew up poor. You don’t say no to money. You don’t say no to a raise. Who says no to a raise? I’m an idiot, but that made me realize, ‘Wow, I’m a different person.’ It wasn’t a conscious thing, I just didn’t want to do the show anymore, but upon making that decision I realized I’m a different person than I was before.
“From there I looked at how I was different and what kind of change I needed or wanted,” he continued. “I realized I’m not angry. I’m not poor. I’m not broke so why was I doing comedy? I didn’t need to anymore. Then I realized my journey brought me to the beginning again to when I first started doing stand-up and I just wanted to be funny. I came full circle and now I’m doing stand-up because I want people to enjoy themselves.”
Mencia is careful not to romanticize his return to full-time touring but it’s something he doesn’t take for granted no matter how grueling the road gets.
“Don’t misunderstand, doing stand-up is work but it’s fun,” he said. “I get to see the country. I get to experience life and meet people and real fans of comedy that are at that comedy club level. That’s the base, the people that supported you before you were anybody. I get to see them again. I get to experience those fans out there that have been there for me and my career for over 20 years.”
In the midst of heavy touring, Mencia still finds time to host his “Laughin’ & Livin’ Podcast.”
“I get to be different when I’m on the podcast and I think it shows so many different sides and facets of who we are as individual comedians,” he said. “It also shows the ability I have to create new material and how I use that material. Not all of us can do that stuff. We all have different strengths but fortunately for me I’ve been able to do these different things successfully so it’s pretty cool.”
How to go
Who: Carlos Mencia
Where: Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek
When: 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday
More info: 937-429-LAFF (5233) or www.daytonfunnybone.com
Artist info: www.carlosmencia.com