The "Mind" of Mencia
February 14, 2007 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Joe Rogan vs. Ned Holness What do you do when a famous comedian is stealing jokes? If you're Joe Rogan, you climb onstage, embarrass him in front of his audience and post the entire exchange to your MySpace page.
posted by dhammond (171 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mencia should force Rogan to sit in a tub of rattlesnakes while eating bull testicles.
posted by null terminated at 9:11 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw this earlier. Joe Rogan is an asshole, but he's a funny asshole.

The best part of the too long clip is when Mencia tries to tell a guy he couldn't have written a certain joke because he's Jewish.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:13 PM on February 14, 2007


On his own website, Mencia argued that the material in question was too generic to be attributed to any single comedian.

Heh.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 PM on February 14, 2007


I try not to hate on celebrities, but Mencia is truly painfully unfunny.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 PM on February 14, 2007


Other people often called jokes thieves include Robin Williams, Dennis Leary and Dane Cook.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:28 PM on February 14, 2007


If Mencia stole jokes, wouldn't he be funny at least some of the time?

Seriously though, Ned is god-fucking-awful. I don't know Rogan's comedy, but oddly enough I find him quite good as the expert color commentator on UFC. Glad to see somebody taking it to this douchebag.
posted by papakwanz at 9:29 PM on February 14, 2007


Nice to see Mencia get taken down a few pegs. What an unfunny asshole.

I'm not surprised Leary and Cook get accused of stealing jokes. Their schtick always seems sort of boringly familiar to me.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:31 PM on February 14, 2007


Well, someone's being a little bitch. I laughed so violently at a handful of inspired jokes at a live Mencia show last year that I pulled a muscle in my back, but Rogan won my heart with his inspired, froth-at-mouth DMT rant.
posted by chudder at 9:32 PM on February 14, 2007


Leary is a watered down Bill Hicks. Dane Cook is just a frat boy with a microphone.
posted by papakwanz at 9:34 PM on February 14, 2007


I don't much care for Joe Rogan (Fear Factor, ugh!), but I'm glad he took on Mencia.

Good job Joe! For your next stunt, we're going to have you eat rat scrotums while being suspended from a crane in a coffin filled with cockroaches!

Oh wait, Carlos Mencia already did that? Dammit!
posted by newfers at 9:36 PM on February 14, 2007


Ditto, papakwanz.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:38 PM on February 14, 2007


Mencia is a terrible comic. Even his mention annoys the shit out of me. And, surprisingly, Rogan can be quite funny and engaging.
posted by Falconetti at 9:38 PM on February 14, 2007


YouTube: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Carlos Mencia.

Ha!

Alternate Video Link
posted by dhammond at 9:39 PM on February 14, 2007


Do I have to have a sense of humor to enjoy this?
posted by Dizzy at 9:41 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


There used to be comedian's in-joke about Robin Williams' joke stealing which went something along the lines of "Would you like a Robin Williams Sandwich? You get two pieces of bread and then you have to steal all of the meat." But I think it was actually funny when told by a bitter and jealous comedian with good timing.

And I've tried to give Mencia a break on several occassions over the years becasue other people told me the y thought he's funny, but the just doesn't make me laugh. Which I find to be sort of turn-off in comedians.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:42 PM on February 14, 2007


I recieved a cease & desist for 'rectum-damn-near-killed-em'. That punchline is full of drm. Worst part is I don't even know the friggin joke. I think Don Rickles is coming to kill me.
posted by isopraxis at 9:44 PM on February 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Mencia is anti-funny. He's where jokes go to die. I liked Joe Rogan, but given this how could you not love the guy?

I saw a bit of this earlier, but I assumed it was planned, and, you know what I said about anti-funny, I didn't bother watching. I will now though.
posted by delmoi at 9:47 PM on February 14, 2007


The first Joe Rogan cd I listened to, I found painful. But I'm not his audience. I think it was the estrogen that did me in.

That said, I do agree with him about Ned. He's pretty blatant; it's bad when even his friends admit he steals all of their material. In comedian circles, that's worse than stealing someone's girlfriend... the best jokes are a comedian's stage identity, sometimes one great idea can make or break someone's entire career. Yeah, it's not like he's the first one to do it... Milton Berle stole every Borscht Belt comedian's lines for television. And yeah, it's a jungle out there & stuff. Still, it's not cool. What comes around & all that...

I mean Hell... even Fringe Festival comedians are brushing up on legalese to avoid stolen jokes.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:50 PM on February 14, 2007


joe's a great guy, and incredibly funny, just by virtue of his twisted imagination.

Check out his stuff on DMT, and on space, ufos, and the grand canyon

http://www.myspace.com/talkingmonkey
posted by spacediver at 9:58 PM on February 14, 2007


Er, when I saw a bit, I mean I saw a bit about it and assumed it was just some staged 'comedy off' type of thing. But this is awesome, it's a real argument and Joe Rogan is really pissed off. Sweet. Fuck Ned Holness.
posted by delmoi at 9:58 PM on February 14, 2007


I don't really like Joe Rogan, but he was on NewsRadio, so + a bunch of points there. And Carlos Mencia is not funny. But fighting over who wrote "who will build the border fence if you kick the illegals out?" is pathetic. Has any late night monologue NOT contained that one?
That's not proof of joke-stealing, that's just hackery.
posted by mrnutty at 10:00 PM on February 14, 2007


Joe will always be amazingly cool and funny, if for no other reason than because he was on NewsRadio. That said, I saw his stand-up on Netflix "Watch Now" and it slayed me.
posted by keswick at 10:01 PM on February 14, 2007


I've tried to comment on this like five times. Is it worth commenting just to say how little I care?

That is: Mencia is a douche and is about one-third of everything wrong with professional comedy. That said, Rogan... I don't see the love for Rogan either.

Help me understand why Rogan is more than the sum of his sweatshirt and hat?
posted by abulafa at 10:03 PM on February 14, 2007


delmoi: Mencia is like the Hispanic "Larry The Cable Guy." Completely worthless anti-comedy. Instead of punchlines they say, "DEE dee deeeee" or "Git-R-Done!" If it wasn't so terribly unfunny, it might be brilliant in a kind of Andy Kaufman performance art sort of way.
posted by papakwanz at 10:06 PM on February 14, 2007


Dane Cook robbed Louis C.K., which is a worse offense, because he was stealing good material.
posted by chlorus at 10:14 PM on February 14, 2007


*shrug* I like Mencia. I think he's funny. He is nowhere near my favorite comedian, and I don't think he's a genius, but I like some, actually most, of the stuff he does.

I think Rogan, of all people, has no room to talk about the comic "craft".

Fear Factor and UFC?

I find it interesting people are bringing up him on NewsRadio. To me he was easily the weakest male character on the show. And he got very little "funny".

What I don't understand is the usual insult about Mencia is that he's crude and racist. Who is he stealing that from? Who's claiming that material?

Then the 2nd most common complaint, like almost everyone above, is that he's just not funny. I guess he has a magical ability to only steal unfunny shit.

So which is it, is he unfunny and offensive, or does he steal other people's good material?

You'll note that Rogan actually was disagreeing with most of the posters in this thread. He said repeatedly "You are a great performer... with other people's material". He's not calling him unfunny, he's calling him funny, with other people's material. An interesting contrast to the verdict here.

Also, the joke about building the wall/fence on the mexican border? I've heard at least 10 different comedians or celebrities make that same joke. In fact, I made that joke, all by myself, years ago, and was proud of how clever I was. As was probably a couple hundred thousand people around America who have at sometime or another "made" that joke. Joke polygenesis. Some things are just so obvious. I've seen Letterman and Leno do precisely the same jokes on the same night within literally 90 seconds of each other. Who's stealing from who?

To accuse him of stealing, you need more proof than one unfunny joke that is so blatantly obvious it writes itself. And if the other guy was opening for Mencia, how is it automatically Mencia stole from him, and not the other way around?

With all that said, I actually strongly suspect this was planned/staged. The giveaway is not how upset Rogan gets, which is his typical approach it seems, but how not-upset Mencia is. Rogan has been doing this "reality" stuff for so long, I don't know if he would really know what to do in an unscripted environment.

Comedy is a funny thing. It's *ALL* stolen, in one way or another. Good comics borrow, great comics steal. The trick is to steal, and then file the serial numbers off so noone knows.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:18 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't one of the first things you learn in comedy school be that if someone wants to heckle you, you shut them up as quickly as possible? As opposed to, ya know, allowing them up on stage and letting them have a microphone?

Which doesn't surprise me. Mencia's jokes are all about "Mexicans are lazy Blacks are criminals lolz." He ain't the brightest bulb. And I'm not surprised he's a plagiarist, but why are comedians so hesitant to criticize him? He's obviously not funny. Is it like the code of thieves or something? Musicians slag on un-original musicians all of the time, as they should.
posted by bardic at 10:21 PM on February 14, 2007


he was easily the weakest male character on the show

To each his own, but that's not saying much.
posted by dhammond at 10:23 PM on February 14, 2007


Ynoxas, I think the video makes clear that there were other jokes. Perhaps, you need to watch again?
posted by jmhodges at 10:24 PM on February 14, 2007


"Good comics borrow, great comics steal. The trick is to steal, and then file the serial numbers off so noone knows"

Love that last line! You might have a gift for comedy - you sure have a way with words!
posted by newfers at 10:24 PM on February 14, 2007


What I don't understand is the usual insult about Mencia is that he's crude and racist. Who is he stealing that from? Who's claiming that material?

But Rogan mentioned Chapelle as an example of a comic who can drop n-bombs in a funny way. Not everyone can do it. Mencia definitely can't. (clip is highly nsfw)
posted by bardic at 10:27 PM on February 14, 2007


You can steal funny material and make it unfunny. You can steal "edgy" material and make it racist. Mencia seems to do both.
posted by papakwanz at 10:32 PM on February 14, 2007


So which is it, is he unfunny and offensive, or does he steal other people's good material?

Little of column A, little of column B...
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:35 PM on February 14, 2007


Personally, I always took Mencia as a Chappelle replacement, but half as clever and without any satire.
posted by Kudos at 10:47 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you're knocking Joe Rogan for his work on Fear Factor, you're missing the point. The issue here is stand-up comedy. It's like saying that Hulk Hogan is a bad professional wrestler because Suburban Commando sucked.

The Mencia story is old news, but that video rocked.
posted by cribcage at 10:50 PM on February 14, 2007


He CLEARLY lies and contradicts himself in this video. How could anyone stand up for the scumbag after seeing this?

Mencia is an unfunny theif. Joe Rogan is one of the few celebrities out there that isnt afraid to tell the absolute truth.
Knock UFC and Fear Factor all you want, read a few paragraphs of the Rogan's website and youll understand that he is educated and knows how to get the most out of life and practices what he preaches.

A friend of mine that works at a comedy club said Mencia was a real ASS about his picture on the wall not being big enough.
Frankly, I find a jewish guy telling jokes about mexicans funnier than a lame-ass mexican impression by a half german hack.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 10:57 PM on February 14, 2007


Holness?

Wasn't he in The Postman with Costner?
posted by bwg at 11:02 PM on February 14, 2007


There was a feature on comedy stealing in the current issue of the on-again/off-again Radar Magazine. Unfortunately, I couldn't find an online version of the article. (It's called "Take the Funny & Run.")

It mentioned that when the red light at the Hollywood Improv began flashing in the 1980s, Robin Williams was in the club & the comedians needed to stop using their original material.

With Carlos Mencia, instead of a light flashing to signal his arrival at the Comedy Store in LA, the people in the front just yell out that Mencia's in the club.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 11:14 PM on February 14, 2007


Why I like Joe Rogan:

There an episode of Fear Factor where, after being told what awful thing they're going to be eating, an idiot contestant says, "This is probably considered a delicatessen in some countries."

Rogan regards him darkly and says, "You mean a DELICACY," his voice absolutely dripping with disgust, the same way mine would have.
posted by deafmute at 11:17 PM on February 14, 2007


I thought absolutely nothing of Joe Rogan for quite some time. Would not have even known who he is, as I am certainly nowhere near the target audience for shit like Fear Factor.
But he totally and completely won me over with his DMT talks and his numerous little vids like this one where he refuses to let go of something a "normal" person would.
posted by nightchrome at 11:19 PM on February 14, 2007


Rogan says on his website that he's been banned from the Comedy Store over this.
posted by stammer at 11:25 PM on February 14, 2007


Other people often called jokes thieves include Robin Williams,

Williams is notorious. But not in the way people assume. The is absolutely compulsive and he has 100% audio graphic recall. Combine that with the stream of consciousness diarrhea of the mouth delivery and I don't think he can help lifting material.

Ynoxas: I think Rogan, of all people, has no room to talk about the comic "craft". Fear Factor and UFC?

What fucking lame criticism. First have you ever seen Rogan live? As far as his mastery of the craft? Rogan has certainly studied his craft and done so with some of the greatest touring comics alive today. Rogan has shown remarkable integrity and has been at it a long long time and has earned his chops. As a result he is widely respected in the business. You may not LIKE his brand or style of humor (it's not my thing either) but don't go insulting his mastery of the craft because you don't know what the fuck your talking about. And yes. I have done stand up. And yes. I have written comedy professionally. And I know a number of professional comedy writers.

Rogan does color commentary for the UFC becuase his involvement with Martial Arts precedes his profession as a comic. He was a junior TKD champion and holds a fairly high rank in both BJJ and Muay Thai. he also was an early adopter of MMA training before it was hip. They needed somebody both who had a quick wit and knew and LOVED the sport (unlike the idiot commentators like Cynthia Rothrock and Don The Dragon Wilson) - Rogan is a fan, a practitioner, and a professional talent. It was a natural fit.

As for Fear Factor? Not my thing. Only seen it a couple of times. But I have read about the show and my friend Rupert worked on it for a season. So I do know the paycheck to work ration is god-damned good. Rogan took it so he could still go on the road. And he doesn't do jokes or endorsements on the show nor does he pose as the obsequious clown. The producers have defined Rogan's role as "not one as ring master or cheerleader" but rather as the guy who "doesn't geek himself for a petty prize." He is there as contrast - the person with a bit self respect.

Please more informed comments next time.

As for Mencia. He stinks. And has been a despised thief for years. Long before his run in with Rogan.
posted by tkchrist at 11:49 PM on February 14, 2007 [10 favorites]


Comics don't go after thieves publicly. I've never been sure why this is. There are stories of the older comics nailing other comics for stealing and having it backfire. So most just shrug it off. The problem now is material can get half way around the world before your even done perfecting it. That hurts. I don't understand why performers do this? The point is expressing YOUR take on things, sharing your experiences.

A Side Note. I understand how Rogan feels. A couple stories I told HERE (and other places), funny personal anecdotes of MINE, on MEFi have been emailed BACK to me after showing up on a couple of blogs and one in PRINT in an Alt Weekly someplace. Nobody fucking credited me. Yeah. That's part of the deal. But it bothers me because these are my life and my stories. It makes me never want to tell them in this forum again. Luckily I can trace and document their origins. But still. If your going to tell somebodies stories - and I WANT people to - give that person credit. It's like stealing a piece of somebodies life.
posted by tkchrist at 12:01 AM on February 15, 2007


surely, but slowly, joe rogan is gaining my respect. i cant believe im admitting to that.
posted by phaedon at 12:03 AM on February 15, 2007


Scifi channel is airing Law & Order reruns, The Cartoon Network is showing live action movies, AMC plays Speed 2: Cruise Control and Comedy Central has Mind of Mencia. Dee dee dee!
posted by stavrogin at 12:09 AM on February 15, 2007


Wow, I have learned alot about Rogan I never knew in this thread. I didn't even know he DID stand-up! I respect his knowledge of UFC very much, and anyone who has the stones to have a confrontation in front of an audience like this based on one's principles is okay by me (Especially knowing he refrained from making it physical when he was clearly the superior specimen). I'm definitely gonna search for his stand-up work. And I think Mencia sucks.
posted by vito90 at 12:12 AM on February 15, 2007


Not to condone plagiarism, but isn't 80's era Robin Williams all about him being coked up? A mere drug-addled vessel, as it were?
posted by bardic at 12:25 AM on February 15, 2007


First the DMT spiel, then this, and now you're telling me that Rogan does UFC commentary? This guy is hiding his cool in plain sight. I never would have guessed, given FF.
posted by dreamsign at 12:30 AM on February 15, 2007


A mere drug-addled vessel, as it were?

Maybe. Can I claim the same excuse?
posted by tkchrist at 12:34 AM on February 15, 2007


So, to sum up: Two frat boys accuse each other of stealing jokes and spend ten minutes onstage calling each other names.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:59 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


To clarify the original post. Rogan introduced a comic, but while doing so said that "Carlos Menstealia" was in the audience. Mencia went up onstage and, as Rogan claims, took the mic from the comic Rogan introduced, because he hates being called that and challenged Rogan right there...so Rogan didn't interrupt Mencia's set as the initial post seems to indicate.
posted by inturnaround at 3:04 AM on February 15, 2007


Get off my Intellectual Property or I am calling the cops!
posted by srboisvert at 4:02 AM on February 15, 2007


Also, the joke about building the wall/fence on the mexican border? I've heard at least 10 different comedians or celebrities make that same joke. In fact, I made that joke, all by myself, years ago, and was proud of how clever I was. As was probably a couple hundred thousand people around America who have at sometime or another "made" that joke.

Yeah, but Mencia took the whole bit with the hand raising etc.
posted by caddis at 4:08 AM on February 15, 2007


A couple stories I told HERE (and other places), funny personal anecdotes of MINE, on MEFi have been emailed BACK to me after showing up on a couple of blogs and one in PRINT in an Alt Weekly someplace. Nobody fucking credited me. Yeah. That's part of the deal. But it bothers me because these are my life and my stories. It makes me never want to tell them in this forum again. Luckily I can trace and document their origins. But still. If your going to tell somebodies stories - and I WANT people to - give that person credit. It's like stealing a piece of somebodies life.

Huh. Really? That sucks. Which stories ended up where?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:45 AM on February 15, 2007


It's true. Comedy isn't pretty.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:48 AM on February 15, 2007



Rogan says on his website that he's been banned from the Comedy Store over this.


Man, that really sucks. He was totally all about how awesome the Comedy Store is and how much it did for him. It sucks that Mitzi Shore (Pauly's Mom) decided to ban him for telling the truth.

I saw Rogan do some standup a few years back, and he was funny as shit.

Although he's not nearly as funny as Louis C.K. or Doug Stanhope.
posted by mckenney at 5:25 AM on February 15, 2007


To each his own. I listen to the radio all day, and if the dial is not on NPR, it's on XM Comedy. I've heard Rogan and Mencia about a billion times. I think Rogan sucks. Mencia is not the best, but his delivery is pretty awesome.

Accusing comedians of stealing material is pretty lame. I mean, they all cover the same ground- it's the delivery that's different. Anyway, both of these guys are second rate compared to comics like Lewis Black or Kathleen Madigan.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:16 AM on February 15, 2007


Why I keep hearing from people when this issue comes up that ït isn't that big of a deal", I start to lose my temper. Why is plagiarism acceptable to you? Because you don't like the accuser or you have a soft spot for the thief's album/tv show/whathaveyou? Have some friggin'princips. Mencia steals, he lies about stealing, he insults those who call him on his shit. Like Rogan or not (I resepct him a whole lot more because he is willing to fight for what's right), he's right.

Anyone who dismisses this as a pissing contest is being stupid. And probably condones the stealing of material.
posted by grubi at 6:27 AM on February 15, 2007


Judging Joe Rogan by Fear Factor is like judging Bob Saget by Full House. And if you see Saget expecting Danny Tanner, you are in for a shock.

I didn't know much about Rogan except for Fear Factor and The Man Show. And then I heard him guest a few times on the Opie and Anthony show on XM Radio. He was surprisingly intelligent, and has absolutely no qualms about speaking his mind. Frankly, based on the stuff he said about working on Fear Factor, I didn't see how they'd let him host it much longer.

So yeah, much respect for Rogan. Mencia, not so much.
posted by Roommate at 6:32 AM on February 15, 2007


grubi:

You're right. Stealing sucks and respectable people don't do it. I'm just saying if you listen to Comedy radio for a week and don't hear fifty comedians tell the same ten fucking jokes, then your argument would carry more weight. Sad, but true.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:38 AM on February 15, 2007


How can anyone dislike the comedian that made frat boys feel okay about calling Mexicans "beaners"?
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:44 AM on February 15, 2007


So, to sum up: Two frat boys accuse each other of stealing jokes and spend ten minutes onstage calling each other names.

They're not the same and Rogan is not a frat boy type.
posted by Falconetti at 7:11 AM on February 15, 2007


No, he's more like a car mechanic who suddenly produces -- and does wicked tricks -- with a pair of nunchucks.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:23 AM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Judging Joe Rogan by Fear Factor is like judging Bob Saget by Full House.

If it wasn't for MeFi for the former, and The Aristocrats for the latter, I'd be begging for a celebrity deathmatch.
posted by dreamsign at 7:34 AM on February 15, 2007


I grew up listening to Richard Pryor albums (yes, you whippersnappers, albums) when I was 12 or so. I have heard enough comedy to state that most of the material is borrored/stolen/upgraded by most if not all comedians. Besides Louis Black, tell me a comedians joke and I can tell you where I heard it in the past. Even with Black, we heard those policital rants from other comedians like Carlin or Williams or Miller taking a piss on whatever president was in the house at the time. It just gets updated/reworked to keep up with times. Still Mencia is a little funny and, Joe Rogan is a little funny. Me thinks some of you and Mr. Rogan takes comedy a bit to SERIOUSLY. On another note, if I take a joke you told me and tell it to another, is it plagarism? Cause, I do THAT all the time. I didn't think it was stealing??
posted by winks007 at 7:42 AM on February 15, 2007


Joe Rogan thai-clinches a guest on Fear Factor
posted by growli at 7:44 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


On another note, if I take a joke you told me and tell it to another, is it plagarism? Cause, I do THAT all the time. I didn't think it was stealing??

It's certainly different if you're just telling a pal or two. If you're going up on stage and you're ripping off someone's joke, then that's another thing.

And, to be honest, if it was one joke, I don't think the comedy community would really care. One joke can be explained away as a coincidence. But if Rogan is to be believed, it's a pattern.

Oh, and Dane Cook is a hack, too. How Louis CK didn't pursue the joke theft is beyond me.
posted by inturnaround at 7:51 AM on February 15, 2007


srboisvert: "Get off my Intellectual Property..."

I am SO stealing that for an album title. Without credit, natch :P
posted by symbioid at 7:59 AM on February 15, 2007


Did anyone hear Rogan on Penn Jillette's show last week? Hilarious. He's pretty clued-up, except for his persistent belief in wacky conspiracy theories.

Also, I met him a couple of times in L.A., and he always came across and very intelligent and cool, and as a true student of comedy.
posted by Optamystic at 8:03 AM on February 15, 2007


Here's a link to the podcast of Rogan on the Jillette show.
posted by Optamystic at 8:10 AM on February 15, 2007


I don't think either Rogan or Mencia are funny, but Rogan provides a valuable service to up and coming comedians by outing people that steal jokes. That said, the angles Mencia works are really obvious.

So I bet in some of the cases where he's accused of stealing jokes he's just telling a shitty joke. I've done that. I used to tell this joke about how my friends would tell me to think positive but I wouldn't because I was waiting for the results of an AIDS test. Thing is even though I thought up the joke I wasn't the first one to do it. And its gone the other way where I told a joke about Jesus masturbating through his stigmata and later I see in the news that in the Netherlands a comedian was criticised for telling the same joke. And no way it migrated from me to him.

But its one of those things where if it happens a little bit its probably a coincidence but if it happens as much as it does to Mencia its almost certainly deliberate.

Most comedians can't come up with 5 minutes of funny material in a year. So having your best 30 seconds pinched is really a blow. Accident or no. It's like your working your ass off to write a novel. And you lose a couple chapters of it. Computer problems or something. Only it's worse because you can never write those chapters again. And then those chapters appear in the New Yorker and it's not even that someone is profiting from your work. It's that you can never use those chapters again without worrying about being called a fraud. So you have to think of a new way to fill that space, and maybe the space around it doesn't work anymore. And whatever you fill it in with will probably be worse and you'll know it. Doing that, deliberatly, is a really mean thing to do when you think about it.
posted by I Foody at 8:14 AM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


tkchrist: If you are "in teh biz" then get off of your goddamn highhorse, you should know about how common this is.

God I had forgotten about Rogan riding the Man Show into the graveyard. And this bullshit about it being "okay" for him to be selling out on Fear Factor and is funny to me. Why aren't all of you championing his banner calling him out for selling out? How is this any different than Bill Cosby shilling Jello Pudding?

Most jokes write themselves. It is the delivery that makes or breaks a joke. When comics talk of refining a joke, they're not talking about changing the punch line around (so the cow says "but I don't like ice cream!" vs so the horse says "but I don't like Steak-Um's (tm)), they are talking about the pacing, rhythm, and delivery. The "joke" is done, and was the easy part.

Carlos Mencia, even admitted by Rogan himself, has a solid delivery.

And I'm sorry, if you're going to make a video that "proves" Mencia steals all his material, you have to do a little bit better than that lame ass mexican border joke, that as I said, everyone with a +1 sense of humor could have created, and probably did.

If you listen to much stand-up comedy, you hear the same jokes, slightly retooled.

I've not done stand-up comedy, but I've done morning radio. The sheer volume of stuff you go through means that, on a daily basis, stuff is "stolen" that you never knew anything about. As I said before, joke polygenesis. If I tell a joke that is very much "in the style of" Eddie Murphy, am I stealing? Can noone do jokes about the difficulties of married life after Jack Benny?

And I'm curious about the comments above about "not doing your original material" when Williams or Mencia came into the club. What do they use then? Other people's material? Because if they do, then oh my. The irony.

I hate to be in the position of defending Carlos Mencia, because I think he is basically a little above average. But, joke stealing is commonplace. It is the rule, not the exception, and has been since Vaudeville. The difference is if Bill Cosby steals your joke you're flattered.

The key to being a great comedian is having such a unique style and form that noone can steal your jokes. Noone can steal George Carlin or Steven Wright or Sam Kinison or Rodney Dangerfield jokes... people would know immediately where they came from. Even a hack like Andrew Dice Clay had an immediately identifiable schtick.

Carlos Mencia is not a GREAT comedian. Neither is Joe Rogan. I give both of them credit for TRYING to be unique.

If that jewish guy's material is so generic that Mencia can steal it and noone except Joe Rogan know... then that's not saying much about EITHER party, now is it?
posted by Ynoxas at 8:16 AM on February 15, 2007


They're not the same and Rogan is not a frat boy type.

Boy, I must have heard a different Joe Rogan. Sample customer review: "This CD is a 45 minute 'Dick Joke' but it's great!" I consider the whole dicks-and-gays theme to be "frat boy".

And after watching the vid, yeah, there were more jokes than the "border" one, but they were all as insipid and uninspired. Mencia could just have easily made them up himself as well. Which, I believe, is why comedians (intelligent ones, anyway) generally don't call each other out in public. That's not how you want to discover your jokes weren't that great in the first place. Foot-in-mouth is usually bad for your career.

Belated disclosure: I can't stand either one of these guys (I lean towards the Carlin/Hicks or even the Wright/Hedberg varieties), and the video didn't help either case.
posted by dgbellak at 8:28 AM on February 15, 2007


And most jokes don't write themselves. Writing good jokes is hard work. It isn't all in the delivery. The thing is most comedians won't steal jokes. Those who do, knowingly, steal jokes steal a lot of jokes. And yeah it's a part of life. So is rape.
posted by I Foody at 8:29 AM on February 15, 2007


Ynoxas, I'm not the least bit clear on why hosting Fear Factor is "selling out". He's a performer who landed a job encouraging vain people to do stupid shit for money and ego. It'd be a dream job for someone in his position except he wasn't allowed to humiliate them much.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:33 AM on February 15, 2007


FWIW, George Lopez told the same Mexican border-fence building joke at the last Comic Relief. I've been looking for a clip, but haven't been successful. The only line I can remember verbatim was that he thought FEMA should stand for "Find Every Mexican Available".

How can anyone dislike the comedian that made frat boys feel okay about calling Mexicans "beaners"?


We certainly have been doing a lot of comedy deconstruction here lately ( Why is the Daily Show funny, etc?). It's like visual art: I know it when I see it. Calling someone out because you disagree with their humor may be uncalled for. Comedy always has a butt - what's the difference between Mencia using "beaner", and Foxworthy using "redneck", and Murphy using the "n" word. Could it all actually be schtick? Absent any of the comics being antisocial in "real life", I think the answer would have to be yes.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:36 AM on February 15, 2007


Goddamn that clip is long.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:38 AM on February 15, 2007


Nobody fucking credited me. Yeah. That's part of the deal. But it bothers me because these are my life and my stories. It makes me never want to tell them in this forum again.

Great fucking sense of community. What, do you want a bigger picture of you on the wall?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 8:40 AM on February 15, 2007


I Foody: I simply disagree. I've heard all my life, and witnessed firsthand, how "delivery is everything". Groucho Marx could say something that wasn't even funny, not even a joke, and it turned funny because Groucho said it. Johnny Carson was basically defined by his wonderful pitch of the "bad joke". Here's a simple example you can try at home. If you have a good delivery, have one of your friends who doesn't tell a joke, and then, you retell it IMMEDIATELY after. Even though people have already heard the joke, and the punchline, they will laugh more at an expert delivery.

George_Spiggott: Would you think it was "selling out" if George Carlin hosted the $25,000 Pyramid, but couldn't "be" George Carlin whilst doing it? What about if Bill Hicks had done American Idol, but had to play it straight? Yes, it WAS selling out for Bob Saget, because turns out he is a fucking funny motherfucker, and he wasted a lot of years playing John Tanner or whatever.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:45 AM on February 15, 2007


speaking of Lewis Black, I just caught an episode of Homicide: Life of on the Street in which he guest-starred as a wannabe-mobster.
posted by pruner at 8:51 AM on February 15, 2007


Yes, it WAS selling out for Bob Saget, because turns out he is a fucking funny motherfucker, and he wasted a lot of years playing John Tanner or whatever.

I would argue that those years playing Danny Tanner make the real-life Bob Saget all the funnier.
posted by pruner at 8:53 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Selling out doesn't hurt people. Stealing jokes does. And sure some people can coast on delivery. They're in the minority. Everyone is funnier when the things that they're saying are actually funny. That's why people are paid to write jokes.
posted by I Foody at 8:56 AM on February 15, 2007


Also, I don't really watch Fear Factor, but any show that consists of people being punished by their greed is OK by me.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:57 AM on February 15, 2007


Ynoxas -- the only example you site that would be selling out would be Bill Hicks, as he made such a huge deal about it. There's no law that says that people cannot take jobs as a performer. Selling out implies violating an ideal -- if the performer never had the ideal, it's not selling out. If Bob Saget decided to spent a portion of his life making money, then more power to him, unless you can produce some clips of him deriding people for making money.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:57 AM on February 15, 2007


The Aristocrats!
posted by pruner at 9:10 AM on February 15, 2007


I would argue that those years playing Danny Tanner make the real-life Bob Saget all the funnier.

Wait, so is "funnier" code for "more bitter"?
posted by miss lynnster at 9:29 AM on February 15, 2007


Ynoxas Marx could say something that wasn't even funny, not even a joke, and it turned funny because Groucho said it. Johnny Carson was basically defined by his wonderful pitch of the "bad joke".

Yes, the greats can make anything funny and so the world is their material and they never run out, and were someone to retell their material, everyone would know it had been theirs. Fantastic. 99% of the field is not made up of these men, and a sizeable portion of that remainder are still worthwhile in their trade and deserve to be able to make a living at it.

It doesn't sound to me like you've spent any time around the amateur comedy circuit, where material most definitely does not write itself, and if you hear the same material, it's because the guy hasn't written new stuff in 4 months. That's certainly not an indicator of great talent, but it's still a paycheque, food in his mouth, and for someone else to use that material, when he obviously can't just turn around and replace it (or he would have obviously done so already) is theft and utter disrespect for your professional peer -- these guys work new material into their routines bit by bit, testing the jokes, so the stuff they use regularly has usually been developed over time, yes honed in delivery, but it's also obviously a valuable and not immediately replaceable commodity.

The way you tell it, only the greats deserve sufficient respect to correctly attribute their work, or else they transcend the need and again are the only ones deserving. Well the non-genius writers, poets, journalists, critics, and comedians of the world would beg to differ, I think. They may have to struggle a little harder for that clever idea and the right turn of phrase to highlight it but that just demonstrates their dependency upon the material. We've all seen comedians like that, I think.
posted by dreamsign at 10:26 AM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Joe just moved up a peg in my impression of him.
Not that he could give a rat's ass about it. But it was nice to see him talking coherently in consecutive sentences. The most I could say about him before this was 'he was fine on Newsradio, elevated by his peers, maybe...'

Mencia is that substitute teacher who wouldn't leave (replacing MIA Chappelle with Mencia, who'd've thunk it'd last this long?). His best stuff is in the opening of the show, from the unintentional samplings I've had of it. He's really something awful.
posted by Busithoth at 10:30 AM on February 15, 2007


What Bookhouse said. If Rogan had ever made any kind of anti-corporate or anti-entertainment-industry stance a part of his identity and he had any kind of reputation or fan base based on it, for him to capitalize on his popularity by going over to the man would have been a sellout. But he didn't sell anything out on Fear Factor, he's just an entertainer who got offered a well-paid, high profile job, one that didn't conflict with his "art" in any way that I can see, except perhaps that he had to keep it pretty mellow.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:32 AM on February 15, 2007


I am not a comedian, but I am a working actor, and I'm here to say that "selling out" is not a crime, baby.
You know what is sexy?
Paying the bills is sexy.
Everything else is commentary.
posted by Dizzy at 10:35 AM on February 15, 2007


Huh. Really? That sucks. Which stories ended up where?

It was a ways back and has been dealt with... and I can't prove the lifts came from here... but still it bummed me out for a while. I emailed the print piece and they gave me a little blurb later on. That was nice.


tkchrist: If you are "in teh biz" then get off of your goddamn highhorse, you should know about how common this is.

I'm not in the biz - I dabble. I have much exposure to the biz. If I was former homicide detective should I just shrig and go "Eh. Murder is so common why bother?"

Your previous comments were lame and uninformed. And these last comments were simply lame and defensive. Rogan didn't claim he was a great comic. I never claimed Rogan was great comic. I claimed he has worked the craft and worked it very diligently. The fact you don't LIKE him doesn't negate that. And excusing stealing becuase it's common is fucking stupid and childish.

And most jokes don't write themselves. Writing good jokes is hard work. It isn't all in the delivery.

It's not the writing. It's hours and hours in front of an audience honing it. Bombing. Or Killing. And for somebody to purloin a joke is an insult to that humiliating effort.

Yxonas: I simply disagree. I've heard all my life, and witnessed firsthand, how "delivery is everything".

There are different KINDS of comics. Some tell stories. Some are physical. Some tell jokes. In all that there is a degree of delivery personality and timing. The few greats can milk the delivery with out much in content. But it comes from working the material in front of an audience and finding the right place to lift an eyebrow, the right place to pause, the right word to accentuate. Some GREATS find this more naturally. But every comic still has to put in the hours with the material and hours finding the personality that resonates with an audience.

What you don't get is Mencia STOLE the delivery as well. He stole the body gestures. His timing and phrasing is IDENTICAL to the comics he lifted from. He even lifted his stage persona from George Lopez. You're not getting it just becuase you hate Rogan.
posted by tkchrist at 10:54 AM on February 15, 2007


Paying the bills is sexy.

Dizzy is fucking RIGHT ON!

I'm sick of people who have not struggled in these kinds of creative fields talking about people selling out.

Quit your job. Try to make a living from art or performance. Go ahead try.

Then come tell me about selling out.
posted by tkchrist at 10:57 AM on February 15, 2007


What you don't get is Mencia STOLE the delivery as well. He stole the body gestures. His timing and phrasing is IDENTICAL to the comics he lifted from. He even lifted his stage persona from George Lopez.

Um, no more than Chappelle "lifted his stage persona" from Pryor. I better leave this one alone.

You're not getting it just becuase you hate Rogan.

Wow - this is exactly the tone I hear from disgruntled Dane Cook fans when I speak of my Cook aversion. Maybe I just don't like comedians who generate this much anger in their fanbase.

Yet I love Lewis Black. Go figure.
posted by dgbellak at 11:09 AM on February 15, 2007


Someday, and please let it be soon, we will finally drive a stake through the heart of the horseshit sentiment "Good [whatevers] borrow; great [whatevers] steal." Taken to its logical extreme, it implies some sort of Prime Mover of Comedy (in this context).
posted by Skot at 11:15 AM on February 15, 2007


If that jewish guy's material is so generic that Mencia can steal it and noone except Joe Rogan know

Bullshit. watch the actual clip. More than one person acknowledges the theft of that particular joke.

Some jokes can be seen as generic, but that doesn't jibe with the fact that Mencia stole the exact phrasing and the hand-in-the-air parts. Mencia stole the joke and the nuance. He's a thief. Stop acting like this is acceptable.
posted by grubi at 11:24 AM on February 15, 2007


Things I learned from the News Radio commentary:

- Rogan is embarrassed about Fear Factor and doesn't want to talk about it.
- Everyone else is very envious and they *do* want to talk about it. The impression you get is that it was a very good gig and that Dick, Foley, etc would have jumped at the chance.

(Also, Rogan had things to say about D. Miller but one of them - I think it was Foley - shut him down before he had a chance to do so. That was very disappointing.)
posted by bonecrusher at 11:27 AM on February 15, 2007


Gee tkchrist you sure are a buzz kill.
How do you know who here has struggled in these kinds of creative fields? Apparently besides you? And how can you assume they've had the same crushing blows you apparently have? You sound pretty bitter, actually. Hey... are you channeling Bob Saget again?

Disclosure: For the last 25 years I've paid every bill solely from being paid for performing/creating music, art, design, writing, and -- for a very brief moment in LA in the early 90's -- comedy. So whatever. Sucks to be me I guess. Oh, wait... NO IT DOESN'T. Struggling to be a uniquely creative person in the world also KICKS ASS. Beats being a tax accountant.

posted by miss lynnster at 11:30 AM on February 15, 2007


Due respect to all tax accountants on Mefi. Please don't tell the IRS to audit me. I'm just a poor struggling artist...
posted by miss lynnster at 11:33 AM on February 15, 2007


Has Mencia ever sucked dick for coke?
posted by pruner at 11:47 AM on February 15, 2007


How weird. My former neighbor just txt msged me that he has a spare ticket to Lewis Black tonight.
posted by LordSludge at 12:11 PM on February 15, 2007


LordSludge:

Go. Black is truly one of the best. My sides hurt for two days from laughing the last time I saw him.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:28 PM on February 15, 2007


You're not getting it just becuase you hate Rogan

You're not getting it just because you hate Mencia. You're in love with Rogan because of the UFC stuff and your obvious interest in that scene that you've been kind enough to share here on MeFi.

And that's cool. Maybe you and Joe can have little Roganbabies that can call women hecklers stupid bitches for 15 minutes in lieu of an actual "act", simultaneously doing a kata demonstration of the Five Animal Forms while eating a burrito made of grub worms and scorpion stingers shat out of a dead Koala bear carcass, all the while screaming at the top of his lungs "MENCIA STOLE MY ACT!!!!"

Look, my quarrel isn't with you, personally, tkchrist. I think you're a cool guy, and I end up on your side of the discussion much more often than not. I don't care if you like Mencia or not, I'm not the president of the Carlos Mencia Fan Club. I'm not earning a commission.

I think Carlos Mencia is funny sometimes, and I think the "proof" of his joke stealing in that clip was very weak. Also note at the end, most everyone Rogan asked said "Yeah I HEARD he steals." (emphasis mine). They were not all lined up, as everyone is implying, saying "I'm Joe Comic, and Carlos Mencia stole my act."

I'll put it this way: if Carlos Mencia had to steal the border crossing joke, then he would have never, ever, ever made it past his very first open mic night. He may not be a comic master, but he is at least of "average" ability given people who tell jokes for a living.

And the raising the hand thing? If he stole it, then he has incorporated it into his entire act, because he does that all the time on his show. Along with the "okay let me explain it to you". Did he steal that? I don't know. Maybe, probably. Hell if I know. How can that not be stolen? Lewis Black says it all the time too. Did he steal it as well?

Also understand at this point in his career, Mencia has people working for him helping write material. It could have been stolen, and Mencia didn't even know. Rogan is the same way. I would bet at this point he also has support staff.

Shit Reader's Digest is probably the largest joke thief of the 20th century.

It is an occupational hazard. If you want to let people listen to your music, you have to take the chance they will record it. If you want to let people read your stories, you have to take the chance they will photocopy it. If you want to let people laugh at your jokes, you have to take the chance they will steal it.

Again, I go back to saying having a definite style prevents all this shit in the first place. Larry the Cable Guy is just lacking any humor that I can see, but you can be pretty sure his act is immune from theft. It's too well known and too unique. To me, it uniquely sucks, but I don't think you'll see Dane Cook doing it anytime soon, because it would be immediately obvious where it came from.

Be unique, be interesting, have your own style: instant theft-proof act.

Of course, what do I know. I like Family Guy. So I'm probably immediately eliminated from the Gilded Chicken Royal Humor Society or whatever esteemed organization the other posters are in.

LordSludge: go see Louis Black. Mencia/Rogan et al may be an acquired taste, but Louis Black is just funny. You'll definitely enjoy it. Unless you are an arch-conservative republican, then you might want to rethink it...

...rethink being an arch-conservative republican I mean... still definitely go see Black.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:32 PM on February 15, 2007


Ynoxas = Carlos Mencia
posted by pruner at 12:40 PM on February 15, 2007


Ynoxas, you really don't seem to get the idea of "joke thief."It isn't simply telling someone else's joke that is the issue. It's that he stole someone else's jokes/routines/nuances and CLAIMED THEM AS HIS OWN. Quoting another comic is one thing; pretending to be the author of the material is theft.
posted by grubi at 12:45 PM on February 15, 2007


Good comics borrow, great comics... steal! The trick, you see, is to steal, and then file off the serial #ers off so nobody knows hot-tcha cha cha!

“He was a junior TKD champion and holds a fairly high rank in both BJJ and Muay Thai.”

Why doesn’t he just beat the crap out of Mencia?
...I’m not saying over this, just on GP.

I’ve never seen Rogan’s stuff. Mencia, I’ve seen on t.v. I think he’s lousy. If he’s stealing stuff and I have no reason to believe either way other than taking Rogan’s word for it - all things considered tho’ - I’d believe Rogan based solely on Mencia’s inexplicable (to me) success.

I’m no comedian, writer, etc. - but I have seen things that have happened to me in print or in one case on film. I just saw a commercial for “Reno 911/ Miami” and there’s a bit where one of the cops is driving and says he just has the weirdest dream and the other cop says ‘you’re still driving’ and they react, etc. Actually happened to me and a buddy of mine - I was driving on Rt. 57 in Illinois, which is ass loads of nothing but cornfields for hours and hours and hours and hours and you run out of talk somewhere in there. And in the middle of a stretch of silence, wide awake and nothing to do and nothing but wide open road, I jerked myself like I just woke up and said “I just had the weirdest dream! I was driving and...” and my buddy (1/2 asleep) said ‘you are driving’ then I yelled (’cos I actually was driving) which pretty much woke him up. And he was used to me doing odd things purely for comedy, and he laughed, but after a few minutes he said “you want me to take over?”
I don’t know how some of these things get around, some sort of social osmosis I suppose. But that’s an entirely different thing than sitting in a comedy club watching someone else perform then replicating the same bit.
Williams I can understand, mania is a fairly accepted defense. And his stand up is, y’know, funny.

“...everyone with a +1 sense of humor could have created, and probably did.”

My Bard had a +1 sense of humor longbow in AD&D.


“You know what is sexy?
Paying the bills is sexy.
Everything else is commentary.” - posted by Dizzy

Well said, diz. Y’know why I never became a writer, stand-up comic, etc.?
Not to question anyone’s choice of profession. Indeed, quite the opposite. I did do some acting (college, et.al) and the difference, as in any field of endevor, is passion and dedication. I can be damned funny at times. But even if I’m a comedy genius, the simple fact that I haven’t dedicated myself to it puts anyone who has far ahead of me. I was fairly good as an actor. Hell, I was damed good at football and rugby. But the difference between being an elite player on the college level and being even an average player on the professional level is vast. Same thing here. Talent only goes so far. Hard work - in any field - is everything. And hard work comes from passion for what you do and dedication to it. Which, although I think I could be much funnier that some comedians, doesn’t mean dick because I’m not on stage doing it day in and day out. I don’t have that passion and dedication, and I respect those who do. I have to come down solidly on the anti-stealing side. It seems very much like taking bread off somone else’s table.
(Although that respect doesn’t mean I have to like Dane Cook f’rinstance.) And some people get off on being tax accountants. I love what I do, I’m sure some folks wouldn’t. (I’d also love to make people laugh for a living, but y’know, kids gotta eat and that’s a tough thing to swing into).
posted by Smedleyman at 12:59 PM on February 15, 2007


I'm clearly not a big fan of Rogan or Ned. But I still side with Joe Rogan on this one.

Some of you know by now I'm a jazz singer. Okay... so there are a few songs I do in a particular way. For example, I do a somewhat unique version of "But Not For Me" where it starts as a rubato bass/vocal duet & then goes into a swing tempo I count out. People love it. Well, there's this plastic surgery nightmare of a woman who saw me do it at a jam session in LA one night. I got a standing ovation for it, and it was a big hit. Sure enough, next week I'm sitting there at the same jam session and without even a nod in my direction this woman gets onstage, in FRONT of me, and does the exact same song. Counting the band out after a rubato bass/vocal duet at the beginning. Same tempo & everything, just as she had seen me do the week before. I was like, "Wait, WHAT?" and I watched in shock as she tried to do this version I'd worked for years on.

Ok, so imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, right? Yeah sometimes... but it's also just really bad etiquette & incredibly self-absorbed. It's one thing to hear bits of how Ella Fitzgerald does things and have it influence me... it's another to memorize her solos.

Was I the first person to ever do a rubato bass/vocal duet? No way. Does this woman sing like me? Not at all. Was my version better? Doesn't matter. (Yes, a million times better, thank you very much.) What mattered is that it is disrespectful to your creative peers to copy the things they've worked hard on and blatantly pretend that they're yours. Real creativity is all about FINDING YOUR OWN UNIQUE VOICE. In this case, if the woman had changed the tempo. Or if she'd started with a horn vocal solo. Or ANYTHING, it would've been her own unique creation. But she didn't. And that showed me what kind of a person she is... so I have a rule to never do anything unique when she is in the room.

It doesn't matter if someone else's version isn't as good. What matters is how it feels to be unapologetically stolen from when you work so incredibly hard to create your own unique versions of things. When they really do come from you, that means something. Your creations are like your children.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:03 PM on February 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I agree with the serial numbers thing, by the way. If you are going to copy (admittedly there are few truly original ideas so no artist is completely guilt free of it)... you use your creativity to assimilate it into your own style so smoothly that nobody could possibly TELL the idea wasn't originally yours.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2007


posted by grubi Some jokes can be seen as generic, but that doesn't jibe with the fact that Mencia stole the exact phrasing and the hand-in-the-air parts. Mencia stole the joke and the nuance. He's a thief. Stop acting like this is acceptable.

I don't think copyright and trademark law apply to stand-up comedy. But I could be wrong, and if I am, I'd like to see the copyright and trademark law that covers stand-up comedy.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:12 PM on February 15, 2007


I call shenanigans on the whole Dennis Leary, Bill Hicks issue. Meaning, I don't believe Leary stole any material from Hicks. The main controversy is the whole "Jim Fix, jogging expert, died while jogging.... guess who found him? A couple smokers..." bit. I believe that situation was so ripe for comedy that any hard-smoking comic worth his salt would have come up with that line.
posted by autodidact at 1:34 PM on February 15, 2007


any hard-smoking comic worth his salt would have come up with that line.

And anyone who did the tiniest smidge of research would have found out how Mr Fixx actually died: he was a heavy smoker.
posted by grubi at 1:37 PM on February 15, 2007


I'd just add that, if anyone is lurking this thread and hasn't watched the video, you should watch the video. Don't make up your mind based on this thread alone — because several comments about the video are just flatly wrong. These people obviously didn't watch the video and shouldn't be telling others what's on it.
posted by cribcage at 1:54 PM on February 15, 2007


I don't think copyright and trademark law apply to stand-up comedy. But I could be wrong, and if I am, I'd like to see the copyright and trademark law that covers stand-up comedy.

Of course it does. And there is no specific copyright law covering stand up -- it's protected by the same copyright law that covers all original creations.

With stand up, it might be a little harder to prove that you created a joke, and, for that reason, there are comedians who tape their shows and send documents of their jokes to the US Copyright Office.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:47 PM on February 15, 2007


posted by cribcage if anyone is lurking this thread and hasn't watched the video, you should watch the video.

Don't bother. I watched it, and it's ten minutes of camcorder footage of two guys yelling "You're a little bitch!" and "You steal jokes!" at each other onstage. This footage is periodically interrupted with segments from another comedy act, presumably as "evidence" of the theft.

It's pretty much what you'd expect from two frat boys who decided they were stand-up comedians, one of whom decided to accuse the other of stealing jokes from other comedians and decided to confront him onstage and present footage of other comedians as proof of the theft. By the end of it, you'll want your ten minutes back, and you'll realize it really doesn't matter who stole what from whom because they're both untalented assholes.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:53 PM on February 15, 2007


And anyone who did the tiniest smidge of research would have found out how Mr Fixx actually died: he was a heavy smoker.

He died right after his morning jog...
posted by autodidact at 2:55 PM on February 15, 2007


posted by Astro Zombie With stand up, it might be a little harder to prove that you created a joke, and, for that reason, there are comedians who tape their shows and send documents of their jokes to the US Copyright Office.

That's very interesting. So the U.S. Copyright Office has a database of jokes?

Also, if a comedian tells one of his or her copyrighted jokes, where does he or she put the ™ (Trade Mark) or © (Copyright) symbol to indicate the joke is theirs?
posted by fandango_matt at 2:59 PM on February 15, 2007


And anyone who did the tiniest smidge of research would have found out how Mr Fixx actually died: he was a heavy smoker.
posted by grubi at 3:37 PM CST on February 15


But how's that funny? There is absolutely no mandate to be truthful when being funny.

(cribcage: i hope you're not talking about me, because I watched the entire thing, end to end.)

Smedleyman:My Bard had a +1 sense of humor longbow in AD&D.

Don't quit your day job. /wink

Threads like this are why sometimes I wish I just didn't get involved.

But, I get invested because what I am saying above is my true feeling on the subject, and I get dismissed because I'm on the unpopular side of the playground. And I get called everything from a liar to an idiot to various combinations of the two just because I don't immediately agree 100% with a video Joe Rogan posted online. The unimpeachable Joe Rogan, journalist and storied scholar.

Perhaps to take a completely different tack on this, just because you don't like Mencia doesn't mean he's a joke thief.

He either is one, or isn't one. If he is one, great, blackball him from the business, cancel his show, ban him from the comedy clubs. Seems pretty clear-cut and easy. Also seems like something that should have ALREADY HAPPENED.

Why is it that Rogan got banned from the Comedy Store and not Mencia? I'm willing to bet that Mitzi Shore knows more about comedy, and this specific argument, than all of us in this thread combined.

If it truly is totally undisputed gospel, from basically everyone in comedy, that Mencia is a joke thief, then how could Mencia even have a venue to perform?

Why would people like Cheech Marin, Jamie Kennedy, Peter Boyle, Tracy Morgan, and Dave Attell all be on his show if he's a shameless joke thief?

I've been giving a lot of space to see if anyone would seize on the Joe Rogan: Conspiracy Theorist angle listed above. It's EVERYWHERE man, why can't you see it?

Being accused a joke thief is a lot like being accused a rapist. Even if you're never proven guilty, people still never look at you the same way.
posted by Ynoxas at 3:08 PM on February 15, 2007


misslynster: Wait, so is "funnier" code for "more bitter"?

No, I believe the "funnier" may come from the juxtaposition of his longtime character Danny Tanner with his actual humor about finger-banging his newborn infant daughter for a buck.
posted by dozo at 3:10 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Speaking of stealing material, the part of the DMT rant where he talks about the "elves" in a DMT trip sounded superficially like Terrence McKenna's rap.
posted by morganw at 3:12 PM on February 15, 2007


Uh... I don't think it's "stealing material" to talk about the DMT elves if he's actually done DMT. That's a weird tangent to take- McKenna's heavily influenced a whole generation of DMT seekers and imbibers, and it's not creative material being stolen- it's echoing trip reports and their similarities. What, even a drug trip report can be copyrighted? Does that mean any experience can be copyrighted? Can I not enjoy a meal if someone else has enjoyed it before me, or not describe something because someone else has described it in somewhat similar tersm?

I just don't get the point of your post...
posted by hincandenza at 3:25 PM on February 15, 2007


I'm willing to bet that Mitzi Shore knows more about comedy, and this specific argument, than all of us in this thread combined.

According to Rogan it wasn't Mitzi that banned him it was the club manager. Mitzi originally called him to tell him he was performing that weekend. And this ban wasn't anything about that anyway. It's about that clubs relationship with Comedy Central - a relationship that translates to a great deal of money. Comedy Central (and HBO) threw it's weight behind a show hosted by a thief... and there is no way they are going to admit that at this point. They have no choice but to back Mencia and hence they put pressure on Shore.

Miss Linster. How do you know who here has struggled in these kinds of creative fields? Apparently besides you? And how can you assume they've had the same crushing blows you apparently have? You sound pretty bitter, actually.

Uh. Lynnster. I don't know who has. And that is point. Because apparently the majority here have NOT by the way they throw around the term "sell out." Bitter? I have no idea where you get that from. If I am bitter you are exceptionally arrogant and egotistical.

Lynster. I'm curious. You married? You got a live-in SO? Does that person have a job? Maybe pay a couple of bills? Or. I dunno. Maybe you got a trust fund. Or. Maybe you are just really really good. Or you suck and are really really lucky. In any case if you have struggled as you say then you should know how hard it is, right?

If not you should count your lucky stars. Your certainly seeming to brag that you can make it supporting yourself entirely on your art. You should just be thankful you can and not throw around the judgments. Because MOST people can't support themselves on their art. This is simply a fact.

I have a successful "creative " career, though not in the arts. I worked in Film to myself through college. I write comedy for fun. I never pursued either as a career. Anyway. I feel pretty damned lucky. Therefore I am not going to judge other people for "selling out" especially since I know how hard making it really is. Evidentially you don't. You are the exception and not the rule. Maybe you should think about that.
posted by tkchrist at 4:01 PM on February 15, 2007


If it truly is totally undisputed gospel, from basically everyone in comedy, that Mencia is a joke thief, then how could Mencia even have a venue to perform?

Are seriously arguing that accomplishment only happens based on ethical merits? Seriously? How did George Bush get elected President?

Think. I bet if you calm down and think you can come up with dozens of performers and successful people that were, or are, out-right bastards, thieves or immoral. Since when has that stopped anybody determined to succeed. Indeed. Since when has that not HELPED.

Ynoxas. Just stop already. I like you. But you're arguments are contradictory and stupid in this thread. Save your energy for a thread that matters more.
posted by tkchrist at 4:08 PM on February 15, 2007


Fandango Matt must have been rejected by Delta Pi because he sure seems hung up with a hate boner for Frat boys. So Matt. As far as I know neither of those guys belonged to a Fraternity.

I wonder if Hipsters got in a fight with Frat Boys, who would win?
posted by tkchrist at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2007


posted by tkchrist if Hipsters got in a fight with Frat Boys, who would win?

The human race.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2007


Ynoxas: If it truly is totally undisputed gospel, from basically everyone in comedy, that Mencia (Holness) is a joke thief, then how could Mencia (Holness) even have a venue to perform?

Because he fills seats, and most people have no idea that this happens because comics are so reticent to even broach the subject in public. Ned replaced Dave Chappelle, and for that alone he will have droves of idiots lining up for his steamy pile. The moral of the story seems to be that if you hurt the rep of the seat fillers, no matter the pertinence, you get shunned. Which is a damn shame, seeing as how Joe has written of his love for the Store on many occasions and has had nothing but the highest regard for the ailing owner Mitzi.

Like said on Rogan's actual site, www.joerogan.net (flash, audio, and slow loading for some reason), the comedy club has done a lot of work to get the venue working, buy a bunch of alcohol, install lights, hire bartenders, and other bar/club stuff, but they need the people to come. That's where the comics come in. If a comic puts asses in the seats, the clubs are happy and don't give a shit about the ethics of stealing. They're in business. And Joe took a step towards actively removing money from their pockets.

Joe has expressed his appreciation for Ned's performing and used to be good friends with him, until it was clear that the guy was constantly using material that he had heard from others. There is also the, what, 6 or 7 comedians on tape that say he has stolen jokes of theirs before? I know that's hardly an authoritative figure, but come on. I truly hope that Joe's rants, which he has been (in)famous for for YEARS (about stealing jokes), is the impetus for more comedians to "stand up" :) for themselves, but I'd bet it won't.

However you want to justify appropriating someone else's work is up to you. As a guitarist, I understand your point that originality seems finite, and to some there appears to be a spot where there is no more new material and it's all just A-G. Delivery and flavor is definitely a larger part of the equation than it ever has been now. But to say that I should start expecting people's songs or comedy to sound the same and like it is, well, boring and scary. Would it be ok for a major label band to record a garage band's songs and claim it as their own? I mean, there's only 7 notes and 26 letters, right? How much originality can be gleaned from THAT? How about Photogs? How many fucking pictures of mountains and trees and babies can you take or look at, anyways? Or painters? Or crocheters? Jeez...
posted by dozo at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2007


Wow, tk. You're being a jerk.

I've been supporting myself (& other people) since I was 16. Without anyone's help. I am currently single, and not one S.O. has ever covered my financial responsibilities for me. I never made it through art school because I couldn't afford to quit working. It was hard getting started, but I never gave up. Through persistence & stubbornness I ended up forging some really nice creative careers, despite years of my family telling me that I should give up on the art stuff and "get a real job" or do exactly what YOU imply & find some sugar daddy.

Well screw that.

Clearly, you don't care if I'm really good or really lucky, you just assume that I have had it easier than you SOMEHOW. (Or you jump to the pleasant judgment that in person I'm an arrogant bitch because... duh... I must be!) But I started out the same as everyone else. I was an 18 year old girl in art school who worked as a waitress at night & a secretary during the day, who left home to go to art school despite her parents disapprovals. I am not special. I am not different. I started out with moderate talent, I just didn't give up. It's true... 80% of success is just about continuing to show up.

I've done a lot of high profile projects, but I don't subscribe to this whole "selling out" judgment the way you do. There's no purpose. I do work for the people who like my skills, and over the years they've gradually paid better & been bigger opportunities. I'd thank my lucky stars, except I've happily worked my ass off for every single "lucky" thing I have ever been blessed with. And you are damn right I'm proud of that! Why on Earth shouldn't someone be?

I'm proud of ANYONE who can spend their life make a living doing stuff that they absolutely love. I applaud them! Life is short, & as I tell my niece on a constant basis, more power to people who cling to their silly creative dreams & make them reality. Rock on. You truly enjoy what you do? You don't hate waking up in the morning? That's wonderful. Don't ever apologize TO ANYONE for that.

And I've gotta say... damn, you did come across as bitter.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2007


“it's ten minutes of camcorder footage of two guys yelling "You're a little bitch!" and "You steal jokes!" at each other onstage. This footage is periodically interrupted with segments from another comedy act, presumably as "evidence" of the theft.”

Yeah, I’ve already blocked it all out with two other actors doing the lines and repackaged it and sold it to Taiwan as a situation comedy.
It’ll be out on DVD soon. Y’know: he’s a portly German-Honduran who ridicules manual laborers; he’s a Jewish martial artist reality show commentator with the body of a soft core porn star. They live together, build motorcycles, eat delicatessens, fight crime, etc. Great theme song riffing on the odd couple with the voiceover and everything that explains their backgrounds as former friends and asks if two little bitches can live in the apartment without stealing each other’s jokes and driving each other crazy.

...I’m still trying to find the crazy breakout character tho.


Ynoxas: “Bard” jokes are no good, eh? Well, we can’t all have Paladins like Steven Colbert. I mean, you want schtick, you gotta have a Paladin. They’re the ultimate straight man: really religious guy, very serious, with armor n’ swords. That’s a great reference. A great reference. Bards are pretty much the same mandolining gaddabouts seen at RenFaires.
Pfft. Bards. Yeah, I wish they were funny.
And who has a humorous longbow?
No, no, that joke doesn’t work at all. Guy with a longbow, standing there. A bard no less. I mean what’s the gimmick? The bow goes “zing” or “boi-oi-oinnng” when you shoot it? Nothin’ funny about that. Bard slips on a banana peel - nothing. Paladin? Well, you’ve got basic dignity there which, Bards, sheyaah, right. Plus armor, so a huge crash. Plus enragement - a *holy* rage - with lotsa “Ye!”’s and “Lo!”’s and threats of smiting and such. What’s a bard going to do, sing a banana peel song?
Freakin Bards n’ shit.
“Oh, I’m off to have an Hamburger with Bar-b-que sauce ‘pon it, because it’s more middle ages tasting” a bard might say.
F’ing losers.
Joke doesn’t even work with a stout Paladin in it, because Paladins can’t use longbows and they’re limited in the number of weapons they can have.
And well what the hell would have +1 humor, anyway? Some sort of fake nose or something? Why would a Paladin or a Bard have that?
I mean you’d have to go with a much later edition of AD&D that includes Jesters and multiple talent choices for character classes and I don’t want to look like some kind of geek here.
I guess I’ll stick with my day job. No biggie, all the guys in the data modeling analysis department know I’m pretty cool.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:09 PM on February 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Calm down, Lynnster.

Read my post you responded to the first time.

I said: "I'm sick of people who have not struggled in these kinds of creative fields talking about people selling out."

Clearly that was not you, right? But regardless you responded to me when I was not speaking to you.

You responded working hard to pick a fight and also you deliberately mischaracterized me PERSONALLY. But you brought nothing to bear in my words to support this direct insult.

you said: "How do you know who here has struggled in these kinds of creative fields? Apparently besides you? And how can you assume they've had the same crushing blows you apparently have? You sound pretty bitter, actually."

Who was being the jerk? You were. You seem intent on making me an enemy. Well. If that's what you want.

I wanted to find out more about why you thought you were "struggling" yet somehow not struggling. I was puzzled. You gave me nothing to work with so I guessed. Now your hysterical and upset. But YOU started it, cupcake.

You seem to be expecting some sort of low blow. Relax.
posted by tkchrist at 5:16 PM on February 15, 2007


tkchrist: A Side Note. I understand how Rogan feels. A couple stories I told HERE (and other places), funny personal anecdotes of MINE, on MEFi have been emailed BACK to me after showing up on a couple of blogs and one in PRINT in an Alt Weekly someplace. Nobody fucking credited me. Yeah. That's part of the deal. But it bothers me because these are my life and my stories. It makes me never want to tell them in this forum again. Luckily I can trace and document their origins. But still. If your going to tell somebodies stories - and I WANT people to - give that person credit. It's like stealing a piece of somebodies life.

Sorry to hear that. Wasn't this, was it?
posted by russilwvong at 5:18 PM on February 15, 2007


I hesitate to get into the middle of the tkchrist/miss lynster dispute, but it might be a good idea to bring up the old FidoNet rules of etiquette:

1. Don't be offensive.
2. Don't be easily offended.
posted by russilwvong at 5:20 PM on February 15, 2007


posted by Smedleyman Great theme song riffing on the odd couple with the voiceover and everything that explains their backgrounds as former friends and asks if two little bitches can live in the apartment without stealing each other’s jokes and driving each other crazy.

Wait, but then you'd be stealing jokes! Two half-witted losers living togther and screaming at each other was already trademarked and copyrighted by Shut Up Little Man! Joke thief! Joke thief!
posted by fandango_matt at 5:21 PM on February 15, 2007


Wasn't this, was it?

Yes. How did you know?
posted by tkchrist at 5:21 PM on February 15, 2007


Also, Rogan accusing Mencia of stealing his material is like accusing someone of stealing your dog's turds.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:27 PM on February 15, 2007


tkchrist: Cause it was so awesome.

More seriously, I typed "metafilter tkchrist" into Google and this was one of the hits, pointing to this earlier comment in the same thread.
posted by russilwvong at 5:30 PM on February 15, 2007


Fandango_matt. I'm not clear yet. Are you trying to imply you hate Rogan and Mencia. This laid back, jovial, passive style of yours makes it hard to tell.

It makes us wonder why one spends so much time delicately infusing such gossamer like subtly on ones dislikes.

Rather than, you know, hammering us over the head with the awesome iron of ones likes.
posted by tkchrist at 5:33 PM on February 15, 2007


tkchrist: Cause it was so awesome.

Aw Shucks. Cut it out.

Yeah there was some blog somewhere that took a couple of pieces of that and the Stunt Monkey story. I think it was innocent. But a friend of mine narced on them - then they put my real name on it. So I cant complain, really.

It made me hesitate to be the truely whacky, pissy, sarcastic asshole you all have come to expect. I hate that. I'm still not used to the viral nature of the medium. It's freaky to get a random chain email with a story YOU wrote a year and half before.
posted by tkchrist at 5:38 PM on February 15, 2007


Hey, tk, I'm not the one posting lengthy diatribes defending either one of these two twits, but perhaps you could explain why you care so much about whatever it is Joe Rogan is screaming, like the untalented ass he repeatedly proves himself to be.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:41 PM on February 15, 2007


BTW. I must admit I have stolen jokes by Astro Zombie - whose shiny wit I am not fit so see my own reflection.

But since he is un-dead I figured it was ok. Right?
posted by tkchrist at 5:42 PM on February 15, 2007


"I'm sick of people who have not struggled in these kinds of creative fields talking about people selling out."

THIS is the exact phrase I responded to. My point being that you have no idea who has worked hard & who hasn't, especially here. I wasn't taking it personally, I was saying that you sounded as though YOU have struggled but judge everyone else for not having done so. To me, it did sound bitter. I stand by that. I gave up on that whole"selling out" thing once The Fountainhead wore off, I don't subscribe to that myth at all.

Sorry if I was mistaken in any way. I only said you sounded bitter though... you should look back on all of the unneccessary assumptions you suggested about me. I wonder if I was male if you would've made half of them. That someone else had to help me for me to be doing okay as a creative person. I don't think so, and that is what sincerely offended me. I found it incredibly patronizing.

I am VERY FAR from an arrogant bitch, by the way. That's what I've been told by people who actually KNOW me, at least. They do not seem to be the lying sort.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:44 PM on February 15, 2007


fandango you appear to be one of those alien creatures that get it's energy from the dark side of the force. So right now I am giving you the warmest virtual hug. Mmmmmmmmmm. Feel the love. Feel the manly hetero warmth. You can cry now if you need to. It's ok for boys to cry. I'm here for you.
posted by tkchrist at 5:46 PM on February 15, 2007


Lynster. Stop it and drop it.

People who have NOT struggled. Get it. If you have you can make these judgments. It's an opinion not a law.
posted by tkchrist at 5:47 PM on February 15, 2007


Hey, that's a mildly retarded joke. You must have stolen that from Joe Rogan!
posted by fandango_matt at 5:49 PM on February 15, 2007


Spell my name right and I might consider it. But don't tell me what to do, tk.

You dish your opinions out. Other people will dish back. Life's like that.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:54 PM on February 15, 2007


Other people will dish back.

Dish away. Opinions I can handle. Deliberate personal insult and character assassination is not called for. Man you are spoiling for a fight. What the fuck.
posted by tkchrist at 7:56 PM on February 15, 2007


And I thought his CD made him come off as small, bitter and humorless - this isn't the first time he's bragged about a confrontation on his MySpace page.


"hahahh, Oh really? What is it that you have accomplished, Joe Rogan?"

"Google search me, you fucking failure :)"


Now THAT'S comedy. I guess.
posted by dgbellak at 8:23 PM on February 15, 2007


I had never seen Fear Factor, until I saw that spoof of it on the Chappelle show. Now that was funny, though it wasn't Rogan that made it so, but he did take part in the mocking of the real thing. He gets points for that in my book.

On the UFC color commentary: he's very good at it. Watch some of the early UFC's and see just how really awful the people that did it before him were. Bad. Very bad.
posted by e40 at 8:45 PM on February 15, 2007


Rogan's agent has dropped him. Rogan and Mencia are both represented by the Gersh agency. Apparently Mencia called them and said that if Rogan didn't give him an apology, Mencia would find a new agent. Rogan did not want to apologise.
posted by stammer at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2007


fandango_matt, I made a really groovy dinner and you crucified it. (I love those Peter and Ray recordings).


Uncomfortable hetero man hug anyone?
posted by Smedleyman at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2007


Rogan's agent has dropped him. Rogan and Mencia are both represented by the Gersh agency. Apparently Mencia called them and said that if Rogan didn't give him an apology, Mencia would find a new agent. Rogan did not want to apologise.

I wonder if they'll regret that in a few years when Fear Factor enters its eleventy-fifth season and Mencia is doing gigs at the Chuckle Hut for food.

I really like Rogan, mostly for his UFC stuff. I understand not liking Fear Factor (who does?), or not thinking he's a great stand-up (I don't think he's half as good as his buddy Doug Stanhope), but he's a brilliant color commentator. He's certainly not stupid, and he knows his shit.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:39 PM on February 15, 2007


That's very interesting. So the U.S. Copyright Office has a database of jokes?

What? Of course not. You have a deep and fundamental misunderstanding of US copyright and the US Copyright Office. Are you getting it confused with the Library of Congress?
posted by Falconetti at 9:46 PM on February 15, 2007


I spent the day watching all the Rogan clips through. Not sure why. I guess cause I never liked Mencia's comedy (although I have given it a chance) and didn't even know Rogan was a comic so wanted to familiarize myself with it. I think Rogan did a brave thing and over the next few weeks other comics might become emboldened to out Mencia and other fakers.

Rogan's comedy is as offensive as Mencia's, they cancel each other out on the guilty pleasure factor. But if you've seen the Rogan Noah's Ark bit, that's some funny shit. Ynoxas, fandango matt, have you seen it?
posted by vito90 at 9:48 PM on February 15, 2007


Man, I'd like to confuse something with the Library of Congress. That'd be sweet.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:48 PM on February 15, 2007


Just got home... Lewis Black is pretty good. Even got to see him deal with a drunk heckler.

Yep.
posted by LordSludge at 10:11 PM on February 15, 2007


posted by Falconetti You have a deep and fundamental misunderstanding of US copyright and the US Copyright Office. Are you getting it confused with the Library of Congress?

You have a deep and fundamental misunderstanding of this thread and the concept of sarcasm. I didn't suggest they did--that was Astro Zombie.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:19 AM on February 16, 2007


tk, I've never been "spoiling for" a fight, that's more your thing. I've just not said what you wanted me to say. Your original comment simply struck me as a bit bitter since I can't see how it's anyone's job to judge the validity of other people's opinions based on whether or not they've "suffered enough." It's also not your job to tell me when I should stop commenting since Metafilter is a forum for discourse, and not just your opinions. Everyone's allowed to share thoughts here for better & worse, that's what great about it. It's supposed to be about healthy back & forth discussion. Period. So I tried to start a discourse with you based on what I didn't feel in agreement with, but you are apparently someone who needs to make things personal. So, point noted, lesson learned. Really not my bag, baybee.

I mean, this thread is about freaking Ned Holness for Christ's sake... so who really cares.

Would've been far more interesting to me to have had a healthy, non-personal discussion on the topic... where you would've explained to me why you feel the way you do instead of insulting me for disagreeing as well as for being happy with my lot in life.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:10 AM on February 16, 2007


I mean, this thread is about freaking Ned Holness Mencia for Christ's sake

fixed that for you
posted by caddis at 4:59 AM on February 16, 2007


Just got home... Lewis Black is pretty good. Even got to see him deal with a drunk heckler.

Yep.


Total side note: Lewis Black was interviewed on XM Radio this week, and he said he hasn't written his own material for 9 years. He works up his delivery for other writers' work.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:07 AM on February 16, 2007


Lewis Black was interviewed on XM Radio this week, and he said he hasn't written his own material for 9 years. He works up his delivery for other writers' work.

It is my understanding this is somewhat the norm after you reach a certain point. At the very least, they employ "writing partners".

I'm not criticizing this method, as it sometimes produces great comedy.

But as I said up above, I expect this same arrangement affects BOTH Mencia and Rogan, so this might be a fight between two groups of writers with 2 public mouthpieces.

Who knows.

vito90: not seen that clip, got a link?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:16 AM on February 16, 2007


fandango_matt: my bad. apologies.

Although this thread has grown so unlikeable, can yiou really blame me for skimming it?
posted by Falconetti at 7:42 AM on February 16, 2007


This reminded me of a bit of stand up where UK comedian Stewart Lee talks about joke theft at the hands of Joe Pasquale.

He then goes on to compose a joke that Pasquale can't steal.

Youtube video here
posted by rog at 9:38 AM on February 16, 2007


Benny, I'm pretty sure Lewis Black was talking about Back in Black on TDS. The first six years or so of BnB he co-wrote it with the writing staff. For the past four years or so the staff writers have written BnB.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:53 PM on February 16, 2007


Looks like Joe Rogan is losing this one.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:17 PM on February 16, 2007


posted by Falconetti my bad. apologies. Although this thread has grown so unlikeable, can yiou really blame me for skimming it?

No no, not at all. It's like watching that video of Joe Rogan. After the first thirty seconds of screaming and dick-waving, you just want to fast-forward to the end where they kill each other.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:24 PM on February 16, 2007


Benny, I'm pretty sure Lewis Black was talking about Back in Black on TDS.

You're right. I got the impression (maybe mistaken -I was listening in pretty gnarly traffic) that he uses those same writers for his act, too.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:49 PM on February 16, 2007


Ynoxas- here it is

miss lynnster - I know you're not equating "losing this one" with "losing one's principles". Rogan obviously believes what he said and is standing up for that belief. You don't think there's another agent that will be happy to take that one's place? Did you read your own link? All the comments in it are pro-Joe and one claims he has already been picked up by William Morris. If true it sort of seems to refute your point.
posted by vito90 at 7:02 PM on February 16, 2007


I never thought Rogan funny, mostly just a jerk. I feel for him on this issue though. If Mencia is really stealing that many jokes it sucks. Joke stealing is kind of like cheating in NASCAR, pretty endemic, but it sounds like Carlos may be more bold than most, and that sucks. Anyway, Carlos will likely get a sitcom, and Rogan will not. That's because Carlos has a great sense of timing and tells jokes better than most, and well, Rogan is a bitter man. Bitterness isn't really that funny. When Carlos gets his sitcom he will never have to steal another joke from another stand-up comedian, he will just hire them to write for him. It's not theft when you pay.

(the really funny part of this thread is all the folks who go on and on in the music threads about how copyright infringement is not theft because the original is still there are now piling onto Carlos for being some horrible thief for "stealing" jokes from other comedians. basically they mean it's not theft when the victim is a big powerful, and nasty, company, but it is theft when the victim is a poor struggling artist, not that I can't relate to that philosophy, but the arguments are so twisted.)
posted by caddis at 7:41 PM on February 16, 2007


update: rogan's been banned from the comedy store, and his agent, who represents mencia as well, has been forced to drop rogan.

and the entertainment industry dies a little more.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 12:14 AM on February 17, 2007


Rogan's follow-up
posted by Optamystic at 11:30 AM on February 17, 2007


The agent who dropped Rogan only represented the stand-up portion of Rogan's career...(same agent represents all aspects of Mencia's career).

Joe Rogan is now being repped by someone at William Morris.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:46 PM on February 17, 2007


Carlos Mencia banned from the Mikey Radio Show, Caught using a stolen bit
posted by homunculus at 8:07 PM on February 18, 2007


but Rogan won my heart with his inspired, froth-at-mouth DMT rant.

Me too.
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on February 18, 2007


A staff writer for Mind of Mencia throws in his two cents, for what it's worth.

I gotta say, I still don't believe anything was stolen. It still just seems like a small group of bad comedians baselessly accusing others of stealing their bad jokes.

Coincidentally, I'm reading Bob Newhart's autobio right now, and he describes a case early in his career where Don Adams stole one of his routines. He said he was pretty pissed at the time but seemed a little ambivalent about it now in the book, a little appreciative even, basically saying it happened all the time and it inspired him to perform more. Wiki sums it up, actually:

In October of 2006 comedian Bob Newhart (appearing on Larry King Live) credited Adams with his entry in stand-up comedy. At first, Newhart tried his hand as a comedy writer specifically developing a routine with Adams in mind. He then sought out Adams and ran the routine by him, only to be told the material wasn't worthy. A few days later, when he saw Adams perform the exact same routine verbatim on The Tonight Show, he decided he might as well try his hand as a performer with his own material.

In the book, he goes on to say that he actually recounted this story at Don Adams' funeral at the request of Adams' widow. Definitely a different generation of comedians. The story is enough for me to feel that both Rogan and Mencia can just take flying frickin' leap for all I care.
posted by dgbellak at 1:16 AM on February 22, 2007


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