Entertainment

Fans an integral part of Mencia's routine

Comedian Carlos Mencia knows how to end a show.

On a recent fan cruise with musician Kid Rock, both entertainers finished the tour with a photo opportunity no one will likely forget anytime soon.

"He mooned the crowd and then I mooned the crowd because he mooned the crowd," says Mencia by telephone from his home in Los Angeles. "I know that doesn't sound right. They enjoyed it, I promise you."

Mencia probably won't be dropping his pants when he performs in Wichita on Wednesday at The Loony Bin, but there are no promises.

"It's been known to happen," says Mencia. "It's not the first time. I'm sure it won't be the last."

But Mencia, who hosted the Comedy Central show "Mind of Mencia" from 2005 to 2008, gets serious when talking about how much he appreciates his fans. And he refers to that five-day cruise earlier this month as one of "the most loving, beautiful experiences in my life."

"I love audiences and I want to make them happy," says the 43-year-old comic. "I want to make them laugh, whether it's a joke about me or a joke about my mom or a joke about somebody else, I don't care."

He makes sure to sign every autograph and take every picture. Even if it takes 30 minutes to get a drink at the bar on the recent cruise, much to his friends' chagrin.

"I was like, 'Let me go get some drinks,' " he says. "They're like, 'No, no, no, no! Every time you leave the comforts of us, there are like 8,000 people asking for an autograph or a picture,' and I'm like, 'Who cares? It's fine, it's awesome, that's what I'm on the boat for.' "

The fans, Mencia says, are an integral part of his, and every comedian's, stand-up routine.

There's a musical rhythm to a stand-up routine, Mencia says, much like the sound of a concert. Without the audience "it's a cappella, and no matter how much you rehearse it is never going to be the same as when you have the instruments. The guy on the drum, the guy on the bass, he's the guy that keeps the tempo. That's the audience."

But it's not all a love fest. Mencia has had detractors in the audience. "The things I talk about are real," he says. "So the people that are getting angry are not getting angry at me because I'm wrong, they're getting angry at me because I'm showing them something they don't want to see."

Some of his fellow comedians have publicly accused Mencia of stealing their jokes, and words have been exchanged on social networking sites and during interviews. Mencia says that's pretty standard for his line of work.

"I personally wish success on everybody," he says.

He brings it back to his fans.

"Without them, we're nothing," he says. "In the end, yeah, I tell jokes and, yeah, I push the envelope and all that kind of stuff, but in the end I make people's lives a little brighter on a daily basis and that is a gift from God."

If you go

Carlos Mencia

Where: Loony Bin Comedy Club, 6140 E. 21st St.

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

How much: Tickets $25. Make reservations at 316-618-4242.

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