Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rogan v. Mencia

This is all over the internet and yet I feel like I should post it. Ed Murray has it on his blog but not enough of you go there.

If you're not a comic, this might seem like just a celebrity feud. It's way more important than that. Jokes take a LOT of work to get right and are the lifeblood of every comedian. That's all we have up there, our writing and our personality. There's no system in place to protect a comic's material so we have to rely on trust. Ed Murray and I once had a similar bit and we both dropped it (of course, the bit was terrible but the loyalty remains).

Mencia steals material. I've heard that since I started comedy. And listen to his argument. Joe Rogan recites facts, dates, names. He brings up witnesses. In the video he shows undeniable proof. Mencia sits there, not letting Rogan near the mike and repeats the phrase "whiny bitch". He stole from his opener. That's disgusting. There's no way this guy could avoid Mencia hearing his material. Mencia violated the small amount of trust he was given.

The saddest part of the story is Rogan is the one that's suffered. He lost his agent and was banned from the Comedy Store for speaking up. Business is siding with Carlos Mencia. Rogan has had three tv shows, two long running on NBC. Mencia has one basic cable show but it's hot now. Never has the cliche of 'yesterday's news' seemed so prevalent.

The most telling thing Rogan says on the video is, "How many comics are your friends? Nobody. Everybody hates you." I quit comedy for five years because I didn't make close enough friends. And I value every friend I've made in comedy in the last year. They're all that get me through the barking, the cancelled shows and the bad audiences. There's no money in the world that could convince me to trade places with Mencia.

Ed has a great article on other joke stealers linked at his site. He deserves the hits for that one.

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