Ari Shaffir Sets Down Timeline for His Carlos Mencia Accusation

Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy

The video I posted earlier obviously had a reaction for those trying to prove Carlos Mencia‘s larcenous ways. I heard from Ari Shaffir, one of those who claim to be wronged by Carlos. While Ari agrees that the “Who will build the wall” joke “isn’t the best example of Carlos’ joke thievery”, he does set down a persuasive timeline for when it happened. Here’s what he said:

I opened for Carlos a few times over a 3 months period and did that joke (that I can clearly remember) at least 4 times. He saw me do it. I twice saw him in the room as I did the joke and I saw him laughing. Then maybe 9 months later, people all over town started telling me that Carlos was doing my material. So yes, it might be an easy joke. But once you see another comic do an easy joke, that doesn’t mean you can start doing it yourself. That’s still just stealing.

This clears up a few issues I had with the original video - the accusation depends on Ari opening for Carlos and Carlos being in the room at the time he performed. The fact that Ari can be specific to the point of remembering when Carlos laughed at the joke, a very telling detail for a comic, makes me inclined to believe what he says. However, I think if the video of Carlos performing it had came out in 2005, he would be had dead to rights. Now with so many others having told the joke independently, particularly with it being such a news event in 2006, it’s very easy to create doubt. There’s a lot of people who are convinced already - but an abundance of them I’d venture to say are Carlos haters already. The point is to convince those who are completely neutral. I don’t think it does. It creates the smoke that will lead people to look for fire. And judging from the large number of leads Ari provided me for material that may have been stolen, fire could be inevitable. Joke stealing is hard to prove, but still can be incredibly damaging. Carlos is right about one thing in the original video, it’s very easy to say someone steals shit. It’s the type of rumor that can destroy a young comedian’s career and haunt a successful one. I imagine I frustrate the hell out of people with my devil’s advocate ways, but I’d rather be more than fair than wrong. I might not be on the fence for long. The original video’s author, Redban, tells me he’s working on another video which will show Mencia up against multiple earlier comics. Part of that might be Mencia’s HBO HalfHour Comedy Hour, which is up on YouTube. That’s the video where George Lopez claimed to have found 13 minutes of stolen material from his own act. And it’s only a 28 minute video. If something’s been lifted, you wouldn’t have to throw a large rock to find it. Until then, I’m moving on to some positive stuff. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that if I dwell on this any more, I’m going to go crazy.

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Posted by Andrew Madrid on 02/21  at  12:50 AM

As a young comic, thats neither getting paid nor considered an up and comer the recent Mencia news does two things to me.

1. It scares the shit out of me, because with success and a ‘red scare’ mentality, the spot light burns bright and white hot (founded or unfounded).  As a comedian being heard for the first time almost everyday, it makes me really want to rethink what I trully believe is funny, and that we all know is death. You go with what you know, and if it works then it just works.

    My work is all over the internet, and like most comics trying to break in the business, spread about the desks (and trash bins!) of industry types everywhere. I often wonder while watching shows like ‘SNL, and MadTV’ if my work is being stolen. Of course we all understand the business of comedy, and topical writing but do we really understand the process of writing this kind of material?  Like a great many screen writers, sketch writers and stand-ups we can watch a finished product and tell right away at point the writer made a decision, either good or bad.  The formula for comedy while seemingly very grey in some respects does have some very black and white rules.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in building a porfolio it’s that sometimes there is no way around a joke without stepping on toes. 
    Now were getting into the semantics of ‘original’ material.  This is an area of which I believe no one will win.  We all agree that when Dave Chappell works the bit ‘Baby on the Corner’ it’s so intrestingly different that it can’t possibly be a stolen joke.  But when an issue like race (or ‘the Wall’) is being hounded, especially in an effected city like LA, where comics can’t help but bring it up, original material becomes a comics own spin on the joke.  I’m suprised this Ari-Mencia thing ever came up at all truthfully because as a comic we all understand when your dealing with such a broad topic there’s no way your joke isn’t going to have elements of the same thing.  ‘The Wall’ bit really has no other was of climbing it when you think about it.  I mean the easiest way out of that joke is exactly whats being said.  In the end if you don’t want your comedy to appear to have been trampled on, don’t go with easy ass topics like race.  Unless your willing to go the extra mile and truly work in something fresh like ‘Hey there’s a baby on the corner!’
In sumation original material, is really up to the audience to decide. With all that said, if your stealing jokes then your an insecure douche and you should be called out.

2. It pisses me off. 

  Have you all forgotten the guys like myself struggling with a family to fill the void of not performing every night?
  Truthfully aren’t Carlos Mencia and Joe Rogan to be celebrated? I realize it’s a competitive game, believe me I’m the guy on the bench just waiting for one of you guys to fuck off so I can come in.  At the risk of sounding like a huge pussy, aren’t we all fighting to get the same shit out? I mean if you don’t like the guys comedy then don’t go see him, and stop watching his show in CCentral.  I have.  It angers me when a comic gets away with easy laughs maybe more than anybody but it trully just makes me get off my ass and start working that much harder.
  I do have a question for some professional out there though, that this particular instance brings up for me once again: Do you watch a lot of other comics when your writing? I’ve taken both routes.  For a few years I didn’t watch anyone, not even films because I was serious about writing original content.  In those cases I would work really hard to create something I was proud of only to present it to someone and hear ‘oh ya Eddie Izzard was just saying that same thing’.  On the other hand for the past few years I’ve been a real student of the game, getting involved in every piece or work I can and feel I’ve become a better comic because it’s caused me to find my own niche.

In general how are other comics feeling about this?

Good luck to you all, and never forget the hip hop code: When you go up, you bring up your friends, and when they go up you shoot them.

Andrew Madrid
Acomic Bomb Improv

Posted by Scandal on 06/02  at  09:58 PM

Here is something I posted on the Carlos forums way back in October of ‘06 I joined his site as a fan, but after noticing some things about his material that seemed weird I searched the net & found the Joe Rogan site with info about Carlos stealing jokes.

I had been emailing someone at the website that replied and claimed to be Carlos himself… I never really believed it, but went along in the messages we exchanged.

I was giving him shit for the way he was being hypocritical on stuff he said on his show & specials - but every time the person responding had some lame excuse on how he wasn’t being a hypocrite.

I must have had 10 - 12 message exchanges with this person, but after one email in particular I never heard back from the person at the address.

I tried a few more times, in case the person was Carlos & he was busy… but after a week or two I sent a message & said I was posting it to the forums - as a public challenge to Carlos in front of his “fans” hoping this would get a reply on the topic.

All I wanted to know was how Carlos had managed to have two separate bits of material about two different people that happened to have the same name? It was just strange that the handicapped person Carlos claimed to have had met at the amusement park had the same name as a “cousin” Carlos talked about months before.

Then I said that I thought both people were actually made up, and if so, that means Carlos was capable of lying for his act, so I said this proved to me that Carlos was guilty of stealing jokes like people were saying he did/does.

So, I challenged him about the handicapped kid named Benji even being real, because the whole story sounds like total bullshit - as I described in the post.

I got many angry responses from his fans - but to this day Carlos hasn’t even left on sentence about my comments… not even a simple denial like he did with Joe & Ari.

There was some idiot trying to add a tagline to my comments - but even though it claimed to be Carlos, it still never answered my questions… just some lame attempt at being funny by asking “Benji” to make me stop & saying that the handicapped person & his cousin were the same person like I mentioned… but no response from the cowardly thief.

Here is a cut & paste version of my post. I see the forum website has been “hacked” (or so it says) - but I went to google and entered in the site’s URL and my screen name, then used the cached file feature to bring up the page as it was back in 2006.

If this helps anyone believe Joe & Ari, fine… if not, I don’t care. From what I got during the email exchanges & the searches I’ve done on the net (and my video library/tv) I know Carlos is a total thief, and a no-talent hack that never deserved the fame/fortune he got - not one bit!!

Here’s the message posted to’s forums:


Rating: 0
View Member Profile
post Oct 3 2006, 07:05 AM
Post #1


Group: Members
Posts: 5
Joined: 30-October 05
Member No.: 1,702


I began as a big fan of Carlos, but now I have seen him for the fake person who he really is. I have lost all respect for Carlos… and if you have a brain, you would to. I’ll explain.

Carlos is a lying phoney who uses the handicapped to get a big paycheck.

If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, then you need to look over his material previous to Mind of Mencia… and then watch his recent specials again.

If you pay attention, you’ll see that Carlos has made up the who “Benji” storyline. And since that is true… he has no right to be making fun of the handicapped!

Take a moment to think about the whole story of how Carlos allegedly met “Benji”.

Are we supposed to believe that Carlos actually was in line at an amusement park all by himself? Isn’t he married? If Carlos WAS there alone, that’s pretty creepy for a middle-aged male to be at an amusement park all by himself. If he wasn’t there by himself… what a dick he is for not hanging out with the people he came with.

Are we supposed to believe that the park’s attendant for that ride actually let Carlos kick a wheelchair-bound person in the chest? COME ON!!! They would have had security on his ass so quick for assaulting another person quicker than you can say “Rodney King”!! And to try and say that he used the “race card” as to why the attendant let him get away with it is just stupid. And there’s no way they would have let him get on the ride after that!

And EVEN IF it was ONLY something Carlos exagerrated for his act… he’s expecting alot if he thinks we should believe that after that ride he would go all over the park with his new friend. Are we to believe that “Benji” was at the park by himself? Where was the person who brought him to the park? And what about the people who Carlos came with? Did he just abandon them to get on rides quicker since he was with “Benji”?

That’s alot for us to have to believe so that the story can be POSSIBLE let alone actually happen.


Not to mention that I find it very interesting that this handicapped person has the same exact first name as someone else that Carlos told a story about in another comedy special that aired a couple years before Mind of Mencia.

SUPPOSEDLY, Carlos has a cousin named “Benji”.

I find it very hard to believe that Carlos has a cousin by that name AND that he met a person in an amusement park by that name.

Add all that to the fact that carlos allegedly stole the whole “DEE DEE DEE” schtick from another comic he shared a stage with in his early days… and it adds up to Carlos being a thief who will lie about anything just to make a dollar.

I gave Carlos a chance to address this issue of him being a liar & someone who stole another comic’s material. But, he didn’t address the issues, even after giving him ample time to reply.

I had emailed Carlos many times in the past, and received a reply. I feel certain that it was actually carlos responding, because of how the replies were worded. I actually had some respect for him for responding to his emails, rather than having an assistant do that task.

But when I addressed the issue of “Benji” being something he made up for his act, and whether he stole material from another comic… no reply at all. Not even an automated response email… NOTHING.

I emailed carlos 6 times over this issue… and NEVER did he respond to the two questions asked in my email.


This tells me that Carlos DID make “Benji” up… and that he “DID” steal the material!!!


Because of the fact that Carlos is both a LIAR and a THIEF who will exploit ANYONE to make himself money… I can’t support him anymore.

I have lost all respect for Carlos as a comedian & as a person. He is lower than dogshit and should be ashamed of himself.



Only THEN do you deserve to have people think about giving you respect & support.

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