Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Mencia’
Josh, first of all I agree that there is a wide spectrum between unoriginality and theft; perhaps I was a little too Manichean in my wording.
With that said, though, I think intent is often hard, if not impossible to determine. Take the Mencia/Lopez examples. The jokes in question are pretty standard “Mexican-culture-is-funny” jokes. I think Josh will agree that neither of them “owns” or has propriety over this genre of jokes.
Within this genre there are obviously a wide variety of jokes, but they often overlap to a very large extent, without any obvious malice or dishonesty. When jokes are obvious or unoriginal, they often sound the same without any ill intent. Take, for example, this video:
For those of you not yet aware, Judd Apatow has a new movie, Funny People, about comedians in Los Angeles coming out in a few weeks. As part of the promotional material for the movie, the fictional projects of the fictional comedians in the film have become, well, slightly less fictional. Clips from nonexistent movies starring Adam Sandler’s character “George Simmons” (who seems to be a fictional version of Sandler himself) are available on YouTube, NBC.com has clips of a fake show called “Yo Teach!”, and Aziz Ansari has been doing stand up as his character, “Randy”.
Now, all of these projects are essentially parodies: The fictional films seem a lot like send-ups of actual lowbrow comedies, the fictional show lampoons “Welcome Back, Kotter”-style shows (“Do you guys know who the greatest rapper of all-time is? William Shakespeare!”), and “Randy” seems to be a parody of Dane Cook: