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No other comedian is currently more despised by the comedy community than Carlos Mencia. The performer has faced a number of criticisms over his two-decade career, including making jokes that were racially insensitive (and many others that just weren’t funny), “bumping” less popular comedians by showing up last minute to stand-up shows and performing hour-long sets, and most infamously, stealing jokes. The controversy reached a boiling point when comedian Joe Rogan confronted Mencia on stage at The Comedy Store in LA in 2007, accusing him of stealing jokes written by George Lopez, Ari Shaffir, and Bobby Lee (all of whom have publicly confirmed the rumors). The most cringeworthy example of Mencia’s alleged theft is a joke that bears a striking resemblance to a famous joke by Bill Cosby: Last May comedian Marc Maron interviewed Carlos Mencia on his podcast , WTF with Marc Maron (you have to listen to it — the Huffington Post compared it to the Frost-Nixon interview, and I agree).
In the 2007 documentary Heckler , Joe Rogan says that “the number one thing about hecklers is 100% of them are douchebags." A stand-up comedian's act depends on the audience reaction by nature, but when someone attempts to derail the performer's work, well, that's something a douchebag would do. Still, heckling creates exciting moments of discomfort for the audience, and hecklers have instigated some great moments in comedy ( Bryson Turner's comeback ) as well as some terrible moments ( Michael Richards incident ). Whether the outcome is funny, awkward, or awful, the eternal battle between heckler and stand-up is always fun to watch. Here are eight kinds of hecklers, and fifteen different ways of dealing with them.