Blog Battle: Joe Rogan vs. Carlos Mencia
So if you haven't been following along, comedian, actor, Fear Factor host and UFC color man Joe Rogan is in the middle of a dustup with comedian & TV show host Carlos Mencia.
(In a sign of the times, the entries on Wikipedia -- the online encyclopedia site where anyone can add or edit content -- for both Mencia and Rogan have been locked down, to prevent vandalism by partisans of either side.)
Now, Mr. Rogan is apparently something of a crusader when it comes to joke theft, and has been feuding with Mr. Mencia. (Radar magazine has a pretty good article explaining why joke stealing is important to comedians, as well as past and current accusations)
Things went up a notch on February 10th, when Rogan introduced a comic who works for Mencia; during the introduction, he referred to Mencia as "Menstealia."
Mencia was in the audience. He didn't like that.
You can see Rogan's side of it, as well as video from their verbal confrontation, on Rogan's blog.
After that, there was a flurry of activity, including:
- Mencia dropping a DMCA copyright infringement claim on Rogan, for posting the video (link via Digg)
- Rogan getting banned from the Comedy Store
- Rogan getting dropped by his agent (who also represents Mencia)
- On a radio call-in interview [mp3 file], Mencia saying about Rogan, "I personally think the guy is gay, he doesn't want to come out of the closet, and he loves me."
Now, personally, I don't have a dog in this hunt. I've never seen Rogan's standup (liked him okay on NewsRadio, think he's annoying on UFC); I've watched Mind of Mencia once or twice and don't care for most of his stuff.
However, I can compare their Web sites, and how they use social media (like blogs, boards and profiles):
Web Sites:I think Rogan is definitely more prolific and has a bigger presence in the online world (he also has a reality show/videoblog/podcast something-or-other), though this isn't necessarily a good thing, since it exposes other sides of you.
CarlosMencia.com vs. JoeRogan.net
Both sites are professionally designed and fairly robust, with the standard sections you would expect from a comedian's site: tour dates, bios, etc.
Rogan's site has an annoying splash page, plus a Flash header that uses sound effects and has embedded music that doesn't stay turned off when you move around the site.
However, digging a little deeper, the Mencia forums are dead, while the Rogan forums are hopping. Also, Mencia's site doesn't even acknowledge the controversy (until you get into the forums) -- it seems unlikely that he's trying to take the high road (did you listen to the radio clip above?), so why the silence -- isn't any publicity good publicity?
No contest here. Rogan's blog is pretty much the main page of his site (once you get past the annoying splash page), and you get the feeling that it's really him at the keyboard, swearing. Posting frequency had been about monthly, though he's increased his posting due to recent events.
He doesn't take comments, though he acknowledges people who have mailed him.
Mencia, on the other hand, doesn't even appear to have a blog. In fact, when you search on Carlos Mencia blog, the second result is... Joe Rogan's blog:
CarlosMencia vs. erm, TalkingMonkey
This one is tough for me to judge, since I have an equally low opinion of most MySpace pages.
Numerically, Mencia has a clear advantage, with 279,448 friends and 73,610 comments (dominating Rogan's 159,638 friends and 35,665 comments), but once you get past a certain point, I don't think the numbers of friends and comments really means much.
Rogan's MySpace blog content is the same as on his JoeRogan.net site.
Winner: Mencia (split decision)
Overall Winner: Rogan
For example, in reading one of the discussion threads about him, we see that Rogan is a Moon landing skeptic.
That's right, Rogan doesn't believe men landed on the Moon.
I realize that it's attacking the man, and it doesn't have anything to do with stealing jokes, but come on: He thinks the moon landings were faked.
Phil Plait, of the great Bad Astronomy [clean link] Web site, blogged about debating Rogan about this [clean link] on Penn Jillette's radio show [also clean -- it's terrestrial radio, after all] -- you can listen to the broadcast here [mp3 file].
So, overall, I don't particularly care who's stealing jokes from whom, though I do think that Joe Rogan is making pretty good use of blogs and the social media space.
How about you -- whose side are you on, Joe Rogan's or Carlos Mencia's?