Mitch Hedberg (1968-2005)

Unfortunately, there’s nary a soul nowadays that remembers Mitch Hedberg, one of the funniest and quirkiest stand-up comedians I ever encountered (online).

Being German, Mitch Hedberg was far beyond my (live performance) reach, but as soon as the Internet became usable within my stomping grounds (around 1994), Mitch Hedberg became a regular on my PC, in whichever format I could get hold of.

His deadpan and often wildly absurd skits as well as his endless barrage of non sequiturs was just up my alley. When he died because of cocaine and heroin abuse (his heart condition might possible have been a grander exit), it did hit me, simply because a relevant voice in my life had left the scene.

Once you knew his style, Mitch Hedberg could drive you crazy with anticipation, a truckload full of wordplay, his reduced material of one- and two-liners, his spot-on (often wonderfully dramatic) delivery and his totally odd stage presence (which often reminded me of Miles Davis who, much like Hedberg, liked to turn his back towards the audience to make everyone look at his spandexed rear end).

Many people have tried to emulate Mitch, but nobody ever came close, although a ton of comedians I have seen since have soaked up huge parts of Mitch Hedbergs style and delivery … by osmosis.

Mitch Hedberg hails from a past when stand-up comedy was changing dramatically, and he was one of the (best) instigators. One of a kind. Loved the guy, the style, the delivery and … the sharp perception most of his material was based on.

If you have no idea who Mitch Hedberg was, check out the myriad of online links that pop up as a result of some random Google search.

Here’s some Mitch Hedberg, although you really need to listen/view/experience it for full impact:

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You should never wave to someone you don’t know, because what if they don’t have a hand? You’ll just look cocky. “Look what I got, motherfucker! This thing is useful. I’m gonna go pick something up.”

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Two-in-one is a bullshit term because one is not big enough to hold two. That’s why two was created.

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I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you the money, and you give me the doughnut. End of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I just can’t imagine a scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend: “Don’t even act like I didn’t get that doughnut! I got the documentation right here. Oh, wait it’s at home. In the file. Under ‘D’.

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Wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy… all day.

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I hate dreaming. Because when you wanna sleep, you wanna sleep. Dreaming is work, you know? Like, there I am, laying in my comfortable bed in my hotel room. It’s beautiful. Next thing you know, I have to build a go-kart with my ex landlord.

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I saw this wino, he was eating grapes. It’s like, “Dude, you have to wait.”

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I like when they say that a movie was “inspired by a true story” because that’s weird. It means the movie is not true, it was just inspired by a true story. “Hey Mitch, did you hear that story about that lady who drove her children into the river and they all drown?” “Yes I did. And that inspired me to write a movie about a gorilla.”

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I used to lie in my twin bed and wonder where my brother was.

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I like escalators, because an escalator can never break; it can only become stairs. There would never be an “Escalator Temporarily Out of Order” sign. Only an “Escalator Temporarily Stairs… Sorry for the Convenience.

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I bought a $7 pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.

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You should never tell people they have a nice dimple… because maybe they were shot in the face … with a BB gun.

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I got a vest. If I had my arms cut off, it would be a jacket.

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I like rice. Rice is great if you want to eat 2,000 of something.

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I wrote my friend a letter using a highlighting pen, but he could not read it. He thought I was trying to show him certain parts of a piece of paper.

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I walked by a dry cleaner at 3am, the sign said “Sorry we’re closed.” You don’t have to be sorry; it’s 3am and you’re a dry cleaner. It would be ridiculous for me to expect you to be open. I’m not gonna walk in at 10am and say “Hey, I walked by at 3, you guys were closed. Somebody owes me an apology.”

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I like to take a toothpick and throw it in the forest and say “You’re home!

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I was downtown in some town and they had store, store, store, and then there was an open area, then they had more stores. It said in the open area “Coming soon: The Gap” I’m like “Fuck, man. It’s coming soon and it’s already here.”

 

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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