April 2, 2005 by

Mitch Hedberg

105 comments

Categories: Hollywood

mhedberg.jpgMitch Hedberg, a stand-up comedian TIME magazine once described as “the next Seinfeld,” died on March 30. Cause of death was not released. He was 37.
Born and raised in St. Paul, Minn., Hedberg was in his late teens when he decided to become a professional comedian. This was an odd career choice for someone who was painfully shy and experienced nightly battles with stage fright. But Hedberg overcame these conditions by performing with his eyes closed and mumbling his one-line non sequiturs. Since the early 1990s, he hid his fears behind a pair of dark sunglasses while performing in small clubs in South Florida, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Canada.
Hedberg favored a laid back style of comedy that found a loyal fan base on college campuses. The long-haired comic landed his first television appearance on the show “Comikaze” by walking into the MTV offices and performing his act for the talent coordinator. Appearances on A&E’s “Comedy on the Road,” Comedy Central’s “Comedy Product” and NBC’s “Comedy Showcase” soon followed, as did an invitation to perform at the prestigious Just for Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival.
Hedberg’s performance at the festival secured him a coveted spot on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” He became a favorite guest of the talk show host and appeared on the program nine more times. Hedberg also made guest appearances on “The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn,” “That ’70s Show,” “Ed” and Howard Stern’s radio program.
A publicly acknowledged habit of using drugs didn’t keep Hedberg from releasing two comedy albums, “Strategic Grill Locations” and “Mitch All Together,” and securing a development deal with FOX to create his own sitcom. In 1999, he wrote, produced and directed the independent film, “Las Enchiladas!” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In his spare time, Hedberg sold incense that smelled like freshly baked cinnamon rolls. He is survived by his wife, comedian Lynn Shawcroft.
Listen to a Tribute From NPR
Mitch All Together Download MP3s of Hedberg’s Comedy Routines

105 Responses to Mitch Hedberg

  1. Ryan

    Mitch was an incredible comic. His brilliant insights into the ways of the world will be sorely missed. I will always remeber the man who made me truly appreciate escalators, for they are never broken, only temporarily stairs. My condolences to his wife and his family.

  2. Ryan

    Mitch, you will be immortalized in our laughter and through the survival of your priceless comedy. Thank you for making us laugh until we wet ourselves. You will be missed.

  3. VoYdE

    darn, mitch was my faviorte, i loved his jokes, and the way he told them. Mitch We Will All Miss You dearly.
    Rest In Peace mitch
    thanks for the good times

  4. Ricky L

    Mitch was one of the finest comedians of this, or any, generation. His comedic flair is brilliant and untouchable. His passing is the world’s loss, but the laughs he gave us will live on forever.
    RIP Mitch

  5. Jaycatt

    Last night (4/4/05), I watched an old episode of Dr. Katz (taped by a friend a long time back). In it, there was a very funny fellow named Mitch Hedberg. My friend and I decided to look him up and see what else he’s done, and if he was touring. Imagine my surprise to discover that he died less than a week ago! I only wish I had heard about him sooner, I might have been able to see him live. For now, I’ll have to be content with the various shows and the album (well, the one I could find, anyway) he produced. I’ve been listening to it in the car and laughing my head off. Thanks, Mitch, for all the laughs.

  6. Erina

    Mitch was my favorite comedian. I did get to see him at The Warfield last year fortunately. The day he died my kids and I were quoting him and I said “God I love that man!”. The next day I heard that he died and just felt numb. My daughter cried when I told her on the phone.
    The only other celebrity death that actually effected me that way was Jeff Buckley.
    My thoughts go out to his family.
    -E

  7. Lauren

    It was a sad day when I heard about Mitch’s death. I read the article and I thought, this has to be wrong 🙁 I never got to see Mitch live but I spent the weekend watching Mitch’s DVD and laughing. The comedy world has lost a great, funny, human soul. He made me laugh like no other… he also made me want to taunt people with cinnamin roll insence. RIP Mitch, I hope you are making people laugh, where ever you are <3

  8. Elle

    It’s such a shock to hear that your gone. I cried yesterday and today too. It’s making me very sad. So I listened to your CD and watched the DvD and I laughed. You were a great comedian and always will be. Your comedy has helped me through some tough times and I thank you for that.
    Mitch, you take it easy up there. You won’t be forgotten.

  9. Brian

    mitch, i don’t know what to say. you would probably be wondering why i am talking to you. you’d probably say “hey…i can’t type back” lol. i can hear your voice when i think of your jokes and it makes me laugh. you had that something and always will through your work that you left behind. i really feel as though i lost someone close to me. rest in peace, buddy! see you when i get up there one day.

  10. gfunk

    When I heard the news I was never so sad. My dad called me and told me. He was like “are you in mourning?” and i was like “what for the pope?” and he said “no, mitch hedberg” i almost lost it. i was more sad for mitch than i was for the pope. im def going to hell. but for real, rip mitch, i loved you, and ill say a rosay for your fam. God bless and ps every time i trip out ill think of you fondly, i <3 you

  11. Dell Martens

    I discovered Mitch Hedberg on satellite radio and thought he was by far the funniest comedian I have ever heard – Unfortunately I also heard of his untimely death on satellite radio as well – They say all the good ones die young and Mitch was no exception – he will be missed – he seemed so down to earth – I feel cheated because I won’t be able to enjoy the material he would have produced in the future

  12. Robbir Robinson

    I first saw Mitch on comedy central and to my joy I was recording the program that day. I must have watched his 10 minute act a million times playing it over and over. Thanks for the happiness Mitch. I will miss you.

  13. mike J

    although the whirlwind around his death is not yet over. The fact that he was an amazing comedian and his hillarious spirit will live on..
    RIP Mitch we will all miss you greatly..
    truly a loss to al..

  14. teedge

    I just recently heard mitch’s comedy on XM radio… there are a lot of funny people on XM comedy, but none compard to mitch. he was among a select few that made me laugh out loud every time he was on and he was easily my favorite. as many others have said i was in disbelief when i heard of his death, first alluded to on XM then as in a “i think he just died” by my wife, and then finally after going to his site. i am truly saddened by this and, again, as many others have said feel cheated that I won’t be able to see his full potential and future work and also saddened that I will never be able to experience him in person. his comedy was genius yet so simple, broad enough for everyone to appreciate, yet at times i felt he was talking directly to me. few have a gift like he did. he is and forever will be greatly missed. many thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. RIP, Mitch. and thanks

  15. Raine

    Well. . . damn Mitch, we’re all going to miss you. Take care, and. . . no, they don’t give you recipts for donuts in heaven. We love you!

  16. Meg

    It was chance that I stumbled across the news of Mitch’s death on this very site. I gasped and prayed it was a mere fib. Sadly, tis true. Mitch was great, and I think the worst part about him passing was telling my b/f who went silent with disbelief. We’ve listened to you for years, Mitch, and will continue on. We won’t forget you for you were truely great. No one will ever touch your comedy and you will always have fans down here. You will be missed.

  17. Ragnar667

    In all the sadness of his passing, I can only think of what Mitch’s take on the house keeper finding him that fateful morning…
    …Hey manager, dead body clean up is not in the job description

  18. Jesse

    Even though you are not here with us, you are still making me laugh. Your comedy is your legacy. Thanks for the good times.

  19. Tim

    Aw, Mitch. There are so many of us that “got” you….and now our hearts are broken…may you rest in peace, my brother.
    T.

  20. Brad

    trully one of a kind, great comedian
    never knew him personally, but now that he has passed I feel as if I’ve lost someone close to me
    much love to his friends and family

  21. DEE MILLER

    Wished I could have seen you live, certainly wished I could have met you. You live on in all of us who have listened to your cd’s over and over, by the way how long can a CDB?

  22. anthony

    I was just getting into his stuff, I had seen him here and there but just recently had really started to check it out. He is one of the greats, had a truly unique point of view, yet we all related to it. Sorry to see you go Mitch. Peace be with you

  23. Elizabeth

    I saw Mitch live a few years back at a small comedy club in San Francisco called the Punchline. I cannot remember ever laughing that hard beforehand. He was genious.. his jokes were so obvious yet brillant. I actually just found out that he had passed away. I was hoping to find out where he was going to be in concert and instead I found out that he had passed. What a shame. Great guy!

  24. Andy

    I can’t believe this happened i just heard about him from my cousin last month and i went out and found his albulms, man he was the best comedian i missed the chance to go see him when he was in Minnesota.
    Mitch you will always be my favorite and i ill never forget the joy you brought me.

  25. bigbadglennbo

    Hell, I guess God needed a good laugh,….
    Mitch, please know that your humor will continue to give us a respite during this time of mourning. Your loss will be impossible to fill, and your voice impossible to forget. May you rest for eternity at the hands of God, making him laugh for ever and ever, and know we will never forget you, bro. Much love, Glenn

  26. zeratul

    I heard Strategic Grill Locations just today. I looked this guy up to see what else he had done and I found out that he died a little over a month ago. Mitch Hedberg is the greatest stand-up I have ever heard, and will continue to be the best of all time. Rest In Peace, Mitch

  27. Roy

    Damn, I had heard from a freind that this was true but I didn’t want to believe it. He was with out a doubt my favorite comedian and this is a loss to all. Here’s a shot of Absinth to you, Rest in Peace Bro.

  28. Betty Hall

    My husband and I discovered Mitch through our son,Dylan. We just finished watching his special tonight and still have a hard time believing it all. Befor4e his death we were looking forward to seeing him if he came to Cleveland. Our heartfelt prayers to his wife and family.
    The Hall Fam Amherst Ohio

  29. Brent

    A friend of mine gave me Mitch Hedberg’s CD I listened to it and I have to say I was extremely overwhelmed with laughter. Mitch is the best. My favorite “my apartment is infested with koala bears… its the cutest infestation ever. I just got this cd May 14 and I was looking to buy everyone he’s ever made when I discovered his death just months before. I just want to say I appreciate the laughs. I’ve woken up many days listening to you Mitch before going to work to get myself in a good mood, And to the family of Mitch; you had one hell of a family member.

  30. Mike

    Damn it…Mitch was fricken great. I saw his Comedy Central Special and thought he was great. Then my parents and friends and siblings became a fan too. I was devastated to hear he died, he was the one comedian i listened too and now i have to find another to follow.

  31. Eric

    One of the greats, gone too soon… here’s hoping that any and all video of him is to be released so that we can all ejoy the memories and laughter he gave to us. Don’t know what kind of guy he was in real life, but one of the funniest stand-ups I’ve ever heard – and I have heard a LOT of them.
    Peace in our time-
    Eric

  32. Shari

    I put Mitch’s site on my Favorites awhile ago. I went to it tonight because I had some spare time and wanted to catch up/get cheered up. I did get caught up but I am unbelievably saddened. I will have to be satisfied with the little bit of recorded stuff available to his fans and the memory of having seen him in person. Dang.

  33. Mitchell

    . . . Well, dang, you know I could say how I really enjoyed first enjoyed seeing Mitch on a Letterman episode. But I suppose it wouldn’t really matter. I guess it really wouldn’t really matter because, like, I never got to meet him and now I’ll have to wait a really LONG TIME before I get to meet him. Dang, you know, this sh*t is really messed up because, hey, I just bet you that this Mitch Hedberg cat was worth getting to know. I bet you that’s what I’ll find out… in a really long time… when I meet him. *(I’m waiting for someone to call me up on the phone and say, “Hey, this is Mitch Hedberg, April Fools!) but I still haven’t got that phonecall

  34. Mitchell

    Hey you all, this is me again. You know that Letterman episode I mentioned? It was in 1998 or 1999 (Not that it matters)…
    Mitch Hedberg had been working successfully for a good number of years. That’s a good thing. I say that was successful because we all got to see and hear his good material. You know? Corn bugs me too!
    –Sincerely, Mitchell T.
    P. S. I sure hope somebody still reads these things…

  35. Isaac

    I cant wait to go up and eat at mitch’s mcdonalds with the spagehtti and blankets
    Really miss you alot RIP Mitch P.S. Ill be sure to help prevent forest fires

  36. Linda

    I still can’t believe he’s gone. I turned so many of my friends on to him, and listen to his CDs constantly. He was a comic genius, a real person, and someone you just felt that you’ve known you’re whole life. My heart goes out to his family, and his jokes will live on forever – I know he always made my day!

  37. Matt

    God…….. My dad bought me a record of his, I listened to it, laughed my heart out and then he told me had died a few days ago,I listen to that every day. I hope he can get a job in Heaven naming kitchen appliances, Fresher………….. Miss you man.
    M

  38. Noah

    Ive heard mitch perform on tv on david letterman and comedy central before. but i recently was looking up comedians on Real Rhapsody download/player of all kinds of music and such. I listen to both of his cds and laughed all the way through. It was so funny i showed my whole family and my mom especially loved it. And just today I was out too lunch with a friend and I was saying “you gotta listen to this comedian i found he’s hilarious his name is mitch hedburg. And before i could say anything else my friend was like umm.. he died not too long ago.. and i was shocked. Just goes to show how he touched peoples lives within minutes.

  39. dave

    Mitch is a brilliant comedian and entertainer. I loved his style, zeal for life, and creativity to life’s situations. God bless Mitch and his family. Thanks for the laughs still.

  40. Mitchell

    . . . Hey you all, this is Mitch again, not Hedberg. I have a non humorous question. Does his family receive a percentage of his album sales? If so I think I’ll go and buy several of them. –Still waiting on that call…
    –Mitchell

  41. Vicky

    R.I.P Mitch… you always made me laugh, i still cant stop quoting that “i know crackle” hehe even in death you still make me laugh. miss ya lots

  42. steve t

    Mitch hedberg was amazing! A comic genius that only comes into people lives once in a while. Again we lose a true genius like mitch. His candle had a rather large flame. Unfortunately,
    The bright flame burned the candle too fast.
    He’s just about the funniest comic. On the same
    level as, Jim belushi, chris farley, steven wright, and george carlin. So many quotes!!
    Thanks mitch and god bless your soul. i hope your next life you and make people or some other life form in the cosmos laugh like you did for humans on earth! I hope you had your chance to were your beret! We’ll know you wanted to!

  43. richard

    man can’t believe mitch is gone. he was one of the most original comics of our time. he will be missed.damn still cant believe it.
    peace
    rich

  44. Harold Lester

    I quit listening to stand up some time ago because it just didn’t do it for me anymore. I could not find anyone to realy make me laugh,You know REALY LAUGH. A week after Huricane Katrina I was trying to get back to work and get life back in order and a friend from work had your CD!!!! That shit was Hilarious!!!!! You are a EXTREAMLY gifted Comedian. and you will be missed… Take it easy Mitch

  45. Clark Richmond

    Hey Mitch,
    It’s unfortunate you had to pass away. You were a brilliant comedan and a genious in your own right. I can honestly say that i have never laughed harder then when I heard your routines. Hey maybe in Heaven they will have “Chips, or Potatoe Salad…Ok.” We’ll all miss you Mitch, see you later, up top. Maybe I’ll take some escalators, who knows. Take care man.

  46. Dave Baker

    damn that sucks so bad…i just was looking him up to get more info on him because of all the comics on XM RADIO he was by far my favorite and now find out he’s gone? just one thing i must say about his stage presence…cooooool. You were the coolest Mitch. motleydebauchery

  47. ComedyJay

    Mitch Hedberg Benefit Show!!
    I got the news today that Acme Comedy Company & RCM Entertainment are producing a benefit show for Mitch Hedberg in Minneapolis, MN on April 9th 2006!!!! The line-up is going to be a great one as some of the best comics and those close to Mitch take the stage to keep the laughter alive. More info is to be released in the upcoming months. Keep your eyes and ears open!

  48. Micah Meez

    Mitch i love ur style. i only recently found out your name and the recognation you got wasn’t nearly that too which you deserved. I am from AK. and it’s a little harder to hear your stuff up here. I saw u on comedy central this summer. naver heard bout u dying till i found some clips you made. Very talented. and a great loss to the comedy world. I pray for your family and Hope you are in a better place.

  49. Jim

    I only recently discovered your work, Mitch, when a friend loaned me a CD. I was home over the holidays and played clips of “Strategic” and “Mitch All Together.”
    They had my sister, father, and mother all laughing in the car with me – if you knew my family – this is very rare.
    Thank you for the laughs – and save me a seat in the audience upstairs.

  50. Jimbob

    I am truly gutted, last night i played Mitch All Together for my cousin and watched his face, it ached after so much laughter. We have spent most of today quoting (badly) most of the jokes. And only now after looking for any new releases or maybe a tour of the UK i found news of his death on IMDB.com
    Gutted in the uk, Jimbo!

  51. Armen

    The first time I ever saw mitch was when i was on acid. he mentioned about it in a joke once ill never forget! DAMn THIS WORLD IS FUCKED UP! Hendrix along with Hedberg both died of an O.D makes me want to never drop again! I found out about his death about 5 min ago by randomly looking him up on the net while thinking about his jokes. Well it wasnt pleasant to hear that the one of a kind comedian was gone just like that. i just finished downloading his 5 min special from way back when he started out. you can really see how shy yet completly comfortable he was with those glasses. FUCK MAN WHY????????????????????????? FUCKIN DRUGS…. CANT LIVE WITH EM CANT LIVE WITHOUT EM RIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Sheila

    You were amazing. it’s sad to know your life was ended by drugs. that should be a message to any heavy drug users.
    RIP
    You were brilliant.

  53. PV

    living life is not only unfair at times…..but losing it can be cruel to all those who are left behind……he will be sorely missed

  54. Jessie

    I never saw mitch perform until a couple of days ago (on tv). I was laughing my ass off he was so funny, i had to go see him live where ever he was performing. To my disapointment i found out he had passed away last year of a drug overdose. I have already watched him on comedy centeral 7 times. A shame such a talent passed so young 🙁

  55. Keith

    Mitch you were the best man. You will be sorely missed but you will live on forever in your awesome comedy. The best ever!! You were definitly not like Pancakes, never got sick of you!!

  56. J. Bakehorn

    Ouch! What a painful loss of such an amazing talent. In an often ugly world full of pain, anger, and sadness, we need people like Mitch to remind us how great life can be sometimes. His death so early in his life is a profound tragedy.

  57. Dawn

    This man was fuckin amazing. ..I loved the Koala Bear Infestation. ..couldn’t stop laughing.
    When I first heard his work on XM radio, I felt like I fell in love with the man. His entire style and the way he spoke was incredible and it even gave me the butterfly feeling in my stomache. ..unfortunately I found later that month that he had passed away.
    It’s very dissapointing to lose someone with such charisma, but in no time soon will he be forgotten.

  58. jake

    Mitch was an amazing comedian. I only recently discovered his work and would definetly rank him better than some of the good comedians such as dane cook. Its sad to find out that his life ended from the abuse of cocaine and heroin. Hopefully this will be a message to drug users everywhere.
    “If you could understand morse code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy”

  59. Chris S Garcia

    Being able to make people laugh is such a great gift, and mitch did it better than anyone. You’ll be with us for a long time more mitch at our parties, In our drunken conversations, and antime i need a pick me up. You are my favorite comedian ever and well miss you brother.

  60. jason m

    I watched MITCH’s comedy special to day and went to work talking about him. To my surprise I found out of his untimely dead and was shocked. I just knew we finally had another great comedian on his way, he will be missed by many and god bless his family. His parents did a great job raising him but angels must get their wings sometimes. I’m just glad everyone got to see him before his time was called, thanks for the laughs.

  61. Alex

    Hey, me and my friends sit around and quote you all the time, one of my favorite ones is ” I had a ant farm growing up and those fuckers did not grow shit.” Man you are going to be missed in the comedy world. We will put you down as one of the best. I hope you are up there telling god ” Welcome to your eternity special.” Thank you for your laughs. If fish could talk you would not want to submerge your head in the ocean

  62. Shaun

    Mitch, you were the funniest, most laid back dude ever in the world of comedy. The world lost a true talent and a man with the ability to make any day seem better with just a few spoken words. Myself and my family know that you and Kinison are keeping God in stitches. See you when I get there. Until then, you are missed.

  63. Tony

    Mitch Hedberg was awesome.I saw him on Comedy Central many years ago, and I was going completely nuts. It’s crazy how someone could be so funny and so laid back at the same time. Now…I came across a webpage with his material on it and it said, RIP Mitch Hedberg….and I’ve been looking up info for the past two hours on it. Not to be cliche, but the world DID lose a great comedian. I regret I never got to see you live.

  64. Susan Anonson

    Thanks for the laffs bro…even now I still check ya out tho I am sure I have heard everything you’ve done, its still a laff.
    what a rip.
    you were a condtender buddy…ahh the if onlys

  65. joey

    it might be a little late but i just heard and its definitley now proven that “ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG” RIP i know that ill see you up there one day buddy your the greatest there will ever be

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