If laughter is the best medicine, that would make the late Mitch Hedberg’s comedy a cure. His style will be hard to define, but best described as a moody single-line continuous line, “as if a friend had predicted it” – “laughing for days”.
“My belt keeps my pants up, but the belt straps lift my belt. I really don’t know what’s going on there. Who’s the real hero?”
Mitchell Lee Hedberg was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on February 24, 1968. Spending the next 6 years in and out of the hospital due to heart problems, Hedberg developed the habit of poor school attendance and never flourished into an ideal student. Barely had he finished high school, Hedberg packed paper bags with his belongings and headed to Florida. Starting his career as an outdoor comedian from a microphone at a local club in Boca Raton, he was bombed several times. Strong stage fear prevented Hedberg from looking directly at his audience, always performing with sunglasses, sometimes with his eyes closed, often allowing his long hair to cover his face. On rare occasions, he would perform with his back to the audience. Hedberg’s unusual way of speaking and unusual behavior only intensified the abrupt delivery of more careless material and helped create his persona on stage as a dissolute stoner. Philosopher of the absurd if you will.
“You know, it hurts me to follow my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and connect with them later.”
Success was slowly coming for the painfully shy comedian. After advancing his job in the late 80s, he toured the business, although, well accepted, he loved being on the road and used this time to perfect his craft, and overtime work began to gain popularity. His first national exhibition arrived in 1996 at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, which led to the first of ten appearances at the Late Show with David Letterman. A second visit to Montreal in 1998 led to a $ 500,000 deal with Fox that could never be resolved. The people of Fox were not faced with the difficult challenge of creating a suitable platform for Hedberg’s unique musical tunes. A frequent guest on Howard Stern’s morning show, his biography included several television and film roles. By 2000, Time magazine had declared the stand-up comic “the next Seinfeld.”
“I used to do drugs. I still take drugs. But I did it too.”
In February 1999, Hedberg married longtime friend Lynn Shawcroft. In many ways, the relationship was a true love story. They adored each other, and Lynn enjoyed the touring lifestyle as much as Hedberg. The couple became inseparable, creating their own world. The two became known for secrecy and increasingly bizarre behavior. Throughout his career surrounded by rumors of drug use, Hedberg, in addition to the references mentioned during his act, remained closely remembered for the possible problem. His problem is no secret after his arrest in 2003 for possession of a syringe, some heroin and a handful of Valium and Xanax. Shortly after his arrest, Hedberg underwent 13 hours of surgery to save his right leg from an infection that had been fertilizing for months. By 2005, he and Lynn were on tour again, on comics, working hard; his health began to decline.
The comic was found dead in his hotel room in Livingston, New Jersey, on March 29, 2005. His death was initially believed to be related to his heart condition was later confirmed as a drug overdose from a mixture of heroin and cocaine. Hedberg loved his life as a comic book, adored monster movies and, ironically, the existence of Kurt Cobain – Courtney Love with his wife Lynn.
“I was walking down the street the other day when he asked me if I wanted a frozen banana … I said ‘no,’ but then I thought I might want a plain banana later, so … yes.”
Hedberg, trying out the new material, passed on his jokes slowly and deliberately, line by line, as if waiting for approval from the audience before delivering the drilling line. He usually already had. Brilliant.