Ithaca Blog

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mitch Hedberg

We miss Mitch Hedberg, a great comedian who died of a drug overdose in 2005 at age 37. He had achieved a modicum of success and recognition, but not as much as he should have.

Next week a posthumous album of his work, "Do You Believe in Gosh?", will be released.

Hedberg had a stoner persona and a self-deprecating presence on stage. His comedy was observational, but with a surreal twist, which made his humor a little harder to grasp, often, than others such as Jerry Seinfeld. But Hedberg's demeanor itself was funny, and it was entertaining just to listen to his distinctive voice and cadences.

Hedberg had an affinity for language reminiscent of George Carlin's, and in many ways seemed a successor to Carlin. He did not share Carlin's proclivity for social commentary, but he avoided the invective which soured Carlin's later work for many fans.

We remember a bit Hedberg did about club sandwiches, and liking club sandwiches, and always ordering and getting club sandwiches, even though he did not belong to the club, and did not know what its "stipulations" were. He decided it must have been people who like three slices of bread with their sandwich, and like it cut twice. "How do you feel about... frilly toothpicks?", he imagines as a discussion.

You can see Mitch Hedberg on various Youtube postings.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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