Eight years after his death, Mitch Hedberg’s unique style of standup continues to haunt open-mic stages and playlists of millions, as well as our daily conversation. I commemorated his humor and haunting over on Splitsider.com today, thanks to Samantha Pitchel and Adam Frucci.
Here’s an excerpt:
I was at a bar in Seattle called Lynda’s with [Hedberg’s road manager, Greg] Chaille and several other comedians on the two-year anniversary of Mitch’s passing, and we all went around the table telling our favorite Mitch jokes.
“Last week I helped a friend stay put,” started one comedian. “It’s a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck.”
“I had my hair highlighted because I thought some strands were more important than others,” offered someone else.
“An escalator can never be broken, it can only become stairs,” added another. “Escalator temporarily stairs! Sorry for the convenience!” everyone finished in unison.
“I think Pringles’ original intention was to make tennis balls,” I chimed in, “but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid back company, so they just said ‘fuck it, cut ‘em up!’”
During the blackout in the desert, Chaille built a bonfire in the campground across the road from the Panamint Springs resort. We all soon reconvened there, clumsily finding our way through the dark desert where Mitch’s spirit still lingered. Shortly after his death, comedians from all over the country gathered in Los Angeles to honor Mitch’s memory. “If I didn’t get a chance to say hello,” friend and fellow comedian Doug Stanhope wrote on his website after the show, “it’s because it was hard to talk.”
Read the full story here.
This piece is an edited version of the introductory chapter from my book proposal for a biography of Mitch Hedberg entitled Different Ingredients: The Comedic Life of Mitch Hedberg. Thanks to Bill Minutaglio and David Patterson who were early readers and commenters on this material, and many thanks to Lynn Shawcroft, Greg Chaille, Doug Stanhope, Brendon Walsh, Emery Emery, Brett Erickson, Kerry Mitchell, and especially Mitch Hedberg. Rest in peace. You are missed.