One of the very first things I ever wrote on The Back Row was about my love of the humour of Mitch Hedberg. Known for his surreal, non-sequitur humour and stoner joke delivery, Hedberg was the master of the one-liner, and to this day is probably my most quoted comedian. Hedberg grew up in Minnesota, but began his career as a comic in Florida. After a honing his skills there, he moved to Seattle and began to tour, appearing on MTV’s Comikaze. In 1996 he appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, which proved to be a huge break for him, and he soon began to develop a cult following. This led to appearances in film and TV, including roles on That 70’s Show, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, and Home Movies. His film work consisted of roles in Almost Famous and Lords of Dogtown, as well as in Los Enchildas! – in which he wrote, directed, produced and starred.
Hedberg was a notorious drug user and often mentioned his habit in his comedy (“I love the FedEx guy because he’s a drug dealer and he don’t even know it. And he’s always on time.”, and in 2005 he was found dead of an overdose in a hotel room in New Jersey. In an interview with Penthouse published three years before his death, Hedberg was asked “If you could choose, how would you end your life?” His answer: “First, I’d want to get famous, and then I’d overdose. If I overdosed at this stage in my career, I would be lucky if it made the back pages.” Mitch Hedberg was 37 when he died.