“Do you believe in Gosh?” – Mitch Hedberg tribute
September 9, 2008 3 Comments
“I’m sick of following my dreams. I’ll just ask where they’re going, and hook up with them later!”
On March 30, 2005, comedy lost one of its brightest talents. Mitch Hedberg, though still mostly unknown to the general public, was slowly amassing a devoted following and an impressive resume complete with appearances in feature films and on Letterman (10 in all) along with nationwide stand-up tours. His style was like the polar opposite of many of today’s comics; rather than holding the audience hostage with indignant screeching, he’d drawl his quiet one liners like some laid back dude inviting you to have a beer – and after 3 or 4 you’d be nodding and laughing with him like he was your oldest friend. His comedy is unique, sure, but it’s comedy for every day.
“I know how hard it is to stop smoking. It’s as hard as it is to start flossing.”
I discovered Mitch in college thanks to some savvy friends and for the next few years hardly a day went by where I didn’t find myself quoting him. I’m thankful that I was able to see him in person before he passed away, when he did a show at the University of Rhode Island in 2004. Perhaps it’s a cliche to say that Mitch changed my life, but I think it’s not far from the truth when you can’t ever look at Christmas stockings, corn (off the cob), jellybeans, smoke detectors, fire exits, race cars, donuts, etc the same way again.
Recently a friend and I took care of the bill for a large group at a restaurant and we both ended up with hundreds of dollars in cash in our pockets. She said, “man, I have so much cash, it’s dangerous!” I immediately said, “don’t go buy a snake bite emergency repair kit!” She’s actually a Mitch fan as well, but she didn’t catch the reference, to my disappointment.
“Dufresne.. party of 2. Dufresne… party of 2. And if no one answers they’ll say their name again. “Dufresne, party of two, Dufresne, party of two.” But then if no one answers they’ll just go right on to the next name. “Busch, party of three.” Yeah, but what happened to the Dufresnes? No one seems to give a shit. Who can eat at a time like this – people are missing. You fuckers are selfish… the Dufresnes are in someone’s trunk right now, with duct tape over their mouths. And they’re hungry! That’s a double whammy. We need help. Busch, search party of three! You can eat when you find the Dufresnes.”
Now, three and a half years after Mitch Hedberg’s untimely passing, they are releasing one last album, “Do You Believe in Gosh?”, which he had been recording just prior to his death. Today is the official release date, and you can buy the album on Comedy Central’s website, which also has information on a nation wide tribute happening today at six comedy venues. For those who’d like to hear some of his material before shelling out for a record that I can say nothing about (since I haven’t heard it yet), there are some decent videos here, here, and here.
“I was going to stay overnight at a friend’s house, he said ‘you’re gonna have to sleep on the floor.’ … Damn gravity! Got me again! You don’t know how bad I wanna sleep on the wall.”
I hope more people come to appreciate his humor and human insight. Mitch, rest in peace and laughter, for you’ve given both to your fans.