Friday 24 April 2009

You Should Really Be Into: Mitch Hedberg

It may come as no surprise to you to learn that I'm a fan of quite a few different stand-up comedians. There are several reasons for this, as you'll generally find that someone who's into the performance side of stand-up comedy has quite a varied palate. That, and it saves inadvertently ripping off someone's routine, and can obviously save you making any effort whatsoever if you find that another comedian has done a routine that's better than most of your shit combined. Incidentally, I blame my recent lack of productivity on one man: Mitch Hedberg.

Mitch Hedberg's stand-up career spanned just 16 years and 3 studio albums. However, he became one of the most successful American comedians on late night US TV, appearing on The Late Show With David Letterman no fewer than ten times. Not a bad career, considering that his rise to stardom was hampered by a premature death from drugs, as well as stage fright. Let me just go back into that sentence and pull out something I feel is key. Mitch Hedberg performed for sixteen years despite stage fright. Is that something you could say equally of Sam Kinison or Bill Hicks? I very much think not!

In all seriousness, as a stand-up comedian, occasionally I get a really good idea for a one-line joke and feel pretty proud of myself. Mitch Hedberg should have been a complete prick by that logic, but everything you will ever see of him will make you think he's the kind of guy you'd have liked to hug. If you don't believe me, look for yourself...

The problem I face as a stand-up comedian is that with somebody like Mitch Hedberg, there is no subject he considered too bizarre to do a one-liner on. I leave you with a photo sent to me by my E14 colleague Brad, which encompasses one of Hedberg's most irreverent and yet most hilarious observations:

"An escalator can never break; it can only become stairs. You would never see an 'Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order' sign, just 'Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.'"

Buy Mitch Hedberg CDs in the Emotionally 14 Store

1 comment:

  1. Or perhaps 'Elevator currently sealed metal tomb - please take care'.