Mitch Hedberg was born Mitchell Hedberg on February 24, 1968 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His parents, Arne and Mary, were Swedish immigrants to the United States. He graduated from Harding High School of St. Paul in 1986.
After graduating, Mitch moved to Florida, where he planned to start his career as a stand-up comedian. His first gigs were open mic nights at clubs in Miami and were well received by the audience. In 1991, he moved to Seattle, Washington, where he continued going to nightclubs and developing his comedic style.
Despite being a comedian, Mitch had a major problem with stage fright. His manner on stage was very reserved and often led him to look away from the audience while performing. Sometimes it was so bad that he simply closed his eyes while performing or spent the whole show with his back to the audience. After a while, he also developed his trademark of wearing sunglasses on stage.
In 1998, Hedberg was featured on "That 70s Show" in the eleventh episode of the first season as the character Frank. That same year, he was in an episode of Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" performing his stand-up routine. In 1999, he was featured in episodes 604 and 609 of "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist". That year, he was also featured in an episode of "Comedy Central Presents". Other career highlights include several performances at the "Just for Laughs" comedy festival in Montreal and ten appearances on "The Tonight Show with David Letterman".
Mitch also made a website for himself at mitchhedberg.net. On the website, he kept a blog about his shows around the United States and updated tour dates. He also has an interesting section called "Do Not Disturb", in which he declares his love for hotels and describes his favorite hotels. You can also purchase his released comedy routine CDs there, including "All Together" and "Strategic Grill Locations".
On March 29, 2005, Mitch was found dead in his hotel room in Livingston, New Jersey. He was only 37 years old at the time and an autopsy cited "multiple drug toxicity" as his cause of death. His death was first announced on the Howard Stern Show, followed by an obituary in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.
Some of Mitch's Jokes:
"I went to the airport, I put my bag in the x-ray machine, I found out my bag has cancer. It only has six more months to hold stuff."
"I ate one anchovy, and that is why I did not eat two anchovies."
"Imagine if you were a drummer, and you accidentally picked up two magic wands instead of sticks. There you are, keeping the beat, the next thing you know, your bass player turns into a can of soup."
"I drank some boiling water because I wanted to whistle."
"I have some speakers up here, thank God, because last night I didn't have them and I was telling jokes and I had no idea which joke I was telling. So I told jokes twice. I even told that one twice."
"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
"I was in a casino, minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, 'You're gonna have to move. You're blocking a fire exit.' As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. Unless you're a table."
"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.'"
"I was at a concert in LA, and the band was having an off night, and some people in the audience started throwing tomatoes at the band. Now who would throw tomatoes at the band? That's bad. But who would bring a tomato to a show? That's worse. Don't throw tomatoes at the band. What if they really like tomatoes? They'll think you're enjoying the show. "You guys are great - here's a tomato!" The tomato is the universal sign for not enjoying a performance. Plus I like it on sandwiches! I had the guy at Subway put tomatoes on my sandwich because I didn't like the way he was making it. I don't know what that meant there. That was ad-libbed."
"I like Kinko's, because they're open 24 hours. If it's 5 am and I decide I need two of something, I'm covered! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, and then I think, "Oh, yeah. Kinko's. No problem. That will not remain singular."
"You know you can't please all the people all the time, and last night, all of those people were at my show."