Mitch Hedberg Remembered by Modern Comedian, a New Documentary Web Series

If ever there was a gold­en era to enjoy com­e­dy, it’s now, a moment when come­di­ans and those who love their work have hearti­ly exploit­ed near­ly every form of media new­ly gen­er­at­ed by the inter­net. At times I won­der if the medi­um of pod­cast­ing does­n’t owe its very exis­tence to those fun­ny men and women — the ear­li­est high-pro­file exam­ple being Ricky Ger­vais, col­lec­tive­ly with his writ­ing part­ner Stephen Mer­chant and oracle/object of ridicule Karl Pilk­ing­ton  — who imme­di­ate­ly under­stood its poten­tial. Some come­di­ans pod­cast so well that you’d almost believe they had just been wait­ing for the tech­nol­o­gy to arrive. Alas, it arrived in the mid-2000s, too late for Mitch Hed­berg to make use of it. Though we’ll nev­er know how or if Hed­berg, who died in 2005, would have pod­cast, we can at least still call up his comedic spir­it at a momen­t’s notice through the mir­a­cle of inter­net video.

Though Hed­berg has gone, his fans’ inter­est in his uncon­ven­tion­al per­sona, sen­si­bil­i­ty, and deliv­ery haven’t. A new doc­u­men­tary web series called Mod­ern Come­di­an has even put out a whole episode ded­i­cat­ed to him, based upon an inter­view with his wid­ow Lynn Shaw­croft. She describes Hed­berg as “a huge pro­po­nent of day­dream­ing,” which seems only to begin to describe his way of life and work. If you missed out on Hed­berg dur­ing his life, don’t miss out on him dur­ing this wave of posthu­mous pop­u­lar­i­ty. Just above, you’ll find embed­ded a five-minute stand-up set that should give you a glimpse of the dis­tinc­tive angles from which Hed­berg viewed exis­tence. And the next time a whole bunch of inter­net com­e­dy enthu­si­asts insist that you sim­ply must check out a strange young ris­ing tal­ent, cer­tain­ly don’t make the same mis­take I did eight years ago and tell your­self you can always catch him lat­er.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

“Learn Eng­lish With Ricky Ger­vais,” A New Pod­cast Debuts (NSFW)

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.


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