Back when I worked at the local alt-weekly in Denver I had the opportunity to interview Mitch Hedberg. I started doing stand-up right around the time I started writing for the paper, so naturally I tried to interview all the great stand-up comics making their way through town – see if I could pick their brains a little bit about the craft. But Mitch was the one I flipped for. I had first learned of him a year prior to the interview, when I saw him open for Dave Attell and Lewis Black at the Fillmore, and I became an immediate fan. I bought “Strategic Grilling Locations” that same night, listened to it compulsively, then I bought “Mitch All Togeter” and pretty much burned a hole in that album too. And now he was coming back again, this time headlining the Fillmore himself, and I got to interview him! I was beyond psyched. I was so pumped for the telephone interview that I reserved the forty-person conference room all to myself. I didn’t want to sit at my desk in a bullpen full of other desks, distracted by the sounds of telephones and other reporters doing their phone interviews or clacking away on keyboards. I just wanted to talk to Mitch Hedberg. Alone.
“I’m going to interview Mitch Hedberg in a half hour!” I remember I fan-boy gushed to my managing editor that day.
“Who the fuck is Mitch Hedberg?” his reply.
Unfortunately, five months after the interview pretty much everyone would know who Mitch Hedberg was, comedy and non-comedy fans alike, as his death made national headlines. Tragic comic dies too soon. It was a story people had heard many times before and unfortunately, it was one that was now forever associated with Mitch. That was seven-years ago this week. So I figured as I still had the tape of that interview with Mitch just gathering dust in my closet, I might as well share it with whoever cares to listen. It’s not the most ground-breaking interview of all time, particularly in this era of comedy podcasts, but we had a great conversation and Mitch was just very forthcoming and sweet. Early on in the interview I tell Mitch that “I’m a comic too,” which is just so goddamn hilarious as I had been doing it only six months at that point, but Mitch didn’t give me any shit about that or point out the vast, vast discrepancy between someone of his stature and a first year open-micer, he was just cool with me. Eight years into the game I appreciate that now more than ever.
So check out the interview below. It’s about twenty minutes long. I hope you enjoy listening to me interview Mitch Hedberg as much as I enjoyed talking with him.
Adam Cayton-Holland interviews Mitch Hedberg by Adam Cayton-Holland