Mitch Hedberg

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

21 Responses

  1. Ricardo
    Ricardo at |

    I love the bit about the lady throwing the glass at him at Comedy Works – “I think she was just drunk,” ha – and then the strange bit about the politics there? Hm. Thanks for posting, Adam.

  2. John
    John at |

    Wow, what a gracious interview by Mr. Hedberg.

  3. sbeaupre
    sbeaupre at |

    Thanks for posting – nice to hear his voice. He seems so generous and upbeat. “I didn’t get into comedy to make Aaron Neville mad.”

  4. Mitch Fan
    Mitch Fan at |

    Thank you so much for posting this, Adam.

    RIP, Mitch – you were fucking GREAT.

  5. Suzie
    Suzie at |

    What a sweet interview. Good to hear him so happy and relaxed. Made me smile, again.

  6. Mike
    Mike at |

    Truly touched and intrigued every time i hear mitch’s voice and laughter. great guy. its ashame but it is what it is. rip brada keep on keepin on

  7. Sebastian Johansson
    Sebastian Johansson at |

    Nice interview, I really enjoyed it :) Such a funny guy, I miss him

  8. Jonathan
    Jonathan at |

    Wow, great conversation. God, he is missed. He was a wonderful dude.

  9. Nick
    Nick at |

    You know that’s the point of recordings. You just make them and one day they could give people so much happiness. If you’re a Mitch Hedberg fan you’ve heard everything by now, unless, there is more! Mitch Hedberg gold. Thanks dude.

  10. Sadie
    Sadie at |

    Hi Adam,
    This was an awesome interview!!

  11. Aaron
    Aaron at |

    thank you for posting this adam. this helped me to get a more candid sense of who mitch was. Thank you, and keep doing what you’re doing.

  12. scott
    scott at |

    dude, that was awesome. always makes me and my wife smile and laugh when he speaks. thanks again brother. i hope your comedic endeavors have come to glory pal.

  13. Donn
    Donn at |

    Forever etched in time Adam. Mitch is like someone you knew growing up with, the everyday Joe who just happened to to be hysterically funny as he observed….life! Thank you.

  14. Eric
    Eric at |

    Mitch was funny as hell and his comedy will live in all of us…..everytime we eat sandwiches with sesame seeds. We love you Mitch and you are greatly missed.

  15. Krystal St. Pierre
    Krystal St. Pierre at |

    I used to go to Wits End (In Denver) all the time, and I remember this guy before he made his big break. I liked him… but yes, he was a shy dude and talked really fast in those days. Almost didn’t seem like he wanted to be there! But I remember thinking that he had potential. I’m glad he made it big. Just sad that it was a short reign.

    I’ve also seem the veterinarian comedian up there a few times. That guy is hilarious! Thanks for adding this… brings back a lot of great memories.

  16. Kimberly
    Kimberly at |

    I’m a college instructor and have shared some quotes/jokes from this most interesting man with my students; I teach public speaking and my classes are for the most part 18—19 year olds that have never heard of Mitch. I enlighten them—-which is a most extraordinary privilege for me. And, most importantly—they love him. As do I.

  17. John Augustine
    John Augustine at |

    I just “met” Mitch today on comedy central. What a major star! I have never been so happy and so sad at the same time. I finally understand that Dickens quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. I can’t believe I finally found him — only to discover he is gone.

  18. Matt
    Matt at |

    I “discovered” Mitch a week ago on you tube and was absolutley blown away by his comedy. I can’t get enough of him. I have never posted anything about anyone or anything, but felt that Mitch was deserving. I have a very limited knowledge of who the “real Mitch is but something tells me he’s the kinda dude I could hang with and have a great time with. Sorry you’re gone brother and may your spirit remain. I suppose the fact I’m writing this 7 years after you passed confirms that it does in fact remain….Peace…

  19. Michael Hendrickson
    Michael Hendrickson at |

    I attempted to become a comedian in 2004. I went to school in Santa Monica for it and got to perform at the comedy store in Hollywood. It was such a rush on stage when everyone was laughing at the show. Best feeling I ever had. I’ve never tried heroin, but that is how I image it would feel. Then the second show where no one laughed. Worse feeling ever. That is how I imagine coming off of heroin feels like. RIP Mitch, I listen to you when I get dumped by a chick or some really other bad thing. Only thing that can make me feel good when I am blue. I hope the good energy that is generated by your past work keeps your spirit alive or has helped in your reincarnation.

  20. Michael Hendrickson
    Michael Hendrickson at |

    I have borrowed your vocal rythm when telling jokes at the bar. I know that if you are up there hearing them, you would say “No, it’s ok, he’s cool. I would have tried that joke too”.

    i.e.
    The label on the back of the bottle of sleeping pills says ‘may cause drowsiness’.
    - I think the label should say “Sometimes these pills, do not work”.

  21. Michael Hendrickson
    Michael Hendrickson at |

    I put my headphones on backwards today because I wanted to hear what it sounded like if I got tickets on the other side of the stage.

Leave a Reply