Mitch Hedberg

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Mitchell Lee Hedberg was an American stand-up comedian known for his surreal humor and unconventional comedic delivery. Hedberg's stand-up comedy was distinguished by the unique manner of speech (he rarely used contractions) that he adopted later in his career, his abrupt delivery, and his unusual stage presence. His material depended heavily upon word play, non-sequiturs, paraprosdokians and object observations. His act usually consisted equally of compact one- or two-liners resembling those of Steven Wright, in addition to longer routines, often with each line as a punchline. Many of his jokes stemmed from his everyday thoughts or situations. Because he suffered from stage fright, Hedberg often performed wearing sunglasses, with his head down, with his hair in his face or with his eyes closed in order to avoid eye contact with the audience. He would often stand upstage or perform with his back to the audience. He would also constantly move in one spot and, when holding the microphone in some skits, his nervousness would cause him to shake it uncontrollably. Hedberg's comedy and on-stage persona gained him a cult following, with audience members sometimes shouting out the punchlines to his jokes before he could finish them. Hedberg was known to be a drug user, referring to it in some of his jokes ("I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too"). Hedberg was arrested in Austin, Texas, in May 2003 for possession of heroin. On March 30, 2005, Hedberg was found dead in a hotel room in Livingston, NJ. Hedberg was born with a heart defect for which he received extensive treatment as a child. It was initially speculated that this condition may have played a part in his death. The New Jersey medical examiner's office reported "multiple drug toxicity", in the form of a cocaine and heroin "speedball", as the official cause of death. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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