Mitch Hedberg is timeless, but still came (and went) too soon. The brilliant one-liner comic passed away suddenly in 2005, before social media was fully established as a part of daily life. With his short, absurd observations and keen eye for everyday ridiculousness, Hedberg would’ve been perfect for Twitter. Fortunately he left behind three amazing albums and a raft of TV appearances, including nine slots on The Late Show with David Letterman. None of those Letterman appearances are officially available online, but fortunately Comedy Central, Just For Laughs and Conan O’Brien have uploaded a half-dozen Hedberg sets onto YouTube; here’s every one of ‘em.
In this clip from his 1999 half-hour Comedy Central special, Hedberg addresses the turkey’s confidence crisis, the downside of black lights, and how the cockiness of Pizza Hut makes him want to open his own pizza place.
Hedberg performed twice on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; the second of those two sets, this clip originally aired on NBC just six months before Hedberg’s death. He points out the unexpected frustrations of three-way light bulbs, asks an important question about the hippopotamus, and discusses forgetting everything he knew about slipcovers.
Hedberg made multiple appearances at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. In this clip from 1998 talks about yogurt that tries to inspire him, his Letterman appearances, and why he likes to play blackjack. Also this is one of the rare times you’ll see him on stage without sunglasses on.
Hedberg returned to Just For Laughs in 2001, and he kicked off his set by talking about how the festival didn’t invite him back for two years. More observations: why the letter B should be considered unlucky, the problems with above-ground pools, and the buoyancy of citrus.
In his final Just For Laughs apperance, Hedberg talks about alternatives to teeth whitening, what makes rice so great, and the best thing about the Canadian / U.S. border.
Finally, in this Comedy Central clip Hedberg reveals why acid is his favorite joke, and how one pivotal trip put him in touch with a bear. Also, frogs are cool. This whole bit is one of Hedberg’s best and most popular jokes.