Hedberg's stand-up comedy was distinguished by the unique manner of speech 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 were inspired from 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 during some bits, his nervousness would cause him to shake it uncontrollably.
Hedberg occasionally added disclaimers to the end of a joke to let the audience know that he shared their judgment of it, most notably acknowledging when jokes were poorly delivered or received with a resigned "all right." He also toyed with audiences that failed to respond in the way he had intended them to, occasionally quipping, "That joke's better than you acted." During recordings for CDs, he would often say that he would find a way to edit a failed gag to make it seem well received, for example by "adding laughter" to a failed joke containing arithmetic. Following such a failure on Strategic Grill Locations, Hedberg suggested, "All right ... that joke is going to be good because I'm going to take all the words out and add new words. That joke will be fixed."
Comedy Central Records announced the release of the first album of new Mitch Hedberg material on June 10, 2008. The album titled Do You Believe in Gosh? was released September 9, 2008 and contains material recorded at The Improv in Ontario, California in January 2005. Hedberg's wife Lynn wrote the introduction, in which she stated that the performance was in preparation for an end of the year CD recording.
Read more about this topic: Mitch Hedberg
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“I shall christen this style the Mandarin, since it is beloved by literary pundits, by those who would make the written word as unlike as possible to the spoken one. It is the style of all those writers whose tendency is to make their language convey more than they mean or more than they feel, it is the style of most artists and all humbugs.”
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