Mitch Hedberg’s Comedy Notebooks Are Just Delightful

06.04.13 23 Comments

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching Mitch Hedberg perform standup, you know that short, one or two-lined jokes — many of which tilted toward the random and absurd — were his thing. I never really thought about it, but much of his material would have been perfect for the Twitter medium. For instance: “A turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy. All day.” You get the idea.

Anyway, Hedberg apparently wrote his jokes in notebooks and his widow shared them with GQ, which noted the style being very Twitter-y.

Mitch Hedberg was Twitter before Twitter. His jokes were short, inane, and timeless. He was on the road, doing stand-up 300 nights a year, living off vending machines, writing constantly about the world he saw around him. “Mitch wrote some of the best jokes of the last three decades,” says Mike Birbiglia, who like most young comedians idolized Hedberg. “He is one comedian who all comedians agree is great.” Hedberg was never without a pen, and he never threw away a notebook. Since his death in 2005 from a drug overdose, his wife, Lynn Shawcroft, has kept most of the notebooks private. But this year, she opened them up to GQ.

The notebooks, in addition to being filled with jokes, are minor works of art in their own right, filled with drawings and other interesting stuff, as you can see below…

Go check them out fully at Also, enjoy some Mitch Hedberg standup…

(Via GQ’s Tumblr. Lead pic via Comedy Central. Notebook images via Jessica Sample/

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