The above photo of Mitch Hedberg in concert was taken on July 13, 2002, at the Tampa Improv. It was snapped with a Minolta Dimage E201 Digital, sans flash. Forgive the blur, but photos were against club policy and I had to be sneaky about it. Of course, that didn't stop Mitch from using it on his site (link to original blog entry about the photo).
From "Ain't too proud to blog" on July 14, 2002, describing the photo accompanying this Shutterblog entry: "Mitch had trouble getting his drink refilled during his set, so he finally asked for a whole bottle. When the waiter brought one up that was about 2/3 of the way full, he invited anyone in the audience that wanted to do a shot with him up to the stage. If it had been anything but whiskey, I'd have been there in a heartbeat -- but mostly just guys were up to the challenge. He kept running out, and eventually a waiter brought up a stack of plastic cups and two other full bottles. He told jokes throughout all of this, so it was like a huge frat party. Mitch was trashed himself by the end of it, after turning the bottle upside down and chugging to our chants."
See ten photographs from our July 2002 evening at the Improv starting here.
File this under..."where have you two been - living under a rock?"...but today I got an e-mail from Todd asking if I'd heard Mitch Hedberg had died last month. A quick check of Google News confirmed for both of us that despite the April 1st announcement on his site, it was unfortunately no joke. Finding the tribute on the NPR site sealed the deal. We were both officially crushed.
After following Mitch on Letterman for years, we were both more than eager to take full-advantage of being able to see Mitch live when he performed at the Improv here in Tampa back in 2002. We only regret feeling too poor, or lacking adequate babysitting, to see his subsequent local performances. But at least we can say we saw him once. (I'm still kicking myself over saying my junior year of college that I'd catch the next Nirvana show in Oklahoma...and well...)
We still quote Mitch's fajitas line each and every time we are at a restaurant and a platter of them goes floating by. And now I suppose we always will.
Rather than continue trying to pay yet another inadequate blog tribute to Mr. Hedberg, why don't you just go listen to live clips on the NPR site and read a couple of his quote sites instead (Mitch Hedberg Quotes, Mitch Hedberg - Wikiquote).
We'll miss ya', Mitch! May the required attire in Heaven not include turtlenecks...