Listen to Late Comedian Mitch Hedberg Hawk Sandwiches

Slate's Culture Blog
March 30 2012 12:49 PM

Did You See This? All of Mitch Hedberg’s Sandwich Ads

Mitch Hedberg
Mitch Hedberg backstage in 2004

Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the death of Mitch Hedberg, the brilliant comedian once hailed as the next Jerry Seinfeld (though his sensibility was probably too off-kilter for such mainstream mega-success). To commemorate the anniversary, Laughspin dug up the little-known radio spots Hedberg did for Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, which you’ll find below.

While they may have been recorded primarily to earn some spare change (Hedberg is explicit about his “contractual obligations” in the spots), these recordings find Hedberg’s sense of humor fully intact. One of the most striking moments comes when Hedberg first breaks from his signature slurred delivery, a key part of his stage persona. Otherwise the jokes come naturally to Hedberg, whose comedy was more loving than sardonic—and who was especially fond of joking about food (including bananas, burritos, Rice Krispies, rice…).

For those new to Hedberg, these spots are worth checking out, but the ideal starting place would be a CD like his Strategic Grill Locations, perhaps alongside Sam Anderson’s 2005 obit in Slate. For hardcore fans, discovering new Hedberg material is sadly all too rare.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.