Watch a Short Film About Mitch Hedberg

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 7 2012 4:47 PM

Watch a Short Film About Mitch Hedberg

hedberg
Mitch Hedberg in Modern Comedian writing jokes before a set

Last month, the comic Scott Moran launched a series of short documentaries called Modern Comedian. There are nine docs altogether, and Moran is uploading a new one each Monday.

The latest one is focused on the late great Mitch Hedberg, who died in 2005 at the age of 37. Moran interviewed Hedberg's widow, Lynn Shawcroft, who is a comic herself. The subtitle of the film is "Mitch Was a Writer," and Shawcroft talks at length about Hedberg's writing process—he liked composing his jokes at Target's in-store cafés, we learn—and also shares many of his notebooks as well as a few recordings from club performances. (You can see some of those notebooks on the Mitch Hedberg website that Shawcroft created last year.)

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All of which is catnip for a Hedberg fan, of course. But even if you're not already a devotee, the 10-minute movie provides a compelling glimpse into how a joke get from the notebook page to the Comedy Central special, with various stops in between. Check it out.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog. Follow him on Twitter.