Saturday, April 2, 2005

RENO NEVADA

Ok a lot of people have died recently. Here's the list. Terry Schiavo, my wife's Great Aunt Bee, The Pope, and Mitch Hedberg. Lets go one at a time.

Terry Schiavo. People value life too much. If you are born you will die. Maybe that is easy for me to say because it wasn't my daughter in a coma. I just think its odd that we live in a society that treats our golden retrievers more humanely then our grandma's. This whole case was a media circle jerk. It's also strange to me that most of the people making all noise to keep her alive are religious. If the afterlife is so great, why do Christians work so hard to keep people here? The biggest irony is that Congress passed special legislation, signed by the president, because they did not agree with the decision of the Florida Court system. Anyone remember 2000?

Great Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee was the opposite of Terry Schiavo. Everyone in her family wanted her to die. It's not that we didn't like her. At age 91 even her racism was kind of cute. We wanted her to die because she wanted to. She was 91 and she weighed 55 lbs. She's been trying to die for 10 years. She wanted to see her brother. She didn't want a feeding tube, so she could watch Lawrence Welk in a half comatose state for another 6 months, she just wanted to see her brother. I hope she got to.

The Pope. I was not raised Catholic. I was raised in an evangelical christian church that stopped just short of using live snakes during the service. Catholicism is what evangelicals do on spring break. I don't get the Pope, and I'm not sure I understand all the sadness. He's a man right? Aren't most religions about some sort of higher power? The Pope may have been a really nice person, but he was still just a man. An 84 year old man who wore a funny hat and a robe, and had never once in his life made love to a woman. Ok maybe it is sad.

Mitch Hedberg was way funnier then the Pope. Mitch Hedberg was funnier then just about anyone else on the planet. He was incredibly unique. People compared him to Steven Wright, which I can understand, but really Mitch's comedy was the first of it's kind and I guess the last. Although I'm sure it's being poorly imitated right now at an open mic somewhere. I worked with Mitch twice. People absolutely loved him. He was a rock star. People yelled out requests for god's sake. "Mitch do Pringles!" Or whatever their favorite joke was. 15 years from now comics will talk about Mitch Hedberg like comics now talk about Bill Hicks. The only difference being Bill Hicks liked to push the edge and talk about society. Mitch just had a brilliant grasp of the absolutely obvious. "They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime. But I tried to make some at home, and I think there's more to it then that." Thats funny in a way people aren't used to. About 5 hours after I heard he died I went to my show here at the casino. Its on the second floor, but that night the escalator was broken. I instantly thought of another Mitch joke. "An escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. You will never see an escalator temporarily out of order sign. Just escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience."One of the highlights of my comedy life, is that I share something with Mitch Hedberg. We both won the Seattle International Comedy Competition. Of course he also had a Comedy Central Special, and was on Letterman ten times. Winning the contest was pretty far down his list of accomplishments, but it still means something to me. Its nice that my name is on a list with his.It has bothered me to hear people talk almost angrily about Mitch dying. It reminds me of the things people said when Kurt Cobain died. It's almost like Mitch overdosing is a slap in the face to his fans. I barely met Mitch but I really got the feeling he cared a great deal about his fans. He was really shy, which may have been mistaken for arrogance, but I think he cared. This is a guy who ended his Comedy Central Special by saying "I love you guys." This is also a guy who would post apologies on his website for shitty shows he would do. He knew he had some chemical problems. Do you think he wanted to be an addict? Mitch may have had fans who loved him, but that doesn't mean he owes them anything. He had a wife and a family who loved him too, if he couldn't clean up for them, he's wasn't going to clean up for you. I'm not mad at him, he made me laugh. That's worth something.

"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."

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