Mitch Hedberg was born February 24, 1968, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the son of Mary (née Schimscha) and Arne Hedberg. He was of Swedish ancestry. Hedberg graduated from Harding High School in Saint Paul.
Hedberg began his standup career in Florida, and after a period of honing his skills, he moved to Seattle and began to tour. He soon appeared on MTV's Comikaze, followed by a 1996 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman that brought him his big break. He won the 1997 grand prize at the Seattle Comedy Competition. The next year he appeared in an episode of Fox's series That '70s Show.
In 1999 he completed his own independent feature film, Los Enchiladas!, which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. He recorded three comedy CDs: Strategic Grill Locations, Mitch All Together, and Do You Believe in Gosh?, the last released posthumously. He also appeared at the Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival in 1998 and 2001.
Concurrent with his rising fame in the entertainment industry, Hedberg appeared on Letterman nine more times, signed a half-million dollar deal with Fox for a television sitcom, and was dubbed "the next Seinfeld" by Time Magazine. George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, and Lewis Black were reportedly among his comedian fans.
Mitch Hedberg was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the son of Arnold and Mary Hedberg. He graduated from Harding High School in Saint Paul and was married to Canadian comedian Lynn Shawcroft on February 25, 1999.
He began his career in 1989 playing open mic nights in southern Florida. Two years later, in 1991, he moved to Seattle, where, due to his continued efforts, his popularity increased.
Hedberg appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman ten times and became one of the show's most successful American comedians.
Hedberg was known to be a drug user, referring to it in some of his jokes ("I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too").
Hedberg was arrested in Austin, Texas, in May 2003 for possession of heroin.
Late in the evening on March 29, 2005, Hedberg was found dead in his room in Livingston, New Jersey.
He was born with a heart defect for which he received extensive treatment as a child. It was initially speculated that his heart condition may have played a part in his death until the New Jersey medical examiner's office reported "multiple drug toxicity", in the form of a cocaine and heroin "speedball", as the official cause of death.
Mitch Hedberg's funeral was at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Church in Minnesota.