Inside Mitch Hedberg’s Comedy Notebooks

Mitch Hedberg was Twitter before Twitter. His jokes were short, inane, and timeless. He was on the road, doing stand-up 300 nights a year, living off vending machines, writing constantly about the world he saw around him. “Mitch wrote some of the best jokes of the last three decades,” says Mike Birbiglia, who like most young comedians idolized Hedberg. “He is one comedian who all comedians agree is great.” Hedberg was never without a pen, and he never threw away a notebook. Since his death in 2005 from a drug overdose, his wife, Lynn Shawcroft, has kept most of the notebooks private. But this year, she opened them up to GQ. The results? A master class in comedy.