Dufresne, Party of Two

He showed up on the hotel arrival list on a cold January day in 2005.  Comedian Mitch Hedberg.Mitch

I was a huge fan, and was excited to share some of my enthusiasm, and some of his one-liners with staff.

I saw this wino, he was eating grapes. I was like “Dude, you have to wait.”

You know, I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ’em later.

An escalator can never break, it can only become stairs.

Listerine hurts, man; when I put Listerine in my mouth, I’m angry. Germs do not go quietly.

This shirt is “dry-clean only”… Which means it’s dirty.

I met a girl who works at the hotel front desk, she gave me her phone number. It’s zero. I tried to call her from here and some other woman answered. I said “You sound older!”

He was performing at a local venue that evening to a sold-out crowd. Sometime that afternoon, I took the call from his manager. They needed to cancel the hotel reservation; the weather forecast was not favorable and they were driving back to New York after the show.

I told him how disappointed I was to not get a chance to meet him. He handed the phone to Mitch, who was so kind, thanked me for my support, and offered tickets which were waiting for me at the box office.

It’s an encounter and a show I will never forget.

He died of a heroin-induced heart attack two months later. In a hotel room in New Jersey.  Age 37.


This entry was posted in Entertainment, Hotel Stories, Humor and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Dufresne, Party of Two

  1. Nurse Kelly says:

    What a tragedy. I read recently that heroin overdoses are now the leading cause of death in my state. This was a great little memory to share – that became really powerful.

  2. These stories are always so troubling. I wonder about the lives behind the facade and the downward spirals that takes a few before their time. I loved the line you shared: This shirt is “dry-clean only”… Which means it’s dirty. So sad that talent isn’t with us anymore.

  3. LaVagabonde says:

    I don’t know who he is, but it’s sad just the same. I’ve been out of the US so long, I have no idea who anyone is anymore. But I’ve come across names of so many young comedians who have died in the past few years. They must be sensitive souls.

  4. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, agree…laughter covers a lot of pain! The pressures of success thrown in the mix causes a lot of pain and agony! Christine

  5. So sad that he died young. Just last night (in fact, regularly), I was remembering his joke about baking a potato. “It takes forever to cook a baked potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes, I’ll just throw one in there, even if I don’t want one. By the time it’s done, who knows?”

  6. I’m so sad to hear of his early death, Van. They say the funniest people often have the deepest hurts.

    You sure do have an interesting life Van! ❤
    Diana xo

  7. George says:

    I get angry when young talent is wasted like his. So very sad.

  8. markbialczak says:

    Thanks for knowing the good should be recalled as well as the tragic ending, Van, and then we should all not only puzzle the why, but the how-do-we-stop-the-plague?

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