Mitch Hedberg "Do You Believe In Gosh?" Review

Originally published in the OCCC Pioneer on September 12th, 2008.

It’s not often that a comedy album can make listeners both laugh and cry, but it’s very possible that comedian Mitch Hedberg’s posthumous release will have that effect.

“Do You Believe in Gosh?” was recorded in January of 2005 in Ontario, Canada. A mere two months later, Hedberg died of a heroin overdose. He was only 37.

Since his death, Hedberg has become an icon in the comedy world. Despite his relatively short career, he is sure to be remembered among comedy greats like Carlin, Hicks and Pryor.

Thankfully, the drugs that took Hedberg’s life had no effect on this set. It’s clear that Hedberg is in the middle of refining and perfecting this material. While still hilarious, this isn’t the well-oiled machine that was featured on Hedberg’s first two albums. At times, he struggles to find his rhythm and the jokes suffer.

Those familiar with the material on Hedberg’s previous two albums will feel right at home with the jokes on “Do You Believe In Gosh?” It’s more of the same absurd one-liners and hypothetical questions that Hedberg is known for.

Texas toast, eating cantaloupe, Smucker’s jellyfish and kids in Venice having “canal-smarts” are just a few of the many topics covered on the album.

At one point, Hedberg explains that he didn’t get into comedy because he was funny, but because he was just “really good at holding ice cream cones.” He later says that comedy is part of his “get-rich-really-slow scheme” and that it’s working well.

Though none of these jokes appear on either of his previous albums, much of the material may not be completely new to Hedberg devotees. A lot of it was featured on the “Live in Chicago” bootleg that has been circulating around the Internet and was performed on Hedberg’s last Letter-man appearance.

It’s almost impossible to listen to the album and not be reminded of Hedberg’s untimely death. With every bit of laughter comes a little sadness that he’s gone.

According to Hedberg’s widow, Lynn Shawcroft, this album contains the last of Hedberg’s material to be released.

“Do You Believe In Gosh?” is not only a hilarious album, but it also gives listeners a deeper look into Hedberg’s joke-writing process and where his act was right before his death.