Mitch Hedberg Helped Out Hannibal Buress Early in His Career
“I started doing comedy in 2002 and I had a VHS tape of one of my first few sets. I took it to my RA, Open Mike Eagle. He watched it and said you sound like this dude, he played some [Mitch] Hedberg for me. I thought it was amazing.
Mitch played Zanies in Chicago in 2005. I was brand new and I went up to his green room and asked for a spot. (This was really obnoxious but I was hungry and ambitious.) The next night he let and 3-4 other Chicago comedians that he never met perform on a sold out show of his fans. That’s unheard of. Comedians just don’t do that type of shit. I won’t do that shit now. I can be in the greatest mood ever and I won’t let a stranger on my show. It went well and he let me open for him at the Zanies in Vernon Hills that weekend. They paid me $60 or something for a 5 minute spot which was cool as fuck. He passed away a month or two after that and I was bummed about it. I used to hang at Zanies all the time after that and watch whatever headliner would be on that week. One week the middle act didn’t show up and I was there so they put me up because they saw me crush it opening for Mitch. I went on and it went well and the club started booking me regularly. I started working my home club because he put me on.”