Strategic Grill Locations

Mitch Hedberg

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Strategic Grill Locations Review

by Matt Whalley

Strategic Grill Locations is a traditional comedy record with Mitch Hedberg telling a string of one-liners and brief stories for the length of the CD. His subject matter and observations fall far from the traditional, but in form Strategic Grill Locations is a straightforward comedy record that matches Hedberg's devotion to pure standup. His wild thoughts and well-crafted delivery transcend the joke-after-joke format and make this one of the best comedy albums you are likely to hear. He was an excellent joke-teller with one of the most unique voices in standup comedy. What makes Hedberg's performance so endearing is his intense self-consciousness and the way he incorporates the crowd into the recording of the CD. He draws the audience in and really explains the process he is going through by telling one-liners and throwing out offhand comments. "I wrote a list of jokes to go on the CD," he explains with his recognizable delivery. "These are the CD jokes. I may add jokes to the set in a moment of spontaneity which you will be unable to detect." Hedberg openly mocks his own jokes and apologizes for telling the same joke with different ingredients, which adds to his cool but confused stage presence. Like a simplified and meditative George Carlin, he examines the language, saying, "I didn't sleep for ten days because that would be too long" and "My friend said, 'I hear music' as if there was any other way you could take it in." Strategic Grill Locations captures Hedberg as a kind of Reverend Jim Ignatowski/Rodney Dangerfield hybrid. The contrabass that plays throughout the set adds to the beatnik coffeehouse vibe that suits his comedy so well. Hedberg delivers line after line of strange and funny comments and observations, never taking any story too far away from a punch line. More than any other comedian of his generation, Mitch Hedberg was endlessly quotable. Every few seconds of Strategic Grill Locations brings another classic "Mitch."

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