Comedian Mitch Hedberg’s death in March was the result of an accidental drug overdose, according to the New Jersey medical examiner’s office.
The official cause of death was determined to be “multiple drug toxicity.” Traces of cocaine and heroin were detected in his system, according to the medical examiner’s report filed in May.
Hedberg’s body was discovered in a Livingston, New Jersey, hotel room on March 30 (see “Comedian Mitch Hedberg Found Dead In New Jersey Hotel Room” ). At first, it was believed the comedian had died from heart failure, as he was born with a congenital heart defect and experienced chronic heart palpitations.
The comic, born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, spent much of his career straddling that fine line between cult status and relatively larger stardom. Much like Steven Wright, Hedberg was a master of the one-liner, and his comical observations about life’s subtle peculiarities inspired Time magazine to declare him “the next Seinfeld” in 2000.
Hedberg joked often about drug abuse; he had long struggled with both alcohol and drugs. An article published in the Los Angeles Times in 2003 reported that Hedberg spent two and a half days in jail, and six weeks in a hospital bed, following his arrest in May of that same year for felony heroin possession.