Is This 1978 “Mork and Mindy” Card The Inspiration for a 2002 Mitch Hedberg Joke?

I recently bought a collection of “Mork and Mindy” trading cards. I used to have a set when they first came out and they were full of fun scenes from the show with word balloons with goofy puns and dialogue that was never actually mentioned on the show. It’s as if they just gave some grizzled old joke writer the job of writing captions for it who never even bothered to watch it. Anyway, as I was looking at card #13 above I felt an eerie chill. This is almost exactly the same joke the great Mitch Hedberg told, “Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat 2,000 of something.”

What’s funny is that in 2016, an Australian company named Aunt Betty’s, that makes rice pudding, got in trouble for stealing Mitch’s joke and putting it on their packaging. They issued an apology, “It has come to light that we made a big mistake on some recent packaging & unknowingly used a quote from a well-known & loved comedian.”

But it’s funny that in 1978, this “Mork and Mindy” trading card had virtually the same exact joke 24 years before Mitch wrote his. Mitch was born in 1968, just a year before me, so it’s highly likely he was a Mork fan and got this card as well. That being said, as a one liner, groaner, and pun writer myself, it’s pretty easy to come up with jokes that other people have thought of, too.

Mitch Hedberg was one of the greatest joke writers and tellers the world has ever seen. Maybe he never saw this Mork card, but I think it’s kind of cool if he actually paid tribute to it with his act.

Robert Berry