‘Parks and Recreation’ Writer and Producer Harris Wittels Dead at 30
It’s with complete shock and utter sadness that we bring you this news tonight. Comedian Harris Wittels, known best for his writing, producing and occasional acting work on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 30. Wittels has spoken openly about his struggles with drug addiction in the past, including two trips to rehab. We hoped for the best for this insanely talented writer and comedian, but tonight’s news is the worst.
TMZ is reporting that Wittels was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Thursday, with police treating the death as an overdose. Wittels first rose to prominence with his wildly popular Humblebrag Twitter account, which he used to land a book deal. The comedian was also known for his love of the band Phish, and co-hosted the Analyze Phish podcast with Scott Aukerman, in which he’d attempt to get Aukerman to like a Phish song. Wittels also appeared quite often on Aukerman’s own podcast, Comedy Bang! Bang!
Wittels was a co-executive producer and writer for Parks and Recreation, and sometimes guest-starred on the show as Harris, one of Pawnee’s many weird and wonderful residents. Over the years, he also produced and wrote for The Sarah Silverman Program and Eastbound and Down. In addition, Wittels was a talented musician, who sang and played the drums in the band Don’t Stop or We’ll Die, alongside fellow comedians Michael Cassady and Paul Rust.
Wittels accomplished so much in his short time on Earth, and his future was a bright one with incredible promise. His loss is felt not only by those who knew him personally, his fellow comedians and colleagues, but by many of us, who couldn’t wait to see what Wittels would do next with Parks and Recreation coming to an end. His death is a reminder that we should take drug addiction and substance abuse seriously and treat those suffering with immense empathy. His life is a testament to the joyful power of creativity and comedy.
Rest in peace, Harris.