In the few short weeks that I’ve been commandeering this site, I’ve focused much of my attention on reviewing movies, because movies have been a major influence on my life. A second huge influence for me is comedy. Whether it be stand-up, improv, podcasts, TV, or movies, quality comedy keeps me going. Let’s just say I’d be in a dark place without my daily dose of laughter.
This brings me, ironically, to a moment of sadness. Earlier today (Feb. 19, 2015), comedian, writer, drummer, producer, and podcast host Harris Wittels died from what sources are saying is an overdose. Wittels was 30 years old.
I could go on and on about how the work of Harris Wittels has affected me personally, through his work on Parks and Recreation as writer and executive producer, on podcasts Comedy Bang Bang and Analyze Phish as both guest and host, and as drummer for the band Don’t Stop or We’ll Die, but that is besides the point. What I truly want is for people reading this who may not know much about Wittels’ work to discover him, like I did a few years ago.
Wittels wrote on some of the funniest comedy programs to grace our television sets in the past decade, including Parks and Rec, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Eastbound & Down. He created the social media phenomenon Humblebrag. He also made frequent appearances on one of my favorite podcasts, Comedy Bang Bang, and hosted a similarly hilarious podcast Analyze Phish alongside Bang Bang host Scott Aukerman. And Wittels was the drummer in the jam band trio Don’t Stop or We’ll Die with fellow comedians Paul Rust and Michael Cassady.
There are SO many places where you can witness the talent that Harris Wittels left behind. Below I have posted just the tip of the iceberg to his body of work.
Comedy Bang Bang 306: Project Funway (with Don’t Stop or We’ll Die)
Harris’ Phone/Foam Corner:
Harris and Matt Besser at UCB:
Don’t Stop or We’ll Die:
And you can buy his Humblebrag book here.
Harris On Parks & Rec:
I can’t begin to express how much I will miss Harris Wittels’ comedy. Parks and Rec has become one of my favorite television programs ever. His appearances on Comedy Bang Bang have brought me to tears of laughter at times, and Analyze Phish was a wonderful ride, despite my dislike for the band Phish. The upbeat peppiness and indelible humor of Don’t Stop or We’ll Die has gotten me through a number of long, cold walks. As I write this, I’m listening to “Once in Awhile” from their EP One of the Gang, which is simply a beautiful song. Harris Wittels truly can’t be replaced.
R.I.P Harris Wittels. You were our tour guide through the cosmos, and you will be deeply missed.