Aziz Ansari’s Harris Wittels Tribute Is Heart-Breaking And Beautiful

Gregory Wakeman - Author

Dec. 20 2017, Updated 8:45 p.m. ET

Harris Wittels’ untimely passing earlier this week at the age of 30 rocked the world of comedy. Wittels, who had honed his craft as a co-executive producer, writer, and actor on Parks and Recreation and The Sarah Silverman Program, was found dead in his Los Angeles home on February 19, 2015.

Wittels had previously battled addiction, and a toxicology report to determine the exact cause of death is expected to be delivered in the next six to eight weeks.

Following his untimely passing, a cavalcade of performers from across the world of comedy, including Amy Poehler and Sarah Silverman, paid tribute to Wittels.

Aziz Ansari decided to honor Wittels with a 2,800-word blog post that documented their friendship, the jokes they shared together, and their time working on Parks and Recreation.

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Ansari described Wittels as a “real, unique, original person,” while he explained that he is still hoping that this has all just been “a horrible misunderstanding.”

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“I’m still waiting for the other phone call to let me know that Harris is okay and this was all a horrible misunderstanding. I don’t know when my brain is going to be able to process the terrible feeling that fills my heart with dread and my eyes with tears every 20 seconds when I realize this very special person is really gone.”

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Ansari also explained in his blog post, which he posted to his page AzizIsBored, that the pair’s friendship originally began when the two were budding stand-up comedians. This then blossomed after they worked on two films together, one of which Ansari described as follows.

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“Danny McBride and I were two best friends who lived in SC who’s girlfriends had a three way with a super handsome star Olympic athlete (think Channing Tatum).”

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Unfortunately, Ansari explained that the film soon “faded away as many projects tend to do.” However, because of how impressed Ansari was with the script for this comedy, he always insisted that Harris Wittels was the first writer hired whenever he worked.

Because of this, Wittels wrote for the MTV Movie Awards that Ansari hosted, as well as “those Randy videos for ‘Funny People'” or any “dumb commercial” that Ansari appeared in.

Ansari explained that Wittels was “probably the funniest comedy writer out there” and that anyone who has ever been in a writers room with him knew that.

Meanwhile, Ansari also announced that the pair had been working on a new project alongside Wittels and Alan Yang, another Parks & Rec writer, while he also signed off with a moving story recalling his final hours with Wittels the day before he perished.

Wittels’ excellence also stretched to his various appearances on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast while he also coined the phrase “humblebrag,” a hashtag that has developed a fervent following on Twitter. This led to the book Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty being published in 2012.

[Image via Business 2 Community]


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