Thursday, March 5, 2015

A00372 - Harris Wittels, Television Comedy Writer

Harris Wittels, of “Parks and Recreation,” in 2012.CreditFrazer Harrison/Getty Images
Harris Wittels, a producer and writer for the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” who also performed as a stand-up comic and musician, died on Thursday. He was 30.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said Mr. Wittels’s body had been found at his home about noon by his assistant, who called the police and reported a possible overdose. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the police said, but a cause of death will not be known until after an autopsy is performed by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
The final episode of “Parks and Recreation,” on which Mr. Wittels served as a co-executive producer, as well as a writer and occasional actor, is to be broadcast next week. This is the show’s seventh season.
Mr. Wittels’s death was first reported by TMZ, which said he had performed at a comedy club in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
A graduate of Emerson College, Mr. Wittels joined “Parks and Recreation” before its second season. He appeared on the show from time to time as Harris, an animal control officer.
He was also known for popularizing the term “humblebrag,” and in 2012 published a book, “Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty,” built around the idea of the supposedly modest boast.
In the past, he had performed stand-up comedy on tours with the comedians Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari, and had also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Mr. Wittels had been a writer on “The Sarah Silverman Program,” which aired on Comedy Central from 2007 to 2010. On Thursday, Ms. Silverman and other comics paid tribute to Mr. Wittels on Twitter.
“You should know that Harris was brilliant beyond compare,” she wrote. “That his imagination was without limit. That he loved comedy more than anything.”

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