Harris Wittels isn’t quite a household name, but even if you’ve never heard of him, he’s probably made you laugh.
Law enforcement says Wittels was found lying on his couch with no signs of trauma anywhere on his body and drug paraphernalia in the home. TMZ reports his death was due to a drug overdose.
Wittels was best known for his work as an executive producer for Parks and Rec, but he also wrote and produced for Eastbound & Down and The Sarah Silverman Program. Ever used the phrase “humblebrag”? Wittels coined it — and then wrote a coffee table book about it. Additionally, he was known for his stand-up comedy, in which he spoke openly about his addiction to drugs. He had been to rehab twice.
TMZ reports that Wittels performed a stand-up set at a Los Angeles comedy club called The Meltdown Wednesday night and that he spoke during his set about being sober, saying he was “in a good place.”
Celebrities and members of the comedy community expressed their grief on Twitter Thursday as more details broke about Wittels’ death.
Don't know what to say. Harris Wittels was a fantastic writer I had the pleasure to work with at Parks and Rec. So so sad. RIP Harris.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) February 20, 2015
Harris Wittels probably wrote and told more great jokes in 30 years than most of us could in 3000. A horrible loss for the comedy community.
— Matt Goldich (@MattGoldich) February 20, 2015
Such heartbreaking news about Harris Wittels. A really funny guy.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) February 20, 2015
Parks and Rec is currently in its final season. The series finale is set to air next week.
Our thoughts are with Wittels’ friends and family during this difficult time.