‘Parks and Recreation’ Producer Found Dead of Suspected Overdose

'Parks and Recreation' Producer Dead: Harris

Harris Wittels, known for co-exec producing “Parks & Recreation” and for his work on other comedies, has died of a possible drug overdose, sources confirm. He was 30.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Wittels was found by his assistant at around noon Thursday at his home in the Los Feliz area. Wittels was open about his struggles with drug addiction, speaking about them on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast last September, and he had been to rehab twice.

Along with serving as a co-executive producer on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” Wittels produced and wrote for “The Sarah Silverman Program,” “Eastbound and Down” and “Secret Girlfriend.” He was also a recurring guest on the podcast “Comedy Bang Bang.”

“Parks and Recreation” will air its final episode next Tuesday. He also appeared in the show in a small role as an incompetent animal control employee.

The Houston native has a large Twitter following, and he is credited with creating the popular term “Humblebrag.” In 2012 he published “Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty,” based on the tweets culled from a Twitter account he ran.

Wittels also performed standup comedy, played drums and provided backup vocals for musical group Don’t Stop or We’ll Die with fellow comedians Michael Cassady and Paul Rust. The trio was scheduled for a performance at the UCB Theater on Feb. 28.

TMZ first reported the news.

After news broke, tributes started to pour out on social media, including ones from Sarah Silverman and Comedy Central.

https://twitter.com/SarahKSilverman/status/568598632972341249
https://twitter.com/SarahKSilverman/status/568599341046345729
https://twitter.com/SarahKSilverman/status/568599753841381376
https://twitter.com/sethmeyers/status/568586883510480899
https://twitter.com/ComedyCentral/status/568582893263593472
https://twitter.com/funnyordie/status/568588472883105792
https://twitter.com/billyeichner/status/568587994753568768
https://twitter.com/DaneCook/status/568589191358992384
https://twitter.com/timothycsimons/status/568587802436182016
https://twitter.com/ikebarinholtz/status/568587570193551360
https://twitter.com/BillSimmons/status/568589527867994113

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  1. Daniel says:

    Good I hope more die. Hollywood is pathetic.

  2. ryanduffy13 says:

    This comments section is a goddamned nightmare of vitriol and self-indulgent, ignorant opinion. It also explains why I really don’t ever read comments sections. I don’t normally read variety either, but this death particularly hurt me so I’m going to comment because this comments section hurts my soul. In the last calender year, we lost alot of extremely funny and influential people, yet the deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers(both of whom I grew up loving) didn’t shake me nearly as much as Harris Wittels’ passing. Harris was just too young, too prolific, and too deeply hilarious for this to happen to.

    Addiction is a monster. A fucking monster. I’m the son of an addict and have encountered a large number of addicts in my life, many of whom didn’t care about anything but their drug of choice. Whether it be alcohol, opiates, cocaine, etc. I’ve had expensive things stolen from me and my family from people I once knew as friends. I don’t talk to them anymore, but not because they’re addicts, it’s because they were shitty people beforehand and their addiction just exacerbated that portion of their personality.That being said, I’ve also met many successful people with the same devil on their shoulder who did their best to shrug it off in order to ensure the best for everyone in their lives.Addiction is NOT something that just happens to people below you and you aren’t any better than anyone who is dealing with it.

    There is already a mountain of evidence that Harris Wittels was one of the funniest people working in the entertainment industry, so I dont really feel that I have to make that argument again. You can check his IMDB page for where he’s worked. It’s the countless hours he spent on podcasts that made him so intimately close with people. From his countless hours on “Comedy Bang Bang” to his deeply personal episodes on “You Made it Weird”, you really felt like you got to know him as a person. “Analyze Phish” is one particular show of note, since he actually spends the entire show trying to convince his co-host that Phish is a great band and while he ultimately fails, the hours they spend discussing the music and riffing end up to be truly funny.

    But it was the appearances on “You Made it Weird” and “WTF” where he pulled back the curtain and discussed his thoughts, ambitions, love for people in his life. If you come here to post 6 word uselessness like:”Fuck addicts another dead liberal lol.” Than just keep that hatred to yourself and let it boil over in your own life. Dont throw it on other people while they mourn a genuinely funny and nice individuals’ truly tragic passing. Nobody cares and you still don’t fucking matter. RIP Harris.

  3. Danielle Paulson says:

    If he was using needles. I believe his over dose was a reaction to something in the cotton he used. I had the most violent near death reaction to cotton fever the other night. It was not an over dose. It was cotton fever. I had been shooting up for 5 years. And never had a reaction like that before in my life. I used cotton other than the 100% cotton filters in my camel crush. Was he using needles? Can they check for anythjng in his blood related to things in cotton products.

  4. I don’t know who this guy is, but condolences to the family. Drugs and alcohol like a lion on the savannah, it quietly follows the unwitting gazelle and in its own time it will pounce.

  5. Sorry says:

    Tried to watch this show, could not. Sorry for the family loss.

  6. equityveritas says:

    All situational facts and sadness and misfortune aside, this is just another example of the thinning of the herd. It’s sadly natural and isn’t absolutely necessary but will continue to occur as it has throughout history.
    Best to his surviving family and friends in their time of grief.

  7. A human says:

    Do you know what you’re even saying? You showed up to dance on a man’s grave and I’m ruining your fun? Tough shit. That isn’t hypocrisy, it’s fury.

  8. Robo says:

    I’m nearly 60 years old and I still have to ask: How does one become a successful exec producer, writer, musician and comedian by age 30 and be a drug addict while doing it? Do drugs contribute to success in some major way? Make you more creative, persistant, sociable, smart? I’d like to understand. Or was his success limited by drugs?

    • YouDude60 says:

      Talent is not measurable, but days alive is. So, drugs did indeed limit his success.
      Hollywood’s blase’ attitude about drug abusers, about whom they purportedly care, is unfathomable.

    • A human says:

      I followed his career for awhile, and he discussed it a lot. He got into drugs at a young age and it became part of his identity. Then he jacked up his back and was prescribed pain killers that were just too fun. He thought he could handle it but he was wrong and soon he was shooting heroin. He was able to do all that he did on drugs because he was brilliant, and also because he didn’t get into the really rough stuff until recently. Opiates are more serious than people who’ve been doing recreational drugs all their lives imagine.

  9. mdavis2727 says:

    Gosh, aren’t you the one who just said “You can’t spew the hate I see here and call yourself a good person. Heart breaking.” You suck, dude.

  10. A human says:

    I’m glad you have such a great life, but I don’t believe you do. You know why? You lack credibility. Also, happy people don’t lash out at the world with the vitriol you’re showing here. Fun? To troll an obituary? That’s not fun to a healthy, happy person. Also, how am I a hypocrite? Oh wait. Never mind. you’re an idiot with zero insight. Now piss off, creep.

  11. jdshFLKjdhflksjfhlkasjdhflkajsdhf says:

    If I was sad and hurt, I’d do drugs.

    But I never have. Know why?

    Don’t need to. I enjoy my life, and have a good one.

    I’m not lashing out at the world. I’m just making fun of you. Because you’re a pompous liberal douchebag and a hypocrite. And because it’s fun!

  12. A human says:

    Yes, a young man died, bro. It’s sad, bro. He was really talented and his friends loved him. Why are you so sad and hurt you lash out at the world this way? What went so wrong in your life?

  13. jdshFLKjdhflksjfhlkasjdhflkajsdhf says:

    Awww, you feel bad bro?

  14. A human says:

    And I’m not surprised to find out you’re a conservative. You have no soul. Not an ounce of humanity in any of you.

  15. jdshFLKjdhflksjfhlkasjdhflkajsdhf says:

    Were you a friend of his?

    Did you know about his drug problem?

    Did you try to help him with it, get him off drugs, get him into treatment?

    Anything?

  16. jdshFLKjdhflksjfhlkasjdhflkajsdhf says:

    Liberal love on display. Somebody steal your stash?

  17. A human says:

    What kind of garbage trolls an obituary? Are you completely dead inside?

  18. A human says:

    Your insight into the human condition is staggering. You’re a real peach.

    • A human says:

      Sure. Here’s lesson number 1, grasshopper. Don’t troll an obituary. Lesson 2, nobody cares why you think you’re better than a person with a disease. 3, people take drugs for a lot of reasons; ‘weakness’ might be one, sure, but weakness is just an asshole’s word for ‘pain.’ helpful?

  19. A Human says:

    The things people are saying here are beyond evil. Have some decency.

    He was a funny person with demons. Like all of us. You can’t spew the hate I see here and call yourself a good person. Heart breaking.

  20. Our family used to watch the show, especially to see Nick Offerman. Then Poehler and others did an anti gun video, and our family quit watching. RIP Harris Wittels.

  21. ? says:

    Are you talking about your relationship with Jesus christ? I’m sure you could learn to be less of a twat if you bothered to follow his actions instead of pretending he loves you, but I doubt you care about how much better than you others have been.

  22. Elliott says:

    Wow, you Drudge Report wingnuts sure are nice, intelligent people.

    You can tell what a great, smart, funny dude Harris was based on all these right-wing morons trying to smear his name. He had accomplished more by age 30 than any of you elderly losers, and was an exponentially better human being than you. Have fun being anonymous disappointments, guys!

    • craniumlogos says:

      Nice broad generalization that all of the nasty people here must be right-wingers, you nice intelligent person you!

      • Sorry says:

        Well he was a great funny guy so you say, and he was all about…what.

      • Comment Monster says:

        Elliott, I’m a right winger, as you like to smear people who think your Kool-Aid tastes funny. I feel nothing but sadness about this loss of a decent human slain by human weaknesses. At a certain point, we should think about the fact that the reason he’s being publicly mourned is his talent, not his decency.

      • Elliott says:

        cranuimlogos,

        Also, I just read through some of the comments below this one, and it made clear how stupid your comment is. Do better next time, dude.

      • Elliott says:

        craniumlogos,

        The only reason I make that broad generalization is that it’s true. I dare you to find one person on here trashing Wittels or “Hollyweird” who isn’t a right-winger.

        There are plenty of nasty left-wingers — a lot of people took a lot of glee when Breitbart died. However, none of them would do something this gross and pathetic to a person who was just doing his thing and making people laugh.

        PS, I never claimed to be nice.

      • A human says:

        They’re all screaming about liberals, so it’s a safe assumption.

    • rm says:

      How about avoiding drugs all together. Or is that an unreasonable behaviour?

      • Allen says:

        You’re right Elliot, nice you are not.

      • Elliott says:

        rm,

        No, I don’t think avoiding drugs is unreasonable at all. Mainly because human beings should have freedom to live how they want as long as it doesn’t directly harm others.

        What is unreasonable is to gleefully celebrate the overdose of a young, talented man because he — I dunno — doesn’t agree with Drudgebots on some issue I’ve never heard him speak on? I’m assuming that’s what’s got all these hillbillies angry at him.

        The comments on this site from right-wingers just illustrate how much impotent rage, sadness and hatred they have.

        And anyone who engenders that type of bile and anger from people as horrible as Drudge’s audience clearly is doing something right.

    • this guy is awful says:

      you are exactly the kind of person whose opinion does not matter. Judge not, for I’m sure that Christ is disappointed in you

  23. Carl Fales says:

    This is why people need to stick to marijuana over any other drug – nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose.

  24. Caterina says:

    Typical Hollywood Leftist. No common sense.

  25. MM says:

    What a pity! Condolences to his family.

  26. Rob S says:

    I wish you were nest Sarah Silverman. You are a POS.

  27. ALAN SMITHEE says:

    HAHAHAHAHA. ANOTHER RAT BITES THE DUST!! AND TO THE SHIKSA SILVERSCUM-HAHAHAHA, HOPE IT DRIVES YOU TO FOLLOW HIM! COULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED TO A MORE DESERVING PAIR OF RATS!

  28. J. Winston Zedmore says:

    Business as usual in Hollywood.

  29. Another dead junkie… so sad. And the obvious question lingers… why couldn’t it have been Sara Silverman instead? Funny or die indeed!

  30. fred russo says:

    Why is it that Americans idolize celebrities so much. They are sad people clinging to false idols such as drugs instead of GOD!

  31. Hawker DeHavilland says:

    stupid dope

  32. River Walker says:

    When will people realize that drugs don’t make you funny or smart or beautiful or popular.
    They only make you feel like you are.
    You can be those things on your own without drugs.
    Then, it’s real and you’re not lying.

  33. guest says:

    LOL, another libtard bites the dust and the world mourns…..

  34. Indymaverick says:

    I used to watch parks & rec until they started promoting moochelle Obama and crazy Joe Biden. Thats when I knew that the show was in a death spiral.

  35. malice420dotcom says:

    Another opportunity for an award show in his honor

  36. Chuck D says:

    Darwinism at work.

  37. Sally Burke says:

    Another invincible it-can’t-happen-to-me druggie.

  38. Not U2 says:

    Why is this even news?

  39. ed says:

    Come on really????? Another loony liberal drug head dies and hollywierd is all in a titter about it… get real it happens every day out there…welcome to the party!

  40. Wow, he was incredibly funny and now he’s incredibly dead!
    While we’re at it, let’s include that in his last act, he was an incredible roll model.

    • Bill Jackman says:

      Yeah, he rolled over and died. I hope no loved one of mine ever saw this guy as a role model. It’s sad he’s dead and if he was funny that’s good. We all need to laugh, never saw the show.

  41. Live by the drugs…..Die by the drugs! You can take that and also apply it to alcohol and cigarettes too. My point being, if they want to kill themselves on something, it is none of my business. Like wise I should not be paying their health insurance for them to f*** themselves up purposely and expect to be fixed up to do it again on my dime.

    • ALAN SMITHEE says:

      HERE WE GO…AS PROMISED NOW IT’S “SINCE I HAVE TO PAY FOR COMMUNIST FORCED HEALTH INSURANCE ILLEGALLY SHOVED ON TO A FREE PEOPLE NOW I CAN WHINE AND CRY LIKE THE INBRED ZIORAT ABOUT THEIR LIFESTYLE. JUST TODAY SOME PACK OF FILTH CALLING ITSELF THE DGAC IS SETTING UP “HEALTH GUIDELINES”. HOW FAR IS THIS FROM BIG BROTHER ON THE FLAT SCREEN SHOUTING-“NUMBER 115246, YOU AREN’T DOING YOUR PUSHUPS!” A FINE OF FORTY SHEKELS AWAITS YOU!” I MEAN THIS MUTT IS STRAIGHT OUTAA 1984. TIME TO SEE THEM ALL OFF THIS MORTAL COIL SINCE THE KOSHEER INBREDS ARE WITHOUT A DOUBT THE LEAST HEALTHY AND MOST PHYSICALLY GRACELESS CREATURES ON EARTH. TAKE YOUR OPINION ABOUT ‘YOUR ROLE IN HEALTH CARE’ AND SHOVE IT COMIE BOLSHEVIK INBRED ZIONIST RAT.

  42. Roddy Piper says:

    Oh well….. just another statistic. Keep doing drugs America and end up like this one did.

  43. Death has done us a favor says:

    Well, he finally has done something to make us all laugh.

  44. caligula says:

    parks and rec sucks. it’s awful. really awful. but eastbound and down is pretty funny.

  45. caligula says:

    drug addicts are selfish. i feel bad for his family. they didn’t deserve to go through this pain because of his selfishness.

  46. Lynn says:

    I’m trying to care but I can’t do it.

  47. Mr. Man man! says:

    Clearly You’ve never known or loved a drug addict have you?

    you can’t stop them- they have to stop themselves- no matter how much love and support you give them- and no matter how many times you awnt to believe them when they tell you everything is okay and get mad at you for asking ….

    It’s not something that you can stop as a friend- you can offer all the support and care in the world but if THEY don’t want to stop they wont.

  48. Ezer Album says:

    Everyone comes out of the woodwork to praise the guy after he psses. Where were they when he needed them?

  49. Master Blaster says:

    Drugs are dangerous sometimes.

  50. I tried to watch the show once, and that was enough for me.

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