If you like music or comedy at all, one of your favorites has probably died from an overdose. When I was a kid, finding out Keith Moon, John Bonham, Jimi Hendrix, Nick Traina, Janis Joplin, Chris Farley, Mitch Hedberg, John Belushi, and more recently Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman, all died from drug or alcohol related issues, made me hate the idea of ever trying.
Harris Wittels died yesterday. You might not know his name but he’s probably made you laugh. He wrote for Parks and Recreation, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Eastbound and Down. He is also the creator of Humblebrag. He was plain funny as hell.
He was just 30 years old. He frequently talked about his problem with drugs. On the last podcast I heard him on, he was sober. It gave me such a false sense of security. I felt so sure he had a handle on himself. I realized he was struggling, but I felt if anyone could handle it, he could. I’m reminded, again, the precarious nature of living and how little control we really have.
I never like talking about something right after it happened. Everything is a jumble of emotions and nothing makes any sense. My head hurts. I can barely read. I’m hitting the wrong keys more than the right ones. My thoughts seem to be in a foreign language.
This sucks. There’s no other way to say it. It sucks in every way something can suck. It hurts. It makes me feel powerless. It takes away someone that always made me laugh. I never got more excited for comedy than I did when I saw his name pop up. No matter what, he was funny. He could be heartbreaking and honest, and still hilarious. He could tell the worst joke, and land it. He made me happy. It feels terrible. Yeah, he probably overdosed, and cynical people can say it was his own fault. Fine. It was his fault. To the extent that everything in our lives is our fault. It’s the same sort of victim blaming that everyone turns away from in any other type of incident. Everyone knows what addition means. Harris was so open and honest about what he was going through. You could tell how much he wanted to change.
So many funny people loved him. That’s a pretty good indicator of just how good of a person he was and how damn funny he was.
And he was a fellow drummer.