In one note on Ansari’s blog post, the comedian remembers how Wittels, after an NBC-wide email announcing a mandatory sexual harassment seminar was sent, Wittels responded.
“Serious execs are CC’d along with Harris and the writers. Harris writes back, REPLY ALL, with this gem — now keep in mind EVERYONE is on this email, all the crew, so many higher level producers and execs, here we go:”
This anything-goes vibe was what Wittels offered in his comedy, taking risky shots his peers revel in remembering.
Wittels’ death is tragic, but no surprise to fans: in November, the comedian and writer appeared on Pete Holmes’ “You Made It Weird!” podcast, where he recounted harrowing tales of rehab and relapses into a burgeoning heroin addiction.
Here are some of the most interesting and painful quotes from that interview.
“Robin Williams had gone to [my] rehab facility,” Wittels said. “I guess that’s not a glowing endorsement.
“If I go out again now that it’s shooting heroin, I could die,” Wittels said in his conversation with Holmes. “That’s it. It’s not fun anymore, it’s like life and death now. And I don’t want to do that to my parents, I don’t want to do that to myself. So I’m taking it more seriously now. And I’m in a good place.”
“I feel good,” Wittels said, ending the podcast episode. “I feel optimistic. I feel clear-headed. And I also feel sometimes like I want to use drugs still. And that’ll just be there forever, and I can’t use them.”
Rest in peace, you crazy, Phish-loving comedian. Thank goodness we got the laughs from you that we did.