Once the sad news broke that Harris Wittels had died, Twitter turned into a celebration of the man’s life and all the joy he brought, whether through Parks and Recreation, his stand-up, or various podcast appearances. His friends shared stories and pictures, and comedy fans who never met him, but feel like they had, did the same (an episode of “Analyze Phish” helped me calm down in the days leading up to a wedding). At last night’s unite4:humanity event in Beverly Hills, Amy Poehler took a moment to mourn Wittels, whom she had worked with since 2010.
“So today, I lost a friend,” she continued. “I lost a dear, young man in my life who was struggling with addiction and who died just a few hours before we came. Jane [Aronson] and I sat and talked about it, and I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so closely together and we walk that fine line every day. At the end of the day, when things happen in our lives and we turn to people that we love and we turn to family and community for support, we lean on people and hope that they will ease our pain.”
On that note, the normally bubbly comedienne shared that she was in no mood to lighten the mood.
“I don’t really feel like telling any jokes. I’m kind of sad,” Poehler confessed. “And it’s been really great to be here tonight and to be listening to all of you and inspired by the great work that you do and to be reminded why you live in this bizarre planet called ‘Hollywood.’ It’s very strange. I feel like talking about [Worldwide Orphans Foundation], I feel like talking about the good work that they do, I feel like focusing on trauma and loss, how they encourage children through play and sport and creative arts… I feel not like telling jokes but celebrating with all of you tonight – everyone that works at WWO keeps reminding me of a very basic thing which is, I think we are all connected.”
She then pleaded with the room to make a difference by taking it one step at a time. “What you have all done for me tonight is when something feels really big, too big to handle, just go very small,” she said. “Just go real small, just look at the person next to you and look in their eyes and meet the person next to you, find out their name, change one person’s life and make one call, write one letter, give one dollar. Whatever small thing feels like what you can do — it changes the course of the ship and that is all it is.” (Via)
I believe Chelsea Peretti said it best.
Via US Magazine