'I'm glad I knew him as a friend and collaborator,' he tweeted
Aziz Ansari paid tribute to Harris Wittels on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the comedian and writer’s death. “I miss Harris Wittels dearly,” Ansari wrote on Twitter. “He passed away a year ago today. I’m glad I knew him as a friend and collaborator.”
Wittels wrote for and executive produced NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, in which Ansari starred, and the two also worked together on Ansari’s Netflix comedy, Master of None. Wittels died from a heroin overdose at the age of 30. He had openly discussed his struggle with drug addiction before, most notably on a 2014 episode of Pete Holmes’ podcast, You Made it Weird.
Since Wittels’ death, Ansari has written a Tumblr post filled with memories of Wittels and a New York Times piece about the digital footprint his friend left behind. “This has been so hard to write because I just keep wanting to add more and more stories and more jokes and more everything, but I’d never be able to finish it,” Ansari wrote in the Tumblr post, which went up the day after Wittels died. “You are far too special to sum up in any kind of piece like this. You were one of the best and we all will miss you.”
Ansari shared links to those posts Friday, along with a piece Wittels’ sister, Stephanie, wrote for Medium about the Jewish tradition of honoring a family member by lighting a candle on the anniversary of their death. “Rest assured, while the candle only burns for 24 hours, your light will continue to burn inside me every minute of every day of every year for the duration,” she wrote. “Your light will continue to burn inside all who loved you. In your death, you are light.”
See Ansari’s tweets and find links to the aforementioned essays below.