Harris Wittels Thought I Was Lame As Hell

Fancy Pants 2002

Harris Wittels, Jim Hanft, Armen Weitzman and Joe Mande of Fancy Pants, 2002.


I barely knew him.  He was a rockstar and still super nice.  He was huge from the get-go for all the right reasons.  I was in the audience at the Cabaret at Emerson when Fancy Pants debuted.  I still remember a sketch (from their second show?) about going to work inside a living bear as the funniest fucking thing…



Please remember this is 2003 and they are like 11 years old.  This is before everything this reminds you of.

They were a million times funnier and more original than the other comedy groups on campus.  When I first saw this show I didn’t know who they were except that I saw them at parties at one of the SAE ‘houses’. They didn’t even bother auditioning for Pathetic or Jimmy’s.  They seemed cool.

I have no doubt that the three or four times I hung with Harris, mostly around McCadden and UCB in the old days, that he found me lame as hell. (My vibe is rarely chill.)  He pledged the meathead fraternity at Emerson and I pledged the gay one.  I have countless friends who knew him well and are really hurting today. I’m aching for his family. Harris had fans all around the fucking world.  He was one of the first greats of Twitter comedy, podcast comedy, he wrote the best sitcom of the last ten years along with a bunch of other amazing shows.  I saw him do standup just once, it was just like he was in real life.  How can someone’s regular self be so entertaining?

Here are some accounts from people who knew him:



And then this, which is so difficult to listen to, but comforting:



He was a great guy.  He loved Phish more than anyone and spoke for all of us who loved them too, despite how hopelessly unhip it makes us.  Today sucks.  Don’t do drugs.

I could have hung out with him one last time at the Hollywood Bowl show, but I had front row seats.   😦


Categories: people, television

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