Amy Poehler Makes Emotional Speech After Harris Wittels Death: “I Don’t Feel Like Telling Any Jokes”
Amy Poehler had to take the stage at Thursday’s “unite4humanity” event in Los Angeles shortly after finding out her longtime friend and “Parks and Recreation” producer Harris Wittels had been found dead of a possible drug overdose, just days before the show’s series finale. He was 30.
Poehler was being honored with the Unity Award for her work with “Worldwide Orphans,” but instead of showing off her trademark humor, the actress’ speech in the wake of the heartbreaking news was emotional and poignant. “Today, I lost a friend,” she told the star-studded crowd. “I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction.”
Poehler continued “I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that fine line every day. When things happen in our lives, we turn to the people that we love… and we lean on people, in a hope that we will ease our pain.” She went on, “So, I don’t really feel like telling any jokes. I’m kind of sad, and it’s really great to be here tonight and listen to all of you, and listen to the great work that you do and be reminded why we live in this bizarre planet called ‘Hollywood.’ It’s very strange.”
As Gossip Cop reported, a number of stars, including Poehler’s ex Will Arnett and her former “SNL” colleague Seth Meyers, took to Twitter to mourn Wittels after his unexpected passing was confirmed by Los Angeles police. Among the most bittersweet tributes shared came from Sarah Silverman, who is widely credited with giving Wittels his big break on “The Sarah Silverman Program.”
The “Parks and Recreation” series finale airs Tuesday on NBC. Shortly afterwards, the entire cast will be on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” to reflect on the show, and now, sadly, Wittels as well.