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#HumbleBrag Inventor Loses a Battle


Ask me my favorite recent cultural phenomenon, and it is not even close… It is the #HumbleBrag. The term and subsequent hashtag were invented by Wunderkind Harris Wittels. The definition, for those not aware: “the act of boasting about your life and then downplaying it.”

Sadly Harris Wittels was found dead last week of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 30.

Before he died, I knew of Wittels from his occasional work on Grantland.com. I spent the weekend listening to some podcasts that he was involved in – and it became clear that 1) we lost an amazing (and young) comic mind, and 2) he needed help but was a master of masking his pain with humor.

Born in Oklahoma, the Emerson College grad already had amazing credits under his belt including IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, The Sarah Silverman Program and most recently as an actor and Executive Producer of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.

I listened to a few haunting and honest hours of interviews with him this weekend on various comedy podcasts. He was very open about his struggles with opiates and heroin addiction. His genius came through in a single statement that has stuck with me:

“I wrote the entire #humblebrag book on heroin. Which ironically is a #humblebrag.“

Wittels’ legacy lives on through countless #humblebrags daily…

~ Jaime Hamel, @StopHamelTime & Digital Strategist, The S3 Agency


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