Harris Wittels, who worked as a writer and executive producer on the NBC television comedy Parks and Recreation, has been found dead of a possible drug overdose at his Los Angeles home. He was 30.

Wittels’ assistant found him at his home in the Los Feliz area around noon on Thursday, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police officer Rosario Herrera said.

She said the death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, but the Los Angeles County coroner’s office will determine the exact cause.

Wittels had talked about his struggles with drug abuse in a podcast last northern autumn.

He was a co-executive producer and writer with occasional acting appearances on Parks and Recreation, and his death comes just a few days before the series finale of the seven-season comedy starring Amy Poehler.

Poehler paid tribute to Wittels on Thursday night when she was honoured by Variety magazine at its unite4humanity event, where she told the crowd, “I don’t really feel like telling any jokes.

“Today, I lost a friend,” Poehler said. “I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction.”

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Wittels also performed stand-up comedy and wrote for other TV shows, including The Sarah Silverman Program and Eastbound & Down.

He popularised the term “humblebrag” with his Twitter account of the same name, which eventually became the book Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty. He used it to mock celebrities and others who masked their braggadocio in self-deprecation.

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