Paul Rust Looks Back on His Time with the Late Harris Wittels

Paul Rust Looks Back on His Time with the Late Harris Wittels
Today (February 19) marks the release of Love, Netflix's highly anticipated new comedy series from Paul Rust, Lesley Arfin and Judd Apatow. A perfect representation of Rust's long-gestating and singular sense of humour, the show's release is a major milestone for the performer. It's also a sad day, however, as it marks the one year anniversary since celebrated comedian (and Rust's former collaborator) Harris Wittels passed away. Wittels tragically died of a heroin overdose on February 19, 2015.

Among their various collaborations, Rust and Wittels performed regularly together in the musical comedy group Don't Stop or We'll Die alongside comedian Michael Cassady.

In an interview with Exclaim! to promote Love, Rust admits that the day is bittersweet with the memory of Wittels' passing.

"Yeah, it's really really sad," Rust says. "He meant so much to me, and so many of the writers on the show knew Harris and were friends with him. We had a couple of writers from Parks and Rec on the show."

"It's funny," he continues with a gentle laugh. "Harris loved McDonald's, and the last thing we did before I called you was eat McDonald's today for lunch in tribute to Harris."

More than just fast food, the milestone has Rust thinking about bigger issues. "It's a strange day of mixed feelings, like excitement about the show but obviously like the real important stuff of life, which is your friends. That's certainly on my mind today."

Along those lines, Love too strikes a unique balance between wacky comedy and true, real-life pain. The show is available on Netflix now, and you can read more from our recent interview with Paul Rust next week.

Watch Rust, Wittels and Cassady perform in Don't Stop or We'll Die below.