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Humblebrag comedy at its finest

September 14, 2012|By Deborah Vankin
  • Donald Glover, in Gap's 2010 holiday campaign ad, sparked the first humblebrag.
Donald Glover, in Gap's 2010 holiday campaign ad, sparked the first… (Gap )

Comedy, social media and decidedly old-media book publishing collide in the new book "Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty," out this week.

Harris Wittles, a writer on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation," coined the practice, which is essentially a boast masquerading as a whine. He started the Twitter feed @humblebrag dedicated to the best 140-character examples.

The book collects them, and breaks down humblebrags ("noun, verb = huhm-buhl’brag") by type. Some of our favorite celebrity pretension:

--Fox News' Greta Van Susteren: "Ugh. I just pocket dialed spokesperson for Pentagon."

--Filmmaker Judd Apatow: "Geek moment. Was introduced to Bono at a party. I said my name clearly when introduced. Praying for any hint of Judd awareness. NOTHING."

--"The Bachelor’s" Jake Pavelka (if just because of his challenged spelling): "Swimsuit photo shoots are like a shot in the arm. Glad when there over!"

Wittles, who also plays Harris the animal-control guy on "Parks and Rec," says humblebragging started as an inside joke on the set of "Parks."

The very first humblebrag was from "Community" comic Donald Glover. With a photo of his then-new Gap ad attached, Glover tweeted: "Its an honor to be the 1st thing japanese men see after reading their porn on the subway."

But our favorite humblebrag of all might be the author's bit of false modesty on the cover of the book, under his byline. "Harris Wittles: who would love some free time but has been too busy writing for Parks and Recreation, Eastbound & Down, and a bunch of other stuff. #vacationplease”

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twitter.com/@debvankin

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