|Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt character|
"Kimmy Goes Outside!" (1.01) |
March 6, 2015
|Created by||Tina Fey|
|Portrayed by||Tituss Burgess|
Ronald Effin Wilkerson (birth name)|
(m. 1998; separated 1998)
Mikey Politano (ex-boyfriend)
|Relatives||5 unnamed aunts; at least 2 named Ernestine|
Born Ronald Wilkerson in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, where he was raised by five aunts (one of whom, Ernestine, melted), Titus Andromedon knew from a young age he was gay, but had no choice but to stay in the closet. He had an extremely awkward time in high school as a popular kid on the football team whom girls wanted to have sex with. He was selected as prom king. He remained in the closet until his wedding day to childhood friend Vonda Jeanne Brooks. The thought of the wedding night was too much for him and he fled the reception without saying goodbye, travelling to New York to begin a new life under a new name, Titus Andromedon.
Titus is an aspiring Broadway performer. He auditioned for The Lion King on Broadway at least 20 times and never got in because he did not came off as straight. He tried to put on his own production, but only got one audience member, who had come to show him copyright laws.
His rival is Coriolanus Burt (James Monroe Iglehart), who beat him for the role of Sharecropper #2/Cow in Alabama!, an all black version of Oklahoma!, by running onto the stage in the middle of his performance at callbacks and announcing the death of Gianni Versace.
Titus rents from Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane), and makes extra money by walking around dressed as an Iron Man-esque character. Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) becomes his roommate, and convinces him to return the costume and get back his investment fee, which, with some effort, he does.
The money, $200, is stolen from him. He manages to get new headshots taken, and gets an agent. He auditions for the role of Spider-Man #12 in the new Broadway musical Spider-Man Too: 2 Many Spider-Men (a parody of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Spiderverse). He loses the role to Coriolanus, but is happy because he realizes that if Coriolanus is going out for the same awful roles he is then the Alabama! role was not the big break he thought it was.
Titus makes a music video of an original song titled "Peeno Noir", "an ode to Black penis". Lillian films it for him, though finding the exact location is hard (including a bat-infested chandelier factory). As a result, he helps Xanthippe Voorhees (Dylan Gelula), the stepdaughter of Kimmy's employer Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski), clean up after a drunken party, in order to shoot the video in her house and keep from getting Kimmy fired.
Kimmy gets Titus a gig singing at Jacqueline's dinner party, where he meets the owner of a spooky-themed singing restaurant, where he gets a part as a Frankenwolf. He auditions for a part at the restaurant with a monologue, but after he does not get it, he takes very intense acting lessons about how to act like a straight man.
Titus drags Kimmy down to Indiana for the trial of her kidnapper Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm), where he takes all the TV and radio show interviews for her. One TV show starts without him realizing, causing his viral video Gonna Be Famous (Remix) to become an Internet hit. This video later led to Titus' wife Vonda, who believed he was dead, arriving in Indiana to see him.
At the start of the show's second season, Vonda attempts to sue Titus for spousal support; however, as Titus was legally declared dead in 2008, Vonda's lawsuit could not go forward. It is later revealed that Vonda wants only an apology from Titus, which he initially refuses to give, but Kimmy eventually pushes him to do it. Titus, who is often resistant to relationships because he feels he will be let down at the end, later becomes involved with a construction worker named Mikey Politano, who initially struggles with his sexuality and comes out with Titus' help.
Titus begins workshopping his new musical Kimono You Didn't: Murasaki's Journey, about his past life as a geisha, which initially sparked internet controversy but was ultimately well-received. After being promoted to Spooky Gravedigger, he quits his job at Dr. Dracula's Spooky Lab & Bar & Grill.
He books a part as a swing in a production called Mahogany starring Dionne Warwick (portrayed by Maya Rudolph) on a cruise ship departing from Miami. On the cruise, Titus and Warwick become very close, and when she falls ill she has him take over her role for nine performances. Titus is very well received, and becomes addicted to the attention. He intentionally poisons Warwick and accidentally poisons the rest of the ship to try to continue his role. Ashamed, he leaves the cruise on a lifeboat, eating his $10,000 worth of checks, his wigs, and a dolphin to keep from starving. He ends up arriving back in New York early.
Titus auditions for Sesame Street and is offered a role on the condition that he has a three way with the producer and a puppet, which he refuses. He sees what appears to be Mikey cheating on him, and records his own version of Beyoncé's Lemonade before realizing he is wrong. He goes on to break up with Mikey because he did not want to have to put the stress on him of being his first and only boyfriend.
Titus gets a job singing backup vocals for highly offensive conspiracy theory songs, and ended up also singing lead vocals for a song called "Boobs in California" which proves a surprise hit. Titus' likeness is also used for the villain in a series of medicine commercials (which he auditioned for but the company thought he was crazy).
Kimmy convinces Titus to go to church for the first time since he was twelve. He joins the choir, and ends up dating the lead singer, a man named Reuben. He ends up breaking up with Reuben, realizing that while he is a great guy, he is not the right kind of guy for Titus.
Titus ends up working for Jacqueline twice; first she hires him to play her gay best friend and come into her apartment and throw a fit (in an effort to get her brother in law to stop trying to sleep with her) however when this fails Titus ends up pretending to be straight and in love with Jacqueline. She later hires him to sing the National Anthem over the phone for an NFL meeting, as a method of distracting the members while she climbed up the stairs to rejoin the meeting.
After all this, Titus appears on Xanthippe Voorhees' interview show Profiles, replacing Kimmy who refused to do it.
Jacqueline gets Titus a gig singing at a sports event in an attempt to get back Mikey, ending with Titus confessing his feelings.
In season four, Titus decides to write a script, The Capist, to win back Mikey. He uses a high-profile actor who offers to allow him to pitch his work for the fictional YouTube Brown. During the episode "Party Monster", Titus is featured for the acting that he did for what he thought was a stock footage gig. He auditions for a kids' acting troupe, and shows that nerds can be jocks, and not everyone is a cliche. The principal hires him as a theatre teacher to direct Beaudy An' The Beest. After his Beest quits the show, Titus plays the Beest himself, although he has left out Hudson, essentially a younger version of himself. Eventually, Titus lets Hudson play the Beest. After that, Titus struggles to finish The Capist to pitch it to YouTube Brown, so he steals Kimmy's young adult novel and pitches it instead. He is rejected. The show ends happily though, with a song, and Titus, Kimmy, Lillian, and Jacqueline eating a Fudgy the Whale cake. It comes to light that some people who speak Hebrew are spying on them, but it is not revealed who they are or why they are spying.
Burgess has received critical acclaim for his performance. Many critics hail him as the "scene-stealer" and breakout character of the series. He was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
|2015||Webby Award||Best Actor||Won|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|2016||Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association||Best Actor||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
- "Tituss Burgess Talks 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,' Playing the Gay BFF and His Real Housewives Addiction - Essence.com". Essence. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- Megan Garber. "'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' and the Rise of Empathetic Comedy". The Atlantic. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' breakout Tituss Burgess on his alter ego (and 'Pinot Noir')". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Tituss Burgess: You're Rocking This Thing". NPR. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Pinot Noir, Broadway Star! Get to Know the Theatre Folk Behind "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" - Playbill.com". Playbill. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Tituss Burgess Entirely Improvised 'Pinot Noir' On The Set of 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'". Out. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- Yvonne Villarreal (31 March 2015). "'Kimmy Schmidt' composer Jeff Richmond on the show's viral-friendly songs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 September 2015.