People Reveal BTS Facts About The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable. It's a miracle.
The nation fell in love with Ellie Goulding as the starry-eyed, spunky Kimmy Schmidt who began a new life in the Big Apple after spending the better part of her adult life locked underground in a bunker.
Along the way, we met (and loved) several other inhabitants of the big city, such as Titus Andromedon, our favorite performer/Times Square costume character; Lillian Kaushtupper, the eccentric landlord of Kimmy and Titus's apartment; and of course Jacqueline Voorhees, the completely out of touch rich socialite from whom Kimmy gets her first job.
The cast and show are unforgettable. But did you know that the show was going to originally be called Tooken? Or that it was written to be broadcast on NBC, but the network rejected it?
Here are some things you might not have known about The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Tina Fey's concept for the show was originally much darker.Giphy
When under the working title Tooken, the show was going to focus on Kimmy's dark past in the bunker. But once they agreed upon the new title, the tone of the show also changed.
"Once we agreed upon this [title], it ended up informing the episodes. They did end up leaning more towards the positive and the future as opposed to what had happened in the past," Tina Fey told BuzzFeed.
There was going to be a scene, when Kimmy found the rat in the bunker, where she was locked in a metal box by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm).
There Was Another "Mole Woman"
The four "mole women" who were freed from captivity set the stage for Kimmy's life to move forward. But originally, we were supposed to meet a fifth: an FBI Agent named Clarisse. In the original pilot script, she would have revealed that after being disarmed and trapped in a refrigerator by the Reverend, she agreed to join the bunker.
NBC Rejected The Show
NBC feared that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt wouldn't fit in with their large lineup of dramas.
The network had already ordered 13 episodes, but, if it failed to generate positive ratings, they would be forced to cancel it, and the anxiety was enough for them to drop the show from their lineup altogether.
But, in November 2014, Netflix was able to acquire the series from NBC, and they invested in two seasons.
Kimmy and Jacqueline Were Written With Kemper and Krakowski In Mind--But Tituss Had To Audition For Titus
Tina Fey reportedly told Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski that she'd written the roles of Kimmy and Jacqueline Voorhees with the two actresses in mind. However, though Titus Andromedon was technically based on Tituss Burgess, Burgess still had to audition for the role.
"We thought, okay, he can hit one-liners, and he has presence and style, but we started to mold the character without really knowing how deep the chest was," Robert Carlock, the second showrunner, told Entertainment Weekly. "I mean, he had to audition for a part named after him!"
Burgess Now Has His Own Brand Of Pinot Noir
After the popularity of the song "Peeno Noir," Tituss Burgess created his own brand of Pinot Noir.
Pinot by Tituss is described as possessing "aromas of dried fruits, slate, subtle rosemary, coriander and roses lead to flavors of plum and black cherry cola."
The Writers Didn't Just Pull "Xanthippe" Out Of Mid Air
Jacqueline's stepdaughter, Xanthippe, is a major antagonist to Kimmy in the first season who eventually comes to respect the whacky newly-free mole woman.
The name "Xanthippe" points to Tina Fey's Greek heritage: "Xanthippe" is an ancient Greek name, belonging to several minor figures in Greek mythology, as well as to the historical wife of the philosopher Socrates.
Historical Xanthippe was extremely young when she married Socrates, and that she had a difficult and argumentative personality, if we are to believe Socrates and his fellow philosophers, which, they're men, so we probably don't.
Antisthenes called Xanthippe "the hardest to get along with of all the women there are-yes, or all that ever were, I suspect, or ever will be?"
Socrates says that he chose Xanthippe because he wanted a wife who had a challenging personality.
The name literally means "yellow horse" ("xanthos" meaning blonde/yellow and "hippos" meaning horse).
The Episodic Name Formula
Almost every episode of the series is entitled "Kimmy [does] [thing]!"
However, there is one episode that breaks this formula.
Season 4, Episode 9, is entitled "Sliding Van Doors," a play on the1998 film Sliding Doors.
Inspired by the plot of Sliding Doors, the episode envisions an alternate reality depicting what life would have been like if Kimmy never got into the Reverend's vanand Titus had missed his audition for The Lion King.
Shakespeare-"What's In A Name?"
The characters Titus Andromedon and Coriolanus Burt, who are bitter rivals in the series, are named after two major Shakespearean tragedies.
The first, Titus Andronicus, is considered one of the most bloody plays in the entire canon. Most of the major cast dies horrific deaths, including one character being baked in a pie and fed to his mother.
The other, Coriolanus, tells the story of the Roman leader Caius Marcus Coriolanus. Coriolanus consistently rebels against the government of Rome until he himself is given a position of power, at which point he begins exercising tyranny to keep the people in line, demonstrating the famous The Dark Knight line: "you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Ellie Kemper Has An Ivy League Degree
Ellie Kemper, who plays Kimmy, graduated with a Bachelor Of Arts in English from Princeton University in 2002.
While in school, Kemper was a member of the campus's improv/comedy group Quipfire.
Jacqueline's Family Names Are All References To Fictional Murderers
Jacqueline Voorhees (née White) may have a familiar last name. Voorhees? Like Jason Voorhees? As in, the killer from Friday The 13th Part II on? Yeah. That was apparently intentional.
Not to mention Xanthippe's middle name--"Lannister". Sound like a certain murdering family from a certain other beloved TV show?
Jacqueline is no murderer, but her family is pretty out of touch with basic human decency.
Minimum wage is often paid by some of the most physically and emotionally intensive work—service industry jobs. Having to work in a hot kitchen all day or deal with irate customers while being paid less than you need to survive is not exactly the best situation to be in.