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.
Fame is one of those things people tend to want until they have it - or that people shy away from entirely because they understand how sideways it tends to go.
But what about people who end up famous after their deaths? Or who managed to get more famous from the afterlife?
Reddit user GCanuck asked:
"Which historically famous person do you think would be most surprised to learn they are famous?"
If your mind immediately went to that Vincent Van Gogh scene from Dr. Who then 1. you're a nerd (me too!) and 2. you're not alone.
Here's what Reddit had to say.
The Little Painter FellowVan Gogh Reaction GIF by GIF IT UPGiphy
"Vincent van Gogh."
"His paintings made billions of dollars for rich people, but couldn't trade a painting for a meal during his lifetime. Had to be supported by his brother."
"It’s amazing how many pieces he created in such a short time considering how unsuccessful he was in selling them while alive. He kept banging them out despite his 'failure'.”
"He was encouraged to paint as part of his therapy/rehabilitation. He was a pretty disturbed guy, and not in a romantic way."
"Have you ever seen the Doctor Who episode about him?"
"This is what actually prompted this question for me."
"Most of the world has read your diary."
"Wait...All of my diary?"
"Her Father censored some of it because she talks about her body and other things, I can't really blame him for that. Modern prints are uncensored."
"She’d have been thrilled, but I don’t think surprised is the right word. She dreamed of being a published author. She knew that she was creating something valuable and important with her diary, and she wanted it to be published."
"I wonder what she'd think of her diary being turned into a stage play including a Broadway run and thousands of young girls doing their best to recreate all the different facets both good and bad of how she acted during her time in the Annex."
Herman The Whalebart simpson episode 3 GIFGiphy
"He had a few early successes with seafaring books, but Moby-Dick was a total flop that got bad reviews, and he spent the final decades of his life working in the customs department."
"He would be shocked to hear he wrote the Great American Novel."
"My boyfriend is from New Bedford, MA. Apparently the local high schools there had big murals depicting scenes from Moby Dick." "
*That* would have amazed Melville."
"Dude, that's the best part. You never know what's coming next. It's like:"
"45 pages of unintentionally hilarious interactions between Ishmael and Queequeg."
"30 pages of incredible, brooding drama written in stage play format for some reason."
"100 page essay about some minor technical details about whaling and how some village built their chieftain's hall out of a whale's ribcage."
"Another 20 pages of Ahab chewing the scenery and embodying mankind's self-destructive obsessions"
"Then Queequeg speaking his last words but then deciding he doesn't want to die yet and miraculously springing back to life."
"Like the ocean itself, you have to accept that Moby Dick moves at its own pace lol"
We, In Fact, Did Not Forget
"Hegelochus, an actor who mispronounced a word in a play in the year 408 BC and was mocked so thoroughly for it, his mistake has made it into the collective ledger of things historians know about and generally agree upon having happened… and we're still aware of it over 2,400 years later."
"Imagine making a meme today with a word misspelled, and others found that misspelling so egregiously mockable that you are still known for it in the year 4422."
" 'Oh come on get over it. No one will remember about that by tomorrow' -Hehelochus’ mom probably"
"He must have went to sleep running the moment in his head over and over again, but he probably tried to comfort himself by thinking, 'well, at least it's not like some space-age hyper-futuristic society is going to be discussing this thousands of years from now on their magic boxes powered by lightning in some language that doesn't even exist yet'."
"This is the worst nightmare of everyone that has been told to stop worrying because no one will pay as much attention to what you're doing as you."
"Counter point: Hegelochus."
"Kafka. Rarely published in his lifetime, and when he did it was in obscure magazines which nobody read."
"Explicitly asked that his works be destroyed after his death. It's only because his executor disregarded his wishes and published his unfinished works (which comprise the majority of his oeuvre) that he is famous today."
"Kafka is a good example of how much can anxiety ruin a person's life"
"Kafka wrote his stories to be shared with a group of friends like story-telling at a campfire"
"Blind Willie Johnson."
"He passed away blind, poor and sick, lying in the ruins of his house after it was burnt down."
"And his song 'Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground' left our solar system not too long ago aboard the Voyager to be listened to by life among the stars."
"I really like to think one day-thousands and thousands of years in the future, an alien race will find that golden disk and hear his voice."
"I think the fact he had such a poor life but could one day live eternally amongst the stars is so beautiful."
"Found out about him through a VSauce video."
"I listened to a couple songs and really liked them, he had a great voice and had a great talent for playing guitar despite being blind. Such a humbling and inspiring story he had"
"I remember learning about this in a Vsauce video and crying profusely afterwards, but not only from sadness, also from hope, and some other emotions I can’t possibly describe."
"The fact that he died at the lowest of lows, blind, sick, poor, and alone, yet he very well could be the man that teaches the stars about the very essence of humanity… there’s just something so intrinsically beautiful about that."
"Humanity, flawed as it is, is as intrinsically kind and beautiful as it is evil. The world forgets that sometimes."
Other Madonnamona lisa oh no you didnt GIFGiphy
"Lisa Gherardini, the Mona Lisa model."
"She was just some unremarkable random wife. Fast forward a few hundred years and she ended up as one of the most recognizable faces in history."
"HER NAMES NOT EVEN MONA LISA?!"
" 'Monna' was a shortening of the Italian word 'madonna', which was the equivalent of the English 'Madam'."
Honor Well Pass Death
"This is the dead body they used in Operation Mincemeat."
"The man basically consumed rat poison to commit suicide."
"His corpse was then used for a British secret operation to carry fake documents for the Nazis to find in order to make them think they were invading Greece and not Sicily."
"This man died in a alleyway and went on the become a dedicated Major in the British military buried with full military rites - under his fake name, but still him in physical form."
"He was originally buried under his covert identity (in Spain where his body washed ashore after being deposited in the sea nearby by a Royal Navy submarine), Major William Martin of the Royal Marines."
"In 2009 or thereabouts his real name (Glyndwr Michael) was added to his gravestone."
"I thought he died of tuberculosis so it’d be more convincing he was a British serviceman who drowned? Or maybe that was the guy used to make the Nazis think the Allies were invading Calais instead of Normandy."
"It was rat poison but it's not clear if it was a suicide."
"The poison was in the form of a paste that would be smeared on pieces of bread; rodents eat the bread, rodents die. Or in this case; poor Welshman eats the bread, poor Welshman dies."
"It's not clear whether he knew the paste was poison, or whether he was just hungry and thought he genuinely found some bread lying around."
"Where the confusion comes in is that the guy in charge of Mincemeat claimed the body was that of a young man who died of pneumonia, and that the parents had given permission for his body to be used as it was."
A Real Hero
"A literal hero of humanity who in some ways is still alive."
"Her family deserved so much better though."
"Can I get a short version? I don't think I've heard of her before"
"Her contribution to science is and continues to be gigantic"
Laws Of Inheritance
"Gregor Mendel, the monk and scientist who experimented with pea plant traits to describe what we today literally call Mendelian inheritance."
"The significance of Mendel's findings, which he published in 1866, went almost completely unrecognized during his life and after his death. His work was only rediscovered in the early 1900s when modern ideas about inheritance and selection started taking hold."
"I can differ there. When he first stated his theory, he was sure it was correct (as it was) but was rejected. I can imagine him not being surprised at the fact that his work was re recognised as right later down the line"
"It's entirely possible you're correct and Mendel suspected that someday he'd be proved right. At the same time, however, he spent decades after his discovery trying and failing to elicit interest from the academic public or individual biologists, and retired from science to become a monastery administrator, which looks a lot like 'giving up'."
Okay, so we learned some interesting history today. How about you?
Don't you love a good myth?
Let's put some of NSFW ones to the test.
RedditorWizzlyG33wanted to hear about what lies need to be exposed when it comes to sex, death and all things over the top in life. They asked:
"If MythBusters had a NSFW episode, what would you want to see on it?"
Oh JamieSeason 1 Love GIF by OutlanderGiphy
"A five second segment where Jamie points at a diagram and says, in complete deadpan, 'This is where the clitoris is.'"
"If they did such an episode, I could see this being in it for sure."
"I want them to purchase every pill they see on the internet that would make their penis bigger and see what happens."
"I think we can call that one BUSTED already. In what version of any world can you imagine there is a simple pill to make your junk more impressive and every dude you know doesn't already have a case of 10000 pills stashed under the bed?"
"Can you actually get an STD from a toilet seat?"
"This is an interesting thing actually. It was a myth deliberately perpetuated to make people less ashamed of asking for STD tests."
"Fun fact: There are multiple STDs that can be dormant (like inactive) for years. Like several years."
"You’d never know you had gotten it. Then something triggers it, maybe an infection or something, and then you start showing symptoms/Can now test positive. So technically a partner from years before could have given it to you and you either think your SO is cheating or haven’t been with anybody in a long time. Either way it’s scary when you think about it."
"Does a person really stay conscious for a few moments after beheading?"
"There was a French physician who tested this in the early 1900s. After a criminal was beheaded he picked up the head and shouted the criminal's name. The guy opened his eyes and made eye contact with the physician over a period of 30 seconds whenever his name was called. Edit: I provided the source in other comments but here it is on the original comment."
Theorieslooking down homer simpson GIFGiphy
"Size correlates to what? Feet? Nose? So many theories."
"I have size 12 feet and a massive nose and huge hands and the little guy is small."
Oh the lies and the rumors and the shade.
More is MoreSeth Meyers Dancing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"They did prove that women with larger breasts will get more tips. Which isn’t really not safe for work, because Kari literally was working at a coffee shop."
"If breast enlargements will help your job would you be able to write them off on your taxes?"
"How deep underwater are you still able to orgasm?"
"Pretty sure there's no lower limit. When you're underwater, your body is under pressure, but for the most part doesn't actually get compressed. Only your air spaces (lungs, sinuses, inner ears) are really subject to compression from ambient water pressure. There can be painful exceptions like air pockets inside a tooth filling, which I do not recommend experiencing."
"Most of your body is water or various solids, which push back on the ambient water pressure. You prostate shouldn't be blocked by water pressure any more than your bladder is. Source: am old scuba diver, I've done all kinds of things a hundred feet underwater. At that depth the ambient pressure is 4 bar, which in olden-tymes units is nearly 60 pounds per square inch. Also: fish do it underwater, doesn't seem to stop them."
"Does pineapple make your semen taste better?"
"Post orgasm clarity: How much better can you solve puzzles or remember something?"
"Well, recently I did a lot of reaction time tests on humanbenchmark.com and while normally I get average of around 140-145, after a good O I consistently got around 130-135, very often getting single clicks close to 120 which almost never happens in other cases. And it's weird because I feel more tired but apparently my reaction time improves for some reason."
Safety FirstSafety Helmet GIF by Just SecondsGiphy
"A take on the top ten OSHA violations list to see if they are as dangerous as they say."
"Safety regulations are written in blood."
Well that is a ton of great suggestions. Let's work on it.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Many people value solitude, and having time to themselves.
For others though, loneliness can be a crippling feeling.
Having no one to talk to or spend time with can get wearying after an extended amount of time.
Something many people know more than ever after the global pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
But while some people simply succumb to being lonely, others will find ways to help them cope with, if not completely forget, being all alone.
Redditor No_Blackberry_6286 was curious to hear the different ways people have of coping with their loneliness, leading them to ask:
"Reddit, how do you cope with loneliness?"
Make the most with what makes you happy
"I've learned to enjoy my own company and focus on my hobbies."
"Funny enough, this gives me stuff to talk about when I am around people."
Voices in the background
"Listening to people talk on YouTube so I feel less alone in my house."
Millions of friends, just one click away.
"Chat with random people on Reddit."internet computer GIFGiphy
Still figuring it out
"I don't I'm f*cking miserable."- Savathunh
"I don't :("- __MashedPotatoes__·
Get my body movin'
"It makes me feel better about myself and I have something to do alone."- DerpBread69Gym Working Out GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
Who says I need to?
"I love solitude."- Befuddled_GenXer
"I become one with loneliness."- thenewyorkofficesolitude GIFGiphy
Hit the snooze button
"Sleep 12+ hours a day."- RockandRoll682
Instant tension and relief
"Lots of arguing online about sh*t I don't care about at all, just to have some form of social interaction, and get off at least 3 times a day."-
There are very few worse feelings than that of being alone.
But it's also quite remarkable how much doing something that makes you happy, be it ever so simple, can elevate your feelings.
In this day and age of advancement, it's crazy how so many things leave our heads scratching.
Like how in 2022 is such and such still around?
Everyone in New York wondered that for the past decade until they took the final payphone.
I always wonder about companies that still make you send a fax.
Y'all have heard of email right?
RedditorPineapple_WarpDrivewanted to compare notes on why we think certain things and parts of life are not yet obsolete this late in the game of time. They asked:
"It’s 2022, what shouldn’t exist now?"
I feel like the list will be longer than we expect. We are still behind in certain ways.
lazy...Bubble Gum Cartoon GIFGiphy
"People sticking gum on random surfaces instead of at least throwing it towards the trash can a few feet away."
How is this allowed?
"'Convenience' fees to pay bills online."
"Yeah or any 'additional fee' that’s required to buy the product or service. Advertise $100 but then at check out they add in service fee $25, convenience fee $10."
"Always at the last second too, usually right before you enter your credit card info. Wtf? How is this allowed? Just advertise $135 if that’s the price the customer is paying. Should not be allowed to bait a low price and switch with a higher one once the customer is already invested."
Can you hear me now?
"Not being able to get cell service is spots in my own home."
"A friend worked in Africa building homes for the people. He said there were bush men with spears and loin cloths with a cell phone clipped on the side. Middle of nowhere yet reception everywhere."
"Most of Africa skipped land lines altogether and went straight to mobile. In the west, cell phones and mobile internet are a luxury, in less developed regions it's often the only way to communicate."
"Companies that create problems and sell solutions instead of solving existing problems."
"This was the inevitable outcome of an economic system in which only those doing labor are allowed to have food and shelter, yet technology is constantly reducing the amount of labor that is actually necessary."
"We only get money for food if we are seen to be working on problems. Now we're having a shortage of actual problems so we must make artificial ones to keep surviving. If only we had UBI, all of these pointless industries would disappear overnight as no one wants to keep working these jobs they know are pointless."
Hang UpCall Me Hello GIF by IDKGiphy
"I literally had spammers somehow dupe the phone number of my local council, it's scary just how close they can get."
I HATE these SPAM calls. All hours of the day and night. I hate you!
Speed UpInternet Mouse GIF by kotutohumGiphy
"We figured it out. Just that the companies are greedy and keep the money for themselves instead of upgrading infrastructure."
"I know! Whatever happened with the Paperwork Reduction Act?"
"in the U.S. you can reduce your junk mail a lot by going to.DMAChoice.org and OptOutPrescreen.com and filling out the forms for your address. I have reduced my junk mail by about 90% : FTC source"
"Having to spend 3 hours in traffic everyday."
"Because North American cities have over restrictive zoning laws that segregate cities based on type of usage and they build to a very low density and with car-centric development that makes it so everyone has to use a car to get anywhere."
"It's not so easy to just 'find a job closer to home' for example I'll search on Indeed and the closest job in my line of work is like 2hrs away."
"So everything but earth Is round right? (according to flat Earthers) So as some members say it's like a frisbee in space. What if, bear with me... the reason the world will end is because a giant dog will catch us and kill everyone on earth by shaking the frisbee too much and cause floods and crap. Because if so, that's how I wanna die, letting a pupper have some fun with a fisbee."
Grossunderstand john boehner GIFGiphy
"Child beauty pageants."
"If I see a mother make her child do one of those, I WILL judge her."
Can we work on eradicating these things? It's all well past expired.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.