Tituss Burgess will put food on his Barbie-themed TV tray by becoming a Teletubby

·2 min read
Tinky Winky vibing at New York Fashion Week
Tinky Winky vibing at New York Fashion Week

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt might’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship with a public desperately trying to sort through Tina Fey’s politics, but Titus Burgess is here to stay. Undoubtedly the funniest and most memorable part of Schmidt, Titus may have never figured out why Kimmy was afraid of velcro, but he is going to be helping kids feel good about themselves.

Starring in the reboot of Teletubbies as the narrator and, unfortunately, not the Baby Sun, Burgess will be walking the four Tubbies through their daily routine of enjoying a sunny day and eating custard. The show, which originally aired on the BBC before coming stateside on PBS, will not be airing on public television. Netflix snapped it up, so kids can enjoy Teletubbies on the expensive streaming revolution that we all clamored for.

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For those that do not remember the Teletubbies or were born after the fact, they were these fuzzy, humanoid aliens with televisions in their stomachs. They spent their days in lush green fields as a baby living in the sun watched and enjoyed their hijinks. Ultimately, it’s just nice noise and colors for babies, but they were a phenomenon.

Unfortunately, being a fuzzy alien with a TV in your belly opens you up to the right-wing grievance economy. In the late 90s, some believed the largest Tubby, Tinky Winky, was gay, despite him being unable to say any words other than “tubby,” “custard,” and the names of his companions. The rumor was more or less based on the fact that Tinky Winky has a triangle on his head and that noted bigot Jerry Falwell decided that the show was pushing an LGBTQ+ agenda of peace and acceptance on kids. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Ken Viselman, the head of the show’s production company, squashed rumors by declaring Tinky Winky is neither “gay” or “straight.” Rather, Viselman made the enlightening remark that Tinky Winky was “a character in a children’s series” and that “we should just let the Teletubbies go and play in Teletubbyland and not try to define them.” Fat chance, Viselman, this is America, and nothing can just be nice for kids! It needs to be part of a vast, unending whining machine for sad adults.

The new Teletubbies premieres on Netflix on November 14.