Sign up for the TODAY newsletter

You have successfully subscribed to the TODAY newsletter.

Subscribe now and get trending stories, celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' star Tituss Burgess on the story behind 'Peeno Noir'

by Erin Clements /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

"30 Rock" viewers know Tituss Burgess from his role as D'Fwan, but the actor has earned a new flock of fans for his scene-stealing part on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

When Burgess, who plays Kimmy's sidekick Titus Andromedon, visited Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on TODAY Wednesday, he revealed that he can relate to his character, a struggling actor trying to make it on Broadway — especially when it comes to the stressful audition process. In fact, he shared the story of how he learned he won the role of Titus on "Kimmy Schmidt."

"They made me wait about two weeks, so every day I was filling my life with food, which is what I normally do anyway," he said. "So I had ordered this pizza, and my manager had been calling me off and on, trying to get my spirits back up. And I just was not having it; I was so distraught."

Burgess, 36, was sitting in his basement apartment, about to dig in, when the phone rang. It was his manager, calling with the news that he got the part.

"In my excitement, I tossed this delicious, extra-large pepperoni pizza and it toppled over onto the floor," he recalled. "And my dismay for having toppled a perfectly good pizza trumped my excitement for getting the role of a lifetime."

Talk then turned to "Peeno Noir," the hilariously terrible music video made by his "Kimmy Schmidt" character, which has become a fan favorite.

Burgess revealed that the tune's delightfully absurd lyrics (Caviar, Myanmar / Mid-sized car / You don’t have to be popu-lar / Find out who your true friends are) were a last-minute addition.

"At the table read, I was like, 'What's the melody?' And they were like, 'Don't worry, we're going to come up with something,'" he said.

"Then it's suddenly the day of the shoot and I hadn't gotten any information about the song. They were like, 'Whatever comes out comes out.' They were literally throwing out words."

Burgess even graciously tried to incorporate the hosts into the song, singing, "Gonna be famous / gonna be on TV / So I'm with Hoda and Kathie Lee."

Watch the full interview above!

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
MORE FROM today