Titus' Boyfriend Mikey In 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Has Left His Catcalling Days Behind
When Kimmy Schmidt was subjected to street harassment last season, her response was genius, without meaning to be, and led her catcaller, Mikey the construction worker, to rethink his relationship with women. While her response to “Hey, Red, you're making me wish I was those jeans” on the show was, “Well, I wish I was your yellow hat!” worked great in Kimmy’s universe (and was hilarious), I’m not sure it would lead to the same revelations in real life, because most catcallers aren’t Mikey. In fact, Mikey’s epiphanies were so memorable, he is returning in an expanded role for the show's second season, coming to Netflix Friday, April 15. So, who is Mikey from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?
In Season 1, after Mikey’s encounter with Kimmy, he took a few days to rethink how he talks to women and why he says such awful things, at least that’s what Mikey tells Titus when he asks him on a date — because it turns out Kimmy’s comment led Mikey to realize that he is gay. Of course, Titus, who had been feeling low and old, feels vindicated after being asked out by a “tasty little Bob the Builder.” Titus then emerged from his thrift store sweater cocoon — a butterfly, clad in a “baby slut” softball tee. The entire scene was so memorable, and funny, and sassy, so I'm thrilled that Mikey is back as a love interest for Titus.
The actor who plays Mikey, Mike Carlsen, tells Bustle all about the character and his transformation at the red carpet for the Season 2 premiere. "[Mikey] realized some stuff about himself last season, and I think he kind of explores that a little bit more this season," Carlsen says. While he couldn't elaborate much more on that exploration, he did go into detail about what it meant for him to shoot that infamous catcalling scene, especially knowing how women in New York City experience that kind of thing every day.
"When I read [the scene], originally, I knew it was something special, and I had a feeling that it was going to resonate with people, because [catcalling] happens in this city all the time, and people don't really talk about it," Carlsen reveals. "The thing that I loved about it, and the thing that makes the writers so brilliant, is every single honest thing that happens in real life they're able to kind of see that, and then they flip it on its head where you're just like, ‘Wow, I never thought about it that way.'"
For both Carlsen the actor, and Mikey the character, the scene was pivotal. "The amazing thing about Tina [Fey] and Robert [Carlock], and their writing, is the fact that you know it's never surface level, it's always trying to find something deeper. And, I think as far as an arc for Mikey's character, is that kind of [leads] him to explore New York and what it can offer.”
Carlsen also spoke to Vanity Fair about his upgrade to Titus’ boyfriend in Season 2. He said he likes their relationship because, "There’s no stereotypical idea of what gay is anymore. Mikey is such a dude, but he’s gay. People are who they are, and it doesn’t matter who you are, because it’s about love.”
While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt certainly didn't invent the idea of a non-stereotypical gay character, it is nice to see the show representing all kinds of people and acknowledging that there's no one right way to exist.
Also, fun fact: Mikey the construction worker may seem familiar to 30 Rock fans. Kimmy Schmidt and Liz Lemon do not live in the same universe (even though Jane Krakowski and Tina Fey have roles on both series), so Mikey is the only crossover character. He also appeared as a catcalling construction worker in the aptly titled 30 Rock episode, “When It Rains, It Pours.”
30 Rock and Kimmy Schmidt fans rejoice, this series-travelling, construction worker returns with the rest of the gang — Kimmy, Titus, Lillian, and Jacqueline — Friday, April 15, when the entire second season hits Netflix. And, this time, his catcalling days are over for good.
Images: Giphy; Netflix (2)