Quibi star Tituss Burgess can't believe 'Dishmantled' is a real show either
"Y'all ready to watch me blow some shit up?" Image: quibi All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. By Alison...
Everyone dreams of the day Hollywood comes knocking. Of course, few can say it did. And even fewer can say it came requesting they host a reality cooking show featuring the use of high-grade explosives. That “few” is Tituss Burgess.
The newly-minted Quibi star, best known for his role Titus Andromeddon in Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, didn’t have plans to become a host — let alone one with such specific duties. But when the opportunity came to helm the fledgling Dishmantled, Burgess had to say yes. Even if the project itself didn’t “sound real.”
Burgess had to say yes. Even if the project itself didn’t “sound real.”
“My agent called and said, ‘What if there was a show where you got to blow up food on people?’ and I literally started laughing,” Burgess recalls in a phone interview with Mashable. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’ll be the day. But sign me up when it happens.’”
A week later, it happened. The competition series, which has three episodes streaming now and five more on the way, tasks Burgess with shooting food through a high-powered, cannon-like contraption. The resulting debris rains down on two chefs, both blindfolded and wearing hazmat suits, who must then recreate what they’ve tasted. From off their faces. From off their clothes. And, if they’re particularly ambitious, from off Dishmantled's floor.
The final creation is then served to Burgess and two guest judges who award $5,000 to the competitor who comes closest to the original dish. It’s unbelievable chaos, the kind that plays more like a 30 Rock punchline — coincidentally, one of Burgess’s old stomping grounds — than a real-world production.
But Dishmantled does exist. And it’s glorious.
“I just walked in there because I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen.”
To get it that way, Burgess opted to do limited prep work, instead coming into the kitchen excited (and nervous) to experience the mayhem unrehearsed. The result is an electric blast of energy, the kind that can only come from seeing complete strangers covered head-to-toe in blueberry pancake.
“I just walked in there because I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen,” Burgess says of his first day on set, noting his lack of experience with reality hosting.
“Dishmantled is its own zany, wackadoodle concept that needed its own zany, wackadoodle identity. So I purposely did not do a great deal of research. Of course, there is nothing really to research because we are the first of its kind.” Breaking new ground in the reality genre has left Burgess with a lot of questions to answer — a good number of them from yours truly.
How far were Burgess and guest judges from the explosion? “About 20 to 25 feet.” Was there a bad odor? No, there was a “delicious aroma.” Could you shoot something frozen, or would that hurt someone? No, you couldn’t. Yes, it would. Is Burgess really the one pushing the button on the cannon, or is it some kind of behind-the-scenes situation? “When I press it, things explode.”
Burgess, a self-described “introverted extrovert,” is grateful for the chance to rest and be thankful. But for fans wondering what he’s been up to, Burgess tells Mashable he’s indulging in the latest season of Netflix’s Ozark, eagerly awaiting the chance to watch Lena Waithe’s You Ain’t Got These on Quibi, and filling his days with the soundtracks of Passion, Oliver!, and Parade. He admits those are some dark selections, but they help him get in the zone when working out.
“When I press it, things explode.”
Oh, and when Broadway reopens, he’d like to see Megan Mullally star as Mama Rose in a revival of Gypsy. He asked that we mention that specifically.
The rest of Dishmantled will be trickling into Quibi queues over the coming weeks. After that, Burgess will return in an interactive special of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for Netflix, expected later this year — with Daniel Radcliffe appearing opposite Ellie Kemper in a role Burgess described as unexpected but “brilliant.”
Until then, Burgess asks viewers to remember: “We are all we’ve got. So please, make an effort to stick together.” And of course, if you’ve got time, it’d be nice if you could watch him “blow shit up.”