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‘Titus’ shakes family tree

Mormon uncle might fall out

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PASADENA, Calif. — Fox's over-the-edge sitcom "Titus" is based on the real life of its star, Christopher Titus — and, given the show's content, that's always been sort of scary, given the fact that his father is an abusive lout and his mother is mentally unbalanced.

This season, Rachel Roth is joining the cast as Titus' 15-year-old niece, a goth/drug dealer. And Titus assures us there are more relatives out there to base characters on.

"Oh, we've got Thorazine Uncle Eddie. . . . He's actually a millionaire, but when he comes to watch the show he parks his motorhome in the parking lot of the studio and has his generator run all night," Titus said.

And executive producer Jack Kenny said that the funeral of Titus' real-life father earlier this year was "a veritable casting call."

"We have my Mormon uncle, who at the funeral did some wild stuff," Titus said.

Can't wait for that one.

FACT NOT FICTION: Cynthia Watros, who plays Christopher Titus' girlfriend in "Titus," recently gave birth to twin girls. Erin Titus, Christopher's real-life wife, is expecting a baby of her own.

So, has any consideration been given to having fiction follow fact and adding a baby to the cast of "Titus"? Not much.

"Nothing has killed a television comedy quicker — especially one that is as edgy as ours — than having a little kid," TItus said. And, as he correctly pointed out, it would be tough to have the father from hell (Titus' fictional dad, played by Stacy Keach) play as the grandfather from hell.

"Can you imagine (Keach) doing what he does on the show with a little kid next to me?" Titus asked. "It would scare me."

Oddly enough, however, he added, "I do have a plan for it later on."

MR. TACT: Erin Titus is due to give birth next month, and her husband is offering her his own special brand of support.

"She's right over there in the back," Christopher Titus said, pointing her out to critics. "She's all fat."

NO KIDDING: Christopher Titus said he's not sure what kind of father he's going to be.

"It's coming out in five weeks and I'm frightened at how I'm going to raise a kid," he said.

He's not alone.

ANOTHER MESSED-UP FAMILY: Titus has always maintained — and his wife has agreed — that her family is at least as messed up as his. And, apparently, he could be right.

The sitcom star said that, before "Titus" premiered, members of his family signed releases so the show's characters could be based on them, something members of Erin's family had not done.

"Then we aired the first couple of episodes and her family is going, 'Hey, we ought to sign releases,' " Titus said. "Well, I'm tearing up my own family and (Erin's family) actually wanted to be part of the destruction of their own personalities. So that's how screwed up they are.

"So we've actually got them to sign releases, too."

MAYBE MARRIED: The fictional Christopher and Erin might get married this season. And they might not.

"We are going to attempt to get married, probably every year," Titus said.

They almost got married last season, until Christopher's mother shot somebody at their wedding. And, remember, the show is based on real life.

"The true part is my mom actually shot and killed her last husband," he said. "The fake part is that it didn't happen at our wedding."

DRAWING ON REAL LIFE: Titus readily admits that everything in his life and in the lives of his family members is fair game, but sometimes he does seem to go a bit too far. Like when his real-life brother, Dave, threatened suicide and his TV brother did the same.

"Every morning I would talk to him and finally one day he said, 'I want you to know that I finally figured out the best way to kill myself.' And me being the loving brother, I went into the writers' room and said, 'Hey, we got a new story,' " Titus said. "Dave's OK now. I talked him out of it. But that's where that came from."


E-MAIL: pierce@desnews.com