Born October 1, 1964 in Castro Valley, California, Christopher Titus had many problems in his early life. He tried to deal with alcoholism and drug addiction, and everything culminated when he, while intoxicated, fell into a bonfire at a party. Doctors said he would have died if he inhaled the smoke. He would later describe this as his epiphany, and proceeded to start his life anew.
Titus became known for his distinctive style of comedy. Calling it “therapeutic stand-up comedy,” he pokes fun at his dysfunctional family and his life experiences—fighting with his father, the suicide of his mother, and his personal demons were all part of his act. After performing stand-up in several venues, he staged his wildly successful one-man show, Norman Rockwell is Bleeding, in Los Angeles. His stand-up was a highlight of several Montreal Just for Laughs Festivals in the late 1990s. At the same time, he made occasional appearances on television.
Normal Rockwell is Bleeding formed the backbone for Titus’ breakout hit, the dark comedy Titus. Loosely based on his life, it was aired as a limited-run midseason replacement in 2000, but positive reviews—on its controversial nature and its innovative, distinct format—led to the show being aired until 2002. Titus became an overnight celebrity; he appeared as a guest on several talk shows, and his stand-up acts were features across television. He also earned nominations from the Emmys and the Writers’ Guild of America for his work in the show.
After the end of Titus, Titus continued working for television. He was involved in a comedy pilot, Future Tense, which was unfortunately not picked up by networks. In 2007, he returned to acting for the small screen, playing the role of crisis management expert Brody Johns in the short-lived drama Big Shots. Critical response to the series was disappointing, and it led to its cancellation after its first season.