Burt Hummel, United States Congressman, was a major character in the second season of Glee and a recurring character for the remainder of the seasons. He is the father of Kurt Hummel and the stepfather of the late Finn Hudson.
Burt's first wife died when Kurt was around eight years of age; in the second season, he marries Finn's mother, Carole Hudson in Furt. Burt is presented as a typical "man's man," a mechanic and a football fan. He is most noteworthy for often comforting his son and being very protective over Kurt (especially regarding his experiences after coming out as gay). In Grilled Cheesus, he almost died after suffering from a heart attack brought on by arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm), causing him to go into a coma for a period of time. He does fully recover and starts taking better care of himself. In Season Three, Burt Hummel runs against Sue for the United States Congress and he wins, leaving Sue angered and distraught, for Sue was planning to diminish glee clubs within all state schools. In the episode Goodbye, Burt dances to Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) as a graduation gift to Kurt. In Season Four he reveals to Kurt that he has Prostate Cancer and Blaine promises to take care of Burt in Lima while Kurt is in New York. He beats it. In Season Five, he watches his son get engaged, while sadly losing the other.
He is portrayed by actor Mike O'Malley. He was a recurring character during all seasons, except the second season, when he was a main character.
Burt is first mentioned by Kurt, who proudly reveals to his friends the new car his father just bought him. Unfortunately, after the window was smashed by Mercedes and Burt finds Kurt's collection of tiaras in the trunk, he takes the car back from Kurt as apparent punishment. Later on, Kurt mentions that Burt is replacing the car.
Burt catches Kurt, along with Brittany and Tina dancing to Single Ladies in his bedroom in spandex costumes. Brittany attempts to explain it with a lie that Kurt is on the football team. Kurt then tells his father that Tina is his girlfriend. He tries to explain to his father that the two girls are helping him with an exercise. Burt seems to believe this and decides to buy a ticket for the big game and seems happy he is on the football team. After Kurt gets Finn to pull some strings and get him on the football team, it is demonstrated that Kurt is a surprisingly good kicker when he wins the deciding point for the team, making Burt proud and euphoric, remarking to Kurt afterward that he wishes his mother were there alive, and that she would have been proud of him. After the football game, Kurt admits that he is gay, but Burt says he already knows and accepts Kurt.Principal Figgins about Kurt not being able to sing Defying Gravity in Glee Club. Figgins is persuaded by Burt to let Kurt and Rachel go head to head. Just before the "diva-off," Burt gets an anonymous phone call, with the caller making homophobic comments. Kurt finds out and purposefully blows the audition for the song. When Burt finds out he becomes furious that his son threw his chance, especially after he went up to bat for him with the Principal and Will. Kurt, however, tells Burt that he did it so he wouldn't be emotionally hurt by the fact that his son is not only gay, but also doing a girl song. Burt is still disappointed that his son gave up his chance, but proud of his son's strength to give up something he loved for his father, telling Kurt that he is a lot like his mother. Carole Hudson, who lost her own husband during the Gulf War, in the hopes that it would spark romance, and thus hoping that would result in him and Finn (who Kurt had a crush on) to grow closer. The plan works spectacularly as Burt and Carole fall in love with each other fast and hard. However, when Finn discovers the romance he is not pleased, afraid that Burt is erasing his deceased father's memory. Finn is initially cold towards Burt when the two families sit down for a 'family' dinner of sorts. However, he begins to warm up to Burt when they talk about sports. While Carole is pleased about this, Kurt feels left out and hurt by his father's new friendship with Finn. That night Burt confronts Kurt about his behavior. Kurt responds he couldn't remember the last time his father was that open with him. Burt tells Kurt that he would never change who he is, and that he expects Kurt to do the same for him. Kurt dismisses him with tears in his eyes, and as he leaves, Burt asks whether Kurt introduced him to Carole for their sake, or for his own (implying that he is aware of Kurt's feelings for Finn). Kurt suggests that he and Finn break Burt and Carole up, but Finn's attempt fails when his mother tells him that she is happy with Burt. When she later invites Burt over, Burt tells Finn that he really does love Carole and that he will do everything he can to make her happy. Accepting the relationship, Finn invites Burt to watch a basketball game, and sit in his deceased father's chair. Unknown to Finn and Burt, Kurt watches the father/son-like interaction, with tears in his eyes, apparently feeling as if he's lost his father. Pink Houses by John Mellencamp in Glee club in order to impress him. However, Kurt soon realizes that it doesn't get him any closer to his father. Out of worry for Kurt, Burt cancels some bonding time with Finn to find Kurt doing a spectacular rendition of Rose's Turn where he remarks that Kurt is an amazing singer and promises he'll try to spend more time with his son.
Carole and Finn move in with Kurt and Burt. After Kurt and Finn argue over the intimacy and decor in their room, Finn uses homophobic language to describe Kurt's furnishing choices. Burt overhears this and is furious. He aggressively tears into Finn for his behavior, refusing to listen to his protestations and tells him that Kurt will always come first to him. He then decides it was a bad idea to have Finn and his mother living with them and kicks Finn out of the house.
Kurt is informed of his father's condition by Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury, both of whom go to the hospital with him. Over the next week, Kurt's friends all attempt to offer both friendship and spiritual support to Kurt and Burt, though Kurt rejects their religious beliefs with increasing anger. Mercedes later tells Kurt that while he might not believe in God, he should at least believe in something. Taking her words to heart, Kurt tells Burt that he believes in him, pleading him to return. Kurt is overjoyed when he suddenly feels his father's grip tighten slightly around his hand.
Burt is seen being cared for by Kurt following his release from the hospital. When Kurt has an argument with Finn about the new kid Sam Evans being his duet partner and latest crush, he confesses his annoyance with Finn to his father. Burt and Kurt then become engaged in a slightly heated conversation, during which Burt notes that Kurt hasn't been entirely honest with him, as he heard from Carole about Kurt's infatuation with Finn. Burt then explains that while Kurt is a strong boy, not everyone is like him, and that it might not be fair to put Sam into a position that could cause him problems, and that perhaps its best to let things run at their own pace. Kurt comes to accept both Finn and Burt's words, reluctantly ending the team-up with Sam before he can suffer any major ramifications.
Burt and Carole Hudson reveal to Finn and Kurt that they are getting married, and they ask Kurt to be the wedding planner. Burt states he doesn't care about what kind of food or booze or how the wedding looks, so long as Kurt gets a great band to perform.Kurt offers up New Directions. Later, while Kurt is giving Finn and Burt dancing lessons, Dave Karofsky teases Kurt and Finn, angering Burt, who rushes after Karofsky and throws him up against the wall. The situation causes acting principal, Sue Sylvester, to call Karofsky's dad to the school. Mr. Karofsky notes that Dave has been acting different and surprisingly takes Kurt's side. Upon Kurt telling Sue that Karofsky threatened to kill him, Sue expels Karofsky. Burt and Carole marry, making Finn and Kurt stepbrothers. At the reception, Finn says that "Furt" has been born and he has Kurt's back no matter what it costs him, cementing the family bond between them all. Sue reveals that the school board has over-rode her expulsion of Karofsky and that he'll be returning the next day. Kurt leaves the office where he runs into Burt and Carole who offer to use their honeymoon money to pay for Kurt's tuition at Dalton Academy, feeling that it is safer for him to be there than at William McKinley High School. Blaine and Kurt went to a party and Blaine got drunk and slept in Kurt's bed. When Burt asks Kurt about this, he explains he let Blaine spend the night because he was too drunk to drive home. Burt thinks they had sex, but Kurt says they didn't. Burt then makes it clear that Kurt can't have anymore boys spending the night, pointing out that Finn wouldn't be permitted to have a girl sleep in his bed with him. Kurt, very upset, asks Burt to educate himself so that he could feel comfortable going to him on the subject of sex just like any straight son would be able to.
In Sexy, Burt receives information from Blaine that Kurt doesn't know anything about sex. Blaine says that Burt should help Kurt with this, because it's really important. Later, Burt provides Kurt with pamphlets from a clinic which outlines the physical part of sex and encourages Kurt to read them and ask him questions about the material later. Burt then has a discussion with Kurt about the emotional ramifications of sex. Burt says that most men think sex is just sex, but explains how it can actually impact self-esteem. Burt tells Kurt that he matters and wants him to wait until he knows is ready for both the physical and emotional parts of sex. Kurt asks when he can have sex, and Burt jokes that it'll be a nice gift for himself when he's thirty.
Burt is seen in this episode briefly defending Kurt against Dave once again. Dave is trying to get Kurt to come back to McKinley, but Burt is concerned, reminding everyone about how Dave had threatened Kurt's life and how he and Carole had to spend money they didn't have so Kurt could go to private school to be safe. In the end, the situation is resolved and Kurt is able to return to McKinley.
Burt helps Kurt decide his prom outfit. When Kurt comes in with a kilt on, Burt tells him that he will be made fun of for it. Kurt's new boyfriend, Blaine Anderson, agrees. However Kurt wears it to the Prom, and eventually gets crowned Prom Queen.
Rachel talks to Finn who now works in Burt's shop. Burt advises Kurt to show who he really is, with respect to his candidacy for class president.
Burt becomes a candidate running for the House of Representatives against Sue, with Will as his campaign manager. Burt is running because he wants to ensure that the arts are not canceled due to the fact that Kurt being in glee club saved his life. He also helps save the school musical when Sue initially gets it shut down.
Burt, Sue and Will inform Santana of the political attack TV advertisement that intends to expose Santana's homosexuality. Burt offers to help with her parents since he had his own experience with Kurt. Santana tearfully tells them her family doesn't know of her own sexuality before running away.
Burt finally wins his candidacy for the House of Representatives against Sue. He is in Principal Figgins' office with Kurt when Kurt is suspected to have stuffed the ballot box for the student council election. Burt is disappointed when Kurt confesses that although he didn't stuff the ballot boxes, he did consider it.
Burt wants to know why Finn wants to join the army. He is present in the scene where Carol tells Finn the truth about his father.
Burt appears outside of Will's class with Kurt's letter from NYADA. Kurt leads Burt to the choir room where he finally opens the letter revealing he's a finalist. They embrace and Burt asks Kurt if he can tell Blaine and says how proud of him he is.
Burt attends dinner at the Berry household. Unbeknownst to Finn and Rachel, Burt, Carole, and Rachel's dads are in on a plan to pretend to support Finn and Rachel's wedding plans in the hope that they will come to the conclusion on their own that they should not marry so young.
Burt is at Regionals. He also plans with Carole, Hiram and LeRoy how to stop Finn and Rachel's wedding.
For Kurt's graduation present, Burt performs Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) in the auditorium, with Tina and Brittany, just like Kurt did in Preggers. Burt is later seen with Carole as he watches Kurt and Finn graduate, proud of his sons.
Burt surprises Kurt by visiting him in New York on Christmas Eve. He brings a Christmas tree and, while putting up decorations, reminisce with Kurt and Rachel about Christmas with Kurt's Mom. Afterwards, Burt and Kurt sees a musical at the Radio City Music Hall and go to get hot chocolate to warm up. Burt tells Kurt that he came to New York because he had to tell Kurt in person that he has prostate cancer. Kurt is scared, but Burt says that he'll be fine because they caught it early due to the fact that he has gone for regular check-ups since his heart attack. They then return to Kurt's apartment, where they discuss their Christmas traditions like opening one present on Christmas Eve. Burt receives a NYADA hat and shirt from Kurt, which he loves, while he gives Kurt an address to a present 'so big it can't fit under the tree'. The address is to an ice skating rink, where Kurt meets Blaine and they sing White Christmas with Burt quietly watching. On Christmas Day, Burt and Blaine bet over how long Kurt will last watching the traditional Christmas basketball game on television before he reads Vogue. Burt wins the bet, joking its because he's known Kurt for longer. The three of them are later seen enjoying their Christmas meal while Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is playing.
Kurt is anxious to go to the doctor with his father and Carole. The test results show however that Burt is cancer-free. Burt, Kurt, and Carole hug and he tells them that he was not ready to leave them yet. Kurt then invites Burt to Glee Club practice, where he sings You Are The Sunshine Of My Life. Later Burt is asked by Blaine for Kurt's hand in marriage, but Burt doesn't accept this. He states that they are still kids, and reminds Blaine about Finn and Rachel's engagement. He tells Blaine to be patient and reminds him that since Blaine and Kurt love each other it will work out in the end. Burt promises to wear the rainbow pin that Blaine had given him earlier to show his support for marriage equality.
He then tells Kurt how much he would want more time with her even if it was ten more minutes. He confesses about Blaine asking him for approval to propose to Kurt. When Kurt asked what he said, he tells him that it doesn't matter, and that Kurt has to make his own choices. He reassures Kurt that it's only his decision, whether he accepts or not, and that he should hear Blaine out. Burt is later seen during the proposal scene, his face appears a little conflicted on the matter, but later on he is cheering and clapping with the rest of the crowd.Will can handle the Glee club on his own. Burt suggests they take a ride down to Laguna beach or even fly back home if that is what Carole needs. Burt and Carole are seen packing their suitcases and leaving the hotel room as New Directions watch their competitors perform.
As New Directions prepare for their turn, Sam checks to see if Carole and Burt have arrived with Mercedes to watch them, but realizes that they must have bailed. However, they do show up as New Directions get ready for their traditional Show Circle. Carole says Burt convinced her to come to the competition, though Burt says he didn't say anything to change her mind. Carole says he didn't have to; as it was written on his face and in her heart she believes Finn would want her to be there. Both Burt and Carole tell the New Directions to "wipe the floor" with the competition. As New Directions perform, Burt and Carole are emotional and clearly moved by the songs they have selected as a tribute to Finn, all which were his favorite. Back in McKinley, Burt and Carole console the club over their loss, reminding them of how Finn still lives in all of them.
Burt visits Kurt in the hospital after Kurt came to the defense of someone who was being "gay bashed" and got hurt in the process. Initially, Burt scolds Kurt for having gotten involved in the fight, telling Kurt he should have sought help or called the police instead, but this seems to come out of fear than anything. Kurt tells his father that he is not upset over what happened, because while his body is bruised and battered, he doesn't hurt on the inside. Kurt also tells Burt that the incident proved to him that he is truly his father's son. Burt jokes with Kurt not to get involved in such a thing again unless they are side by side and can take on the enemies together. Later, after Kurt is released from the hospital, Burt attends his son's performance of I'm Still Here which is part of Kurt's Mid-Winter Critique at NYADA. Burt mouths the words of the song along with Kurt. Carmen Tibideaux seems pleased with the performance. After Kurt's song ends, Burt, along with Blaine and several of Kurt's friends, share in a group hug.
While Kurt is trying to calm Brittany down about her wedding nerves, he comes up with the idea of hiring Burt to officiate the wedding. Brittany seems not to remember him, but is happy with the idea.
Burt is seen at the wedding with Carole. They come across Kurt and Blaine. Kurt mentions how this event makes him reminisce about Carole and Burt's wedding and then they share a kiss. As they continue talking, Burt states that he doesn't think Blaine and Kurt didn't get married because of not being ready since no one is really ready for anything, like he wasn't lose his first wife. He also says that all the hard experiences he have had taught him to live every moment as it was the last. Burt and Carole then walk away while insisting that he's not drunk.Later, Burt opens the ceremony after whispering to Kurt that he's hardly not losing his mind about seeing his son about to get married by surprise. Burt then gives an introductory speech and watches the vows before officially pronouncing the two new marrages.
He is later seen enjoying the music and dancing to Our Day Will Come with Carole. During this song, they swap dance partners with Sam and Rachel and have fun until the end.
Burt first appears when he is called by Emma, after she saw Kurt looking at a pamphlet about suicide. At first, Burt believes that the reason Emma has called him was because of Kurt's girly behaviour. Burt explains that he knows about that since Kurt was two years old, but Emma tells him that's not the reason why she wanted to talk to him. She proceeds to reveal what she saw, which worries Burt. While Kurt is in his basement sewing some clothes, Burt comes downstairs to tell him that he has noticed how much time Kurt is alone. Although Kurt tries to defend himself, Burt says that he must join a club, otherwise, he will be taking his sewing machine.
Kurt, jumping, skips to his dad’s automotive shop, going up to him, saying he's joined a team. Burt, who seems to be overjoyed, asks him which club has Kurt joined, to which Kurt answers that he joined glee club, explaining what it is. Burt, slightly disappointed, tells him that he wanted him to feel a bond over a shared goal. Kurt then goes on to tell him about the competitions, with choreography and Beyoncé. Burt doesn't recognise who she is, so Kurt states, though with a hint of disbelief, that she’s a big pop star. He continues saying that they may need a male lead, but tells him that he feels it will be special. Burt walks past him, saying that he’s happy that he’s in, but still wishes he had joined a sports team so he’ll be happy. Kurt tells him that he feels genuinely happy to go to school. Burt looks up, as Kurt thanks him for pushing him. Burt then tells him he’s happy that he stood up for himself. Kurt smiles. When Kurt continues to stay there, Burt asks if there’s something else. In his head, Kurt answers that he’s gay, and hopes that he’ll still love him. When Kurt says no and that they’re good, Burt walks away, patting Kurt’s shoulder. Kurt stands there, smiling.
Burt appears for the last time, sitting in the Auditorium, alongside Terri, Emma, Becky, Carole, Figgins and Will. Then, Sue appears saying that the auditorium has been renamed as the Finn Hudson Auditorium, which makes Burt and Carole applaud happily. He watches the former members of New Directions perform I Lived. During the song, Burt is seen celebrating and enjoying the performance.
Like his son, Burt is a very caring individual and above all, loving towards his son who he treasures above all else. Having lost the love of his life when their son was young, Burt has never quite gotten over the loss. As such he has done his best to be a good father, perhaps to the point of spoiling Kurt such as buying him expensive designer clothing and a very impressive car (a Lincoln Navigator) for his sweet 16.
While Burt does not pretend to fully understand Kurt, he is very accepting of his gay son. However, Burt fears for how Kurt might suffer because of his sexuality. As such, he is immensely proud of Kurt for being as resilient and strong as he is, which Burt says he gets from his mother. He also says that even though he wished he could take him out to games, he is still proud of him and for being in the glee club.
While Burt is generally fair-minded and reasonable, he is quick to anger when Kurt is victimized in any way, and is fiercely protective of him. When Kurt was denied the chance to sing Defying Gravity, Burt angrily confronted Mr. Schuester and the principal for discrimination against his son. When Finn, in a moment of anger, raged at Kurt and called his choices of decoration "faggy," Burt exploded in anger, throwing Finn out of his home for his homophobic behavior. Burt showed a similar reaction to when Dave Karofsky insulted Kurt with a limp-wrist hand gesture, going so far as to throwing the teenage boy against a wall and threatening to hurt him for his transgressions against Kurt. This violent behavior appears to stem partly from a feeling of guilt for not protecting his son earlier in life, as alluded to in his confrontation with Finn in Theatricality. Although Burt does his best to be a good father to Kurt, there is no doubt there they are very different people, making the things they have in common rare.
- Burt is the only character to receive star billing and not have sung on the show.
- Burt is the first character on the show to have a life-threatening experience, having suffered a heart-attack in the episode Grilled Cheesus. He once again went through another life-threatening experience, cancer, in Glee, Actually.
- Main article: Burt's Quotations