Mindy Kaling answers ‘Night Out’ questions

Saturday, April 26th, 2008 | 87 comments


Q. With the whole Jim storyline, are you just trying to show that Jim has flaws or specifically that he has Michael-like tendencies? | Spicy Curry

A. People have responded strongly to Jim’s flaws showing this past year. I have to say that I love when he shows that he isn’t perfect. For instance, I loved in Gene and Lee’s script “Dinner Party” when he tried to bail on Pam. It was unexpected and slightly cowardly (but, to his credit, came out of desperation) and that’s what made it hilarious. I remember in Mike’s Season 2 script, “Office Olympics,” when Jim was leading everyone into these office games, and Stanley refused to play. I liked that. Jim isn’t always Mr. Popularity or Mr. High School Quarterback. I like when he’s a cool, misunderstood guy who has good intentions but messes up sometimes. That’s so much more crush-worthy than some cool dude where everything goes his way.

Is he like Michael? Personally, I don’t think so. If he has anything in common with Michael, I think that it’s that they both, at times, have tried unsuccessfully to be leaders of an often extraordinarily ungrateful and uncooperative group of office workers.

Q. Is BJ a good sport about you ripping on his appearance? (short and half-bearded) | emobacca

A. BJ is a terrible sport about everything and is currently trying to sue me. I still consider him a friend, though, because I’m a forgiving person and don’t like conflict. How great was his dancing in the club, by the way? He looks like when the Peanuts gang dances in those animated Christmas specials.

Q. My favorite part of the episode was Ryan dancing in the club. What directions were given to B.J. for that scene? | Emily

A. I told B.J.: “Dance like Snoopy,” and he did it. No, actually, I think B.J. had been practicing dancing in a totally intense but uninhibited way, and we just shot that.

Q. In the scene where Ryan is dancing and freaking out, did anyone really get hurt? He was going crazy! | Mikaylee

A. The girls Ryan “hits” are actually stunt women. They really sold the hell out of that. Also, there were pads on the floor so B.J. could really fall out of frame and wipe out. Nothing brings me so much pleasure as a person falling out of frame in a comic way. John did it beautifully on a bike in “Diwali.” Kelsey Grammar did it extremely well in that youtube video where he’s lecturing and falls off the stage. There’s just something inherently funny about a person dropping unexpectedly out of your line of vision. I love it. I will try to put it in everything I ever write.

Q. Did the comment about “The Wire” come from your love of “The Wire”/ to annoy BJ who has not started watching “The Wire” yet even though everybody is telling him how good it is? | kim s

A. “The Wire” is arguably the most popular show amongst our writing staff. Our two shows could not be more different, but it has made a huge impact on many of our writers, including me. Because it’s such a densely plotted Greek tragedy, I doubt Michael would really be able to understand that much of it, but I like picturing him wanting to enrich his life by buying The Wire DVD and sitting in his condo watching Season 1, and then compulsively rewinding and trying to understand what D’Angelo Barksdale is saying. Michael wants to be exposed to good things, that’s a quality in him I really like.

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  1. 87. jayphayes  

    Maybe I’m just blue collar or too East-coast, but I laughed out loud at the notion of “concern for the welfare of senior creative staff…FOR JUMPING A FENCE!” I realize the coma was exaggerated, but…

    Time to do some wind sprints and curls, creative staff!

  2. 86. Kiki  

    I hope Mindy lurks back here to read comments…. I check her blog every day and I’m going nuts that it hasn’t been updated in over a month! Don’t tell me she hasn’t been buying anything that whole time!

  3. 85. Tommy  

    Don’t know if it has been posted yet, but the literal translation of what Dwight sings is:

    “Sleep, little child, sleep. (The) father guards the sheep.”

    German original:

    “Schlaf, Kindlein, Schlaf. Der Vater hüt’ die Schaaf.”

    Actually he stops at “Va…” and uses a voiced instead of a voiceless fricative (V in German is pronounced as a voiceless “f”).

    But don’t worry, Germany gets you back by dubbing the office with the help of horrible horrible speech actors.

    Hope I could help,

    Tommy from Germany

  4. 84. Chelsea  

    She is amazing. She’s basically my favorite tv show writer ever (aside from maybe Jane Espenson). Love you, Mindy!

  5. 83. buyMEacoke,Jim!  

    thank you, tan monster! thanks, mindy, for taking time to answer some of our questions.

    mindy kaling is one of the funniest writers I have ever read, in any genre. i wish i was her.

    …and i have to say that the third deleted scene is the icing on the cake. best. writer. ever!!!

  6. 82. Jo  

    I love Mindy, I love her blog, and I’m so happy she answered these questions. How awesome. Now I have to go back and watch for Ryan’s dancing. It looked like he thought he was in a rave, haha… her episode was so funny!!!

  7. 81. Rosemary  

    I completely know how Mindy feels, I often steal the show because of how great I am. It is really hard, hang in there Mindy… Stay Strong

  8. 80. pc  

    Oh my god, that’s why Ryan’s dancing looked familiar. i really hope someone takes a looped clip of him dancing and sets it to the Peanuts theme song.

    Thank you Mindy for answering our questions, and thank you tallyheads for asking such interesting ones!

  9. 79. DanH  

    She has humor, wit, and she’s a knockout. Was anyone else disappointed to hear she has a boyfriend? “Night Out” was her sexiest work yet.

  10. 78. In2TheRoses  

    So funny Mindy!!! Love ya!

  11. 77. Jill  

    Mindy is bona fide grade A hilarous and so smart. Thanks for the Q & A! “Dance like snoopy…” LMFAO!

  12. 76. getmyLOSTon  

    first of all, after i read this, i realized how much i love her writing, both for on screen and in print (or blog), but when i think about her delivery of “how dare you” its hard not to think that her acting might be even better. just keep doing what you’re doing, mindy, because we’re eating it up. secondly, i LOVE what the love and fascination she has with all the characters, that dwight is manly, that michael wants to better himself, that jim tries to do well but sometimes fails. i know that everyone loves the characters, but it’s cool to read something so specific about them. thank you, tan monster! i’m getting spoiled by all these Q&As.

  13. 75. BlueJeanBaby  

    Oh gosh,

    I soooo needed to read this. What a rough day, and it seems that Mindy was the only one able to make me laugh. Also, any insight into anything to do with the show is just like gold and diamonds to me. Thanks Mindy and Tanster.

  14. 74. MaddieMagnus  

    Mindy Kaling has got to be the funniest woman ever.
    these were great! :)

  15. 73. BrokenBrain  

    I really appreciate these Q&A sessions. It helps clarify some points that we don’t get the benefit of seeing in 21 minutes or so. Hopefully, it helps the writers as well to hear from folks who only see the 21 minutes and don’t have the benefit of the director’s cut, writers’ room discussions, etc.

  16. 72. Emily  

    Thanks for answering my questions Mindy! And thanks Tanster for all of your hard work!

  17. 71. Fun_Run  

    I can’t believe she answered my question. I am so happy. That was hilarious. Thank you Mindy, Tanster, B.J., Lee, and Gene.

  18. 70. paiintmeblue  

    Mindy’s hilaaarious! The answer to the last question was the cherry on top.

  19. 69. Pam Scherbatsky  

    Go Mindy! And go Tanster, for having these every week. Sucks I missed the question thread, though!

  20. 68. Nadine  

    Back again to be annoying about the German part – I’m pretty sure he said “englein,” which would be “little angel.”
    Call me crazy. Do it!!

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