Mindy Kaling answers ‘Night Out’ questions

Saturday, April 26th, 2008 | 87 comments


Q. How did you come up with having Dwight sing a German lullaby to Ryan? | Sonni

A. Dwight’s lullaby was actually the lullaby our script supervisor, Veda Semarne, used to have sung to her by her Austrian grandmother when she was a little girl. Veda read the scene in Ryan’s bedroom, and came up to me with the German lyrics handwritten for Rainn to sing. It was cool and a little strange that we had someone on the crew who could identify with Dwight’s childhood. I have no idea what the lyrics mean, they could be something rather unsavory, but Veda seems normal enough, so I’m hoping they’re okay.

Q. What was the inspiration behind Dwight being the Ladies Man in this episode? | UNSHUN

A. I’ve always been fascinated by the type of guys who show no interest in a girl or are outright mean to them, and how that seems to drive girls crazy. Dwight may be a little too rule-abiding and wear ugly clothes, but he isn’t a loser. There’s something masculine about his farming side and I just thought he might be appealing to a tough jock girl.

Q. Who was the actor that played Ryan’s friend/drug dealer? | Fun_Run

A. Noel Potek is the actor who plays Troy, Ryan’s mysterious “friend.” If you have an eagle eye, you might have noticed Troy with Ryan in “The Deposition.” He was one of the shorter, also bearded, friends of Ryan. Greg grew quite fond of the character and so he reappeared in this episode, and may appear in some more.

Q. I’m big fans of LCD Soundsystem, The Faint, and The Rapture, and was surprised to hear all three in the same episode! Who chose the music to be featured in the episode? | Evan

A. Isn’t LCD Soundsystem the best? I was so happy they let us use “Tribulations.” I heard them at the Hollywood Bowl last year and fell instantly in love with James Murphy. That is one talented guy.

The song choices were the collected efforts of B.J., my boyfriend Ben (who is a musician), and our friend Danny Chun. Danny writes for “The Simpsons,” which already gives him mad cred, but also has the best taste in music of anyone I know. He was raving about Hot Chip and Vampire Weekend like fifteen years ago.

Q. When I came to visit the set last week, I watched B.J. film his ‘Night Out’ talking heads at the end of the day. Were those the ones actually used in the episode, and if so, why were they filmed just last week? | tanster

A. Hi Tanster. I remember you watching on set and feeling badly that the scene probably made no sense, and that you were sitting on our dirty floor. Sorry about that. We did a re-shoot for those talking heads because we had to adjust the content slightly when we saw the first editor’s cut. We often have to reshoot talking heads because unlike other scenes, we never “cut away” from the main action, which is simply a person talking (unless we have B-roll to use under some of the dialogue). Sometimes we’ll have a cut of an episode and realize we need some exposition, so we’ll quickly get an actor in costume and just shoot them saying whatever we need. Talking Heads are a great writers tool that way.

Q. Did you intentionally write your character the funniest line of the show, “Yeah I have a lot of questions. Number 1. How dare you?” | jmj

A. I never intentionally give myself the funniest lines. However, they often resonate as the funniest because of my gifts as a comic actor. Sometimes I try to give myself really drab unfunny lines so as to not steal focus, but even that doesn’t work because they always sparkle upon delivery. It’s hard.

Check out more Q&As in the Episode Q&A Archive. Essential reading for every Office super fan!

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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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