Mindy Kaling answers ‘Night Out’ questions

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!


  1. Best one so far! Thanks so much Tanster for arranging this and big Thanks to Mindy for answering our questions and being plain ol’ awesome!!!! You blow my mind grapes!

  2. This was great! I love reading about the insight into the episodes. Mindy is awesome too.

  3. Mindy, you write some of the best Office episodes! Of all the writers, I imagine you are the best at finding the fine line between believably hilarious and sitcom-ishly wacky. Thanks so much for your wonderful answers!

  4. I remember reading a lot of questions about Ryan’s coke habit and I notice she didn’t answer any of those… Any thoughts?

  5. I just wanted to say thanks to the writers for answering the questions and to tanster for arranging these Q&As. They are fantastic and I find myself rewatching the episodes after I read your answers to catch the little details that are mentioned.

    I hope this becomes a regular feature on Officetally :)

  6. Mindy rocks so much it’s not even funny.

    And I am loving these writer’s Q&A’s so much. Keep ’em coming, Tanster!

Comments are closed.