Mindy Kaling answers ‘Night Out’ questions

I am just so happy that Mindy Kaling agreed to answer Tallyhead questions about last week’s episode, Night Out. Thank you, Mindy!

This is one of the funniest Q&As so far. Enjoy, guys!

Hi Tanster!

Great questions. This was a lot of fun to do. “Night Out” was the perfect example of an episode where I wished the show was 40 minutes long. There are whole scenes in New York (including a really magical one with Dwight, Michael and Ryan in front of the Met) that had to get cut. I hope people watch the deleted scenes online.

Q. Did Paul really climb that fence, and how many takes did you have to do? | JAMtastic

A. Paul is valiant and shows a quiet bravery in his day-to-day life, but no, he did not do his own stunt. There was some talk in our writers room about this very subject, and for a glimmering moment, Paul insisted that he try. Then our boss Greg Daniels weighed the pros and cons of having one of our senior-est writers being out on disability pay because he was in a coma, so we scrapped that idea completely.

Q. There were a lot of physical gags in last night’s show, like Pam hitting Meredith in the face and Toby scaling the fence and jumping over. I was wondering if the actors performed those or stuntmen? | Janie

A. Again, Paul is a great guy but no, didn’t do his dangerous stunt. Kate, on the other hand, did hers several, several times without complaint. It was amazing and terrifying and I’m not certain she hasn’t suffered internal brain damage from the repeated blows to the head. I’ll find out at the wrap party.

[Here is Kate Flannery’s response: “Doing my own stunt was fine. I can no longer read, but I’m fine. At first it seemed like a good idea. I thought I owed it to the fans to take one for the team, Then after the first four takes, I was like, “That was cool. That’s it, right?” Ten takes later I was ready for an Advil and a session with a good therapist to examine why I said yes in the first place. My stunt double got paid to sit and watch. Yes, I had a stunt double and I still did it myself. That doesn’t add up. My math skills are obviously dwindling as well. The makeup was sort of trumped up each time thanks to Lavern Caracuzzi, the head of the makeup department. She even gave me that ‘Marlon Brando cotton in the mouth.’ Please don’t worry. I didn’t get a scratch in all the 14 takes we shot. Thanks for asking.” Thanks, Kate!]

Q. How many takes did you have to do of the Toby putting his hand on Pam’s knee scene? The cast reactions were priceless and the acting was great. But I don’t know how any of them managed to keep a straight face. | what’s the dealio?

A. Dear what’s the dealio,

First of all, love your name. The dealio (not to be confused with your surname) is this: We shot that scene at about 2:30 in the morning on a Friday night. Sometimes when we do night shoots, the actors can get really tired and there can be a lack of energy, because we are doing things over and over and over and everyone’s exhausted. Paul was so funny in that scene, everyone’s energy was super high, and we did it joyfully about 8 times. Everyone kept breaking because Toby was so vulnerable and awkward. It’s probably my favorite Toby moment, ever.

Q. How did Steve Carell feel with having a bunch of peanut butter in his hair? Or was it a wig? | Max

A. Steve was a trooper about the peanut butter, as he is about any insane thing we ask him to do. I haven’t really subjected him to that much physical discomfort since I made him go around on crutches for a week in “The Injury.” Rainn seemed to like the peanut butter a lot. He liked the gross squelching sound the peanut butter made when he mixed it with his spoon. If you go back and listen, it really does make a gratifying/disgusting “squelch” sound. We paid Industrial Light & Magic $2,000,000 to get that sound effect just right.


  1. Wow! My question was asked! It is so awesome and unbelievable to have a platform where you can ask a question to a writer/actor of a show that provides so much entertainment and laughter to so many people. Thank you Tan Monster. Thank you Mindy K.

  2. Yay! Thanks for answering these questions Mindy. (That was fast…)

    And tanster, boy do you have the ‘hookup…’

    Gimme more more more!

  3. The tune was the same as an old English one, so possibly it’s the translation:
    “Sleep, baby, sleep
    Your Father tends the sheep,
    Your Mother shakes the dreamland tree,
    Down falls a little dream for Thee,
    Sleep, baby, sleep.”
    Nothing too unsavory, but funny to picture Dwight singing that to Ryan! :-)

  4. Mindy really needs to get in touch with me about when she and I can embark upon our journey of BFF-dom together. She would get a really dedicated sidekick, and I would get to hang out with her and try to absorb a small measure of her awesome. We could go shopping or go to uncomfortably trendy hot spots or fight crime. Whatever she wanted.

  5. Mindy is so nice to answer everyones’ questions! Hilarious, made me laugh out loud several times :)

  6. This was so hilarious. These Q&A’s are amazing! Thanks Tanster!

    “He looks like when the Peanuts gang dances in those animated Christmas specials.”

    BWHAHAHA!! How true!

  7. She was so kind to answer and, as always, so funny. Just today I was re-reading her blog post about sour candies and found it as funny as I did the first time.

  8. Thank you so much, Mindy and Tanster! She’s so funny and great.

    That Jim answer made me very happy. I don’t understand all of the hate.

  9. Wow. I totally LOVE Mindy Kaling. She’s hilarious and so talented. Actually, all the writers are amazing for answering questions like this. This is kind of what makes this show so great… it’s nice to have a cast and crew that cares so much about the audience’s devotion to the show.

  10. I wish I could drop a hip pop culture reference as well as Mindy! The Kelsey Grammar line is priceless!

    Thank you so much for doing this, Mindy! It is greatly appreciated!

  11. This was so funny. Mindy is great. I loved reading this.

    I speak a little German and I know that Dwight was saying “Schlaf”, which means “sleep”, but I can’t understand the middle word in the sentence. It’s something like, “Schlaf, Kleinman(?). Schlaf.” If “Kleinman” is in fact the correct word there, then the song means, “Sleep, little man. Sleep,” in English.

    Just thought I’d share since she didn’t know.

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