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. Mindy is basically anything and everything that is awesome. These Q&A sessions are amaaazing.

  2. that was hilarious, the answers to those questions were almost as funny as the episode itself. i echo sentiments that mindy is completely rad. that is why she is a part of my fantasy celebrity friend gang.

  3. YAY! first time my question got answered!
    THANKS Kate and Mindy!
    Still amazed it was actually Kate Flannery who did her own stunt! seriously, 14 takes? That woman is a trooper to take that many hits to the face and lol @ the stunt woman who sat and watched.
    didn’t Kate also do her own stunt during the “Fun Run” episode?? she has like the best and most memorable physical/sight gags in the show! and she did them herself :O like her topless on several occasions, her getting run over by Michael’s car and now the football to the face!

  4. Who else hurried off to YouTube and searched for Kelsey Grammer? And Mindy is absolutely right- HILARIOUS!!!

    Thanks for doing this tanster and Mindy!!! So fun!

  5. What a fun read! I’m going to go watch it again with these new insights. Thanks Tanster and Mindy!! I love the Q&A’s.

  6. “Paul is valiant and shows a quiet bravery in his day-to-day life…”

    I don’t know why, but i can’t stop laughing at that :)

  7. Thank you for answering the questions Mindy and thanks Tanster! She is too hilarous… I love her sarcasm, she is one of those amazing writers out there that is able to display her sarcasm and wit in a written form so clearly and perfectly, it cracks me up!

  8. First of all, thank you, Mindy, for taking the time to answer these questions.

    In case Mindy ever reads those comments, and since I’m a native German speaker (and I asked that question), here’s what Dwight sang:
    BB (comment #28) pretty much got it right anyway.
    He sang “Sleep, little child, sleep, your father tends the sheep”

  9. I NEED Mindy to help me pick a new “name” for my office-self (tobykilledthisbird is so season 3). She sees most of the characters on the show in the same way as I do. I LOVE her take on Dwight. Call me Mindy.

  10. Mindy is so wonderful for answering these questions. She’s so incredibly funny. I could kick myself, because I thought of a question after the deadline. In addition to “The Wire” influence, I also thought she had a “Flight of the Conchords” moment in writing in a team of university basketball players who encounter the guys. “Conchords” had a similiar scenario with a team of waterpolo players from a NJ college in a hotel bar. It was pretty similiar, right down to the cheer, and the way they got the guys to help them get what they wanted. In “Conchords” it was getting free drinks. In “The Office” it was getting them in a club. I was curious if this scene was a direct influence from “Conchords” because I heard Mindy is a big “Conchords” fan, much like myself. Oh well. I should think of these questions faster.

  11. To those of us Office geeks that check this site every day, several times, for new info, the writers answering questions about their episodes is a dream come true. Love the insights to the behind the scenes stuff.

    Many thanks to Mindy and Tanster…

  12. “They always sparkle upon delivery. It’s hard.”

    That’s what she said!

    *Great Q&A once again…

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