Do you have ‘Secretary’s Day’ questions for Mindy?

The Office writer, producer, actor, and now book author Mindy Kaling is taking your questions about last night’s episode. Thank you, Mindy!

This post will close at 11pm Pacific Time tonight, so get your questions in today.

P.S. Make sure your question hasn’t already been asked before posting. Thanks!


  1. Can you tell us more about the scene where Erin throws the cake in Andy’s face? Did she have to do it multiple times? How did he get all the cake off of him, etc? Great Episode.

  2. Did you actually write the song Secretary of Love for Andy, or did you just stop at the name, knowing he wouldn’t get a chance to sing it? If you did write it, is there any chance we’ll get to see it, in a deleted scene, perhaps? Maybe showing a disheartened Andy sadly strumming along on his guitar after Erin lets him go? I love me some Andrew Bernard tunes.

  3. Was it really Darryl’s birthday, or did he just want the chance to make that hysterical ‘numnumnumnumnum’ noise at Kevin? The Office usually makes a big deal about birthdays, so I’d be a little sad if it really were his birthday and we didn’t get to see Michael break out the fluffy fingers to make it a Dinkin Flicka birthday for his favorite warehouse worker.

  4. What was it like having Steve as a director? How was he different from other directors you have worked with?

  5. What was the inspiration behind the breast pump scene between Pam and Meredith? That was one of the funniest scenes!

  6. Is this the end of the Andy/Erin relationship? And will Erin ever find out about Angela cheating on Andy?

  7. Did you write Gabe as a “weak” and/or underminded corporate figure since the Dunder Mifflinites have always had “strong” bosses (ie Jan, Ryan, David, Charles) or was it just for this episode?

  8. Loved the running Cookie Monster joke throughout the episode! Did you have to get permission from the “Sesame Street” people to use/reference their characters?

  9. Great episode, I loved the sweet Jim and Pam scene that paralleled “Money” My question – How is Toby still there if he worked for Dunder Mifflin Corporate?

  10. Hi Mindy! Great episode, and I find Erin so refreshing! My question is about Gabe. What exactly is his title/role, and will he be in the office all of the time? I thought he was just sent to handle the transition but would be going back to Sabre/corporate/wherever he came from. Thanks!

  11. In a recent interview, Ellie Kemper said that she hoped that the reason Erin is becoming increasingly weirder isn’t because the writers think she’s weird. Was she the main inspiration for her character’s quirks? Or did that somehow grow organically as the character grew?

  12. Hello there, Mindy!

    I love your work, I really do. Loved the episode, specially the cookie monster jokes. Also, it’s kind of ironic that on this episode is Michael the one who gets freaked out by Erin’s attitude. Kudos! :)

  13. Oh and (I hope it’s okay if I ask than more than one question), did you brainstorm any other ridiculous characters to speak with Kevin’s voice, or did someone just notice his similarity to Cookie Monster and that inspired the whole bit?

  14. I thought this episode was great…laugh out loud funny. Kevin and Cookie Monster had me laughing so hard. My question is are the writers trying to make Erin seem as weird and dumb as possible? I mean she wasn’t this “odd” in the beginning and now she has transitioned into some brainless oddball.

  15. Hi Mindy! I LOVED this episode! The thing with Erin and her hair floored me. Who came up with that? Any personal inspiration behind that?

  16. What inspired Ryan’s undone bow-tie? Is he still trying to “find himself”?

  17. Hey Mindy!
    Greetings from Germany, we really love The Office. I have a question about last night’s episode, which was awesome. Will we see more Kevin impressions from others? I laughed sooo hard when he did Gabe. And can we expect more of Dwight’s German? I love it!

    Thank you :)

  18. When Angela was talking to Erin about her and Andy’s relationship, the camera was positioned so that the audience didn’t know that Toby was there as well. That made the reveal a lot funnier, and I thought that was a great way to shoot the scene. Was that Steve’s idea or yours?

    [from tanster: i love questions like this!]

  19. (#24: that made me laugh out loud!)

    Mindy! I love how as we get to know Erin more, we see all of these cracks. It reminds me of the hilarious breakdown of Jan, although they are very different characters. Question: How did Erin get her job as a secretary if her last job was at a Taco Bell? Did Michael just hire her because she was young and pretty?

  20. Mindy great episode! I love your work. The Dunder- Mifflin computer desktops are comforting, but will they ever change to Sabre?

  21. There were so many great one-liners in this episode! Which one are you most proud of?

  22. Hi, such a brilliant episode! It’s already a classic. I found it so weird that Jim and Pam and Ryan and Kelly were such a close-looking group! Does this mean that Ryan has put his animosity and evil ‘get-Jim-fired’ plan aside for the time being? I can’t wait for it to get brought up again!

  23. Hi Mindy! Who came up with the idea to cast Aaron Shure as the waiter? Did he have to fight the other non-cast writers for the chance at a cameo? ;)

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

  24. Hi Mindy,
    I was wondering about how Erin so easily adapted to everyone calling her by her middle name. She accepted “Erin” so Charles wouldn’t easily confuse her with the other Kelly, but now that Charles is gone, why doesn’t she go back to her real first name? I understand that for the show, it would be super confusing to have two Kellys, but it just seems funny to me that “Erin” would accept her name change without any problems (like not immediately responding when she hears her name called). Just a minor problem. :)

    Thanks so much!

  25. Other than as a way for Michael to spill the beans, why was it decided that the lunch date would be so weird? Michael usually looks forward to eating lunch with his employees. I was surprised he was so turned off.

  26. Great episode! I noticed that Gabe sounded just like Kermit the frog in this episode when he was giving the office his speech…how come you guys didn’t think of doing an impression of him?

  27. I’m wondering why Michael seems to dislike Erin so much? Michael seems like a pretty affable people-person (except in regard to Toby), and Erin seems to genuinely like Michael (when so few people do!), so why is Michael so turned off by her? We saw it in this episode, in Scott’s Tots, and I think a few other times.

  28. Mindy,

    Erin was shattered by learning that Andy had been engaged to Angela prior to her. Is she so naive as to think he hadn’t been in a serious relationship prior to her? Is Andy her first serious relationship?

  29. Hey, I really liked the episode, top 3 of the season. But the whole time I was waiting for a talking head with Pam, wondering why she never had a Secretary’s day party. Was that ever a consideration? Did Jim feel bad he never threw Pam a secretary’s day party. Although I can see both Jim and Pam not having any idea that secretary’s day existed.

  30. It was so fun to see an episode directed by Steve Carell and written by you. Is there a specific way that the director for each episode is picked, especially for those who are acting as well? Can a writer request who directs their work?

  31. Hey Mindy! Thanks for such a wonderful episode! One of my favorites of the season! Many of your episodes fall in my top ten! I was just wondering how the writers and cast feel about Erin’s character. She seems to be pretty controversial amongst fans, but I for one absolutely love her! She’s so naive and just different from all of the other characters on the show. Do you have big plans for her and can we expect to see more Erin related stories in the future?

  32. Basically, I just want to ask Mindy about this focus on Ellie, a new character, instead of an older character.

  33. Hi Mindy! I absolutely loved this episode! I have 2 questions.

    Whose idea was it to poke fun at the whole “Based on the novel: Push by Sapphire” thing, I thought it was hilarious!

    And also, what does Michael have against Erin? This episode reminded me of Scott’s Tots, both because of the animosity he had towards her in the beginning, then the fact that he was being so sweet to her at the end.

    Thank you!

  34. For an average episode, how much does the script change from the writer’s first draft to the shooting draft, and how much does it change while you’re shooting?

  35. How long did it take to practice the Cookie Monster voices? Were you nervous that the actors wouldn’t do it justice? I loved the episode!!!

  36. That was such a wonderful episode, one of my all time favorites, and it put a spot light on Ellie Kemper’s wonderful talent. I loved the derivative/organic commentary between Kelly and Ryan — was that included because it’s kind of reminiscent of conversation in the writers room about a certain bit or line? And was the waiter in the episode one of the writers? He looked kind of familiar for some reason.

  37. Hi Mindy! Great episode.

    Pam’s heart-to-heart with Erin reminded me of Jim’s stairwell conversation with Dwight in “Money.” Was that intentional?

  38. What was the inspiration and derivation (other than When Harry Met Sally of course) for the “I’ll have what she’s having” moment?

  39. Was there something more to Erin’s freak out? There seemed to be some implications talking about Foster care that she’s been hurt by people she’s trusted before.

  40. Mindy,

    I saw that you wrote on Twitter that this was your favorite episode that you’ve written.

    What made this your favorite episode that you’ve written, and how did you come up with some of the creative ideas (e.g. incorporating sesame street, the ‘punishments’ for Pam, Jim, and Dwight, etc.)?

    Thanks for such a great episode!

  41. Funny episode Mindy! I am however confused about Kelly and Ryan’s relationship, are they exclusive or does their Facebook Relationship Status say “It’s Complicated.”

  42. Hiya, Mindy! I’m a huge fan of both you & The Office! Your twitter updates are the highlight of my day…
    My question is also about Gabe. Will he ever be “accepted” as part of the gang or will he be the black sheep like Toby? Is he going to become a permanent cast member?

  43. Mindy,

    Do you know that Steve was going to direct this episode at the time wrote it? If so, what effect did it have?

    And thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing back “good-hearted” Michael!

  44. My favorite thing about episodes that you’ve written is how effortlessly you include a fun moment or scene for every character (sweet Pam and Jim moments, the whole ensemble enjoying the imitations, Erin and Andy’s conflict)–how do you manage to include so many characters in that short 22 minute time frame?

  45. When Andy said that all his secrets were out, does that include his anger issues from season 3?

  46. Hey Mindy, great episode!

    I’ve noticed Angela now seems happier and part of the group more and not as uptight. Is there a specific reason for that or is her character coming into her own more?

    Thanks A Ton!

  47. Mindy I’m a HUGE fan of yours! I love your twitter posts, you’re so funny! A few questions:
    1) Did you write in the impression of Kevin BECAUSE John K. is so good at it, or did you write it and he had to work on it?
    2) I love how Michael was weirded out by someone else for once! How did you think of some of Erin’s curious questions, or the great line “In foster care my hair was my room”?
    3) Did Erin hit Andy in the face with the cake on the 1st take? Did they have to do it more than once?

  48. Do the writers have a penchant/hate for The Count? First, Erin mentions The Count in “The Mentor”, and now Kevin uses it in his viral video to Oscar.

    On a side note, is there really a difference between Prairie Dawn and Betty Lou?

  49. 1: Did you write an episode about Secretary’s Day because Ellie is your good friend in real life? I wish my best friend would write an episode for me!

    2: Glee cast members said on Oprah that they sometimes slip and call each other by character names. Do cast members mix up “Ellie” and “Erin” a lot because they’re so similar, and so many actors on the Office have the same name as their characters?
    Thanks OfficeTally.

  50. Mindy, I absolutely loved this episode. I was wondering how much of it was based on the original script and how much of it was rewritten and/or improvised?

  51. I was particularly drawn to Michael in this episode. It’s fun to be reminded that Michael really is a good judge of character and that he can be sensible and caring. I was wondering what went into the writing of his character for this episode? Was it a conscious decision to let his character be more of an aid to the story versus the center of it?

  52. Due to the now-famous line about Erin’s hair being her room, is Ellie Kemper now forbidden to cut her hair because longer tresses are part of her character?

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