November 23, 2021
EP. 100.5 — A Look Back on Diwali
Happy Thanksgiving! Our “Office Ladies” team is enjoying a break with our families but before we left, Jenna and Angela share a “Diwali” deleted scene that reveals another Andy nickname and we hear a clip from Mindy Kaling!
While you enjoy the holiday, you can relisten to this amazing interview with the boss lady triple threat herself, Mindy Kaling! Mindy walks us through how she came to work on “The Office”, what it was like for her to be able to pitch and write “Diwali”, and explains why the show cast her actual parents in this episode. Then Jenna and Angela dig even deeper into this episode covering Kevin’s sweaty feet, and what went into filming and costuming the Diwali festivities. Finally, we connect with Jaysha Patel, who played one of Mindy’s sisters and get her memories of filming this episode, along with why sushi and bottle service don’t mix, and we end with a great BFF catch.
Watch Mindy Kaling’s new show on HBO Max: “Sex Lives of College Girls”
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100.5 — A Look Back on Diwali
OFFICE 100.5 “A Look Back on ‘Diwali’”
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:02] Hello, everybody.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:04] Happy Thanksgiving.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:06] Yes, very happy Thanksgiving. Right now as you are listening to this, I am on my way to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family, in St. Louis. I am going to sit at my mom’s Thanksgiving table for the first time in a long time, and I can’t wait.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:20] That is so special. I love that, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:22] I’m going to be with my sister and her family.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:25] I have one request for Thanksgiving, and Josh knows what it is. I want his homemade chocolate meringue pie.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:32] It’s so good.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:33] It’s so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:33] You do a chocolate meringue pie for Thanksgiving.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:36] I do chocolate meringue pie whenever I can get it. My mom always makes pecan pie at Thanksgiving, and she just gave us so many pecans. I went to Texas to see her and her trees are loaded down, Jenna. But listen, while you were celebrating, guess what you can do?
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:52] What can I do, Angela?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:52] You can curl up and listen to “Diwali”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:56] Yes, today we are rerunning “Diwali”. We have our interview with Mindy Kaling, which was so fun.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:02] So fun. Jenna, as I rewatched “Diwali”, I remembered a deleted scene I did not share with everyone.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:10] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:10] And I bring it up because remember a few episodes back I listed all of Andy’s nicknames.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:16] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:17] You got to hear it.
CLIP [00:01:18] At Cornell, in my fraternity by house name was “Hubble” because I was so good at finding a party. I was like a powerful space telescope.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:28] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:29] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:29] So add that to the list of Nard Dog and Nard Man.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:34] Boner Champ, Baby Wawa.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:36] Ace, Buzz and Puke.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:39] Ice Man.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:40] And now we have Hubble, so.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:42] Those are amazing. I just love this episode, and I have to say a big part of it is the interview with Mindy. We reached out to Mindy to let her know we were revisiting this episode and and Mindy sent in the little clip.
MINDY KALING [00:01:55] Hey, “Office Ladies” fans, this is Mindy Kaling. I hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving and enjoy this rerun of “Diwali”. When you’re done, you can catch my new show, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” streaming now on HBO Max. But I didn’t come here just to plug my new show. I came here to plug my old show, the “Diwali” episode. Enjoy it! I hope you’re eating a lot of food. Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Diwali!
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:18] Yes, you guys. Mindy’s new show is now streaming on HBO Max, and
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:24] it was created by Mindy and a friend of mine, Justin Noble. You might know his name from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, but I did a pilot with him and Nicole Byer and Kat Dennings called “The Bluffs”. He’s so much fun. So is Mindy. I can’t wait to see the show. The reviews are amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:38] Yes, once again, guys, “Sex Lives of College Girls”. And thank you, Mindy. We love you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:43] Love you! And guys, one more plug before we get back into this episode. “Office Ladies” is having a huge Black Friday sale on all of our merchandise. These are great deals, and you can find it on OfficeLadies.com.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:58] And on Cyber Monday, we are offering free shipping on all of our domestic orders. You just have to use the code “FREESHIP” at checkout. OK, lady, that’s it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:09] That’s it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:10] I think it’s time.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:10] It’s time. Have a great Thanksgiving. Everyone will be back next week with all new episodes. But for now, please enjoy “Diwali”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:15] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:16] I’m Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:17] We were on “The Office” together.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:18] And we’re best friends.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:19] And now we’re doing the ultimate “Office” rewatch podcast just for you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:23] Each week we will break down an episode of “The Office” and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:30] We’re the “Office Ladies”. Hello, everyone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:37] Hi, you guys.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:39] Welcome to “Diwali”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:41] I’m so excited for this episode, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:43] Me too. It’s a great episode and we have a great special guest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:47] I just want to get to it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:49] All right. Well, this is Season 3, Episode 6. It was directed by Miguel Arteta and written by our special guest, Mindy Kaling. Very, very exciting. Well, let’s get to it. We are going to waste no time. I’m starting with a summary.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:04] Do it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:05] In this episode, everyone from Dunder Mifflin attends a traditional Indian celebration of Diwali in honor of Kelly. Now, Ryan is going to meet Kelly’s parents who are really less than impressed with his commitment to their daughter.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:21] Well, to be fair, he says with extra money, he wants to travel and get like an X-Box or something. So, you know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:26] Yes, I think I would also be less than impressed. Meanwhile, Michael proposes to his girlfriend, Carol.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:35] Oh, Michael.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:35] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:36] Oh, Michael.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:37] Michael takes a big step.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:39] In front of a lot of strangers. So awkward.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:42] Yeah. It’s a bit of a crash and burn.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:44] So awkward.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:45] Pam enjoys herself for the first time as a single person. And Angela guards the shoes while eating some dry naan. Very dry naan. And over at the Stamford office, Jim, Andy and Karen work late into the night and booze it up.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:03] Yeah. Jägermeister. I mean, what the heck?
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:07] So gross.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:08] Andy is a maniac.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:11] I’m going to give you Fast Fact Number One. This is a really special episode because “The Office” was the first American television comedy series to depict the Hindu festival of Diwali.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:22] I love that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:23] Way to go “The Office”. It aired November 2nd, 2006, and it was seen by 8.8 million people on the night that it first aired. And now it’s been seen by how many people? I don’t even know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:36] Did you know what Diwali was, Jenna? When we got the script.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:39] Shelby B. asked the same question. And I did not know about Diwali. Did you know about Diwali?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:45] I did. But I grew up overseas, you know, I grew up in Indonesia. Bali has a very big Hindu population. So I had heard of Diwali and I thought it was awesome that we were going to do an episode about it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:57] Had you ever celebrated Diwali?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:00] I had never celebrated it myself. I went to an international school. They did recognize, you know, many holidays. And there was like a Diwali day.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:08] Yeah, well, they do that at my kids school now. They have a day where they celebrate Diwali, which I think is really cool, especially since I grew up not knowing about it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:17] It is so beautiful and it was so fun. I remember we were all really giddy. Of course, this meant we got to leave the office.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:23] That brings me to Fast Fact Number Two, Angela. Fan question from Juliet G. and Phoebe Tomac, “Where did you shoot the scenes when you were celebrating Diwali”? Well, guess who I went to for the answer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:36] Does it rhyme with Schmit-ashedia?
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:38] It does. And we have a sting for it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:40] You do?
STING [00:06:42] Kent-apedia.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:48] Yes, Angela. That was sent in by Tyler Beckwith. And we love it. Tyler, thank you for our Kent-apedia sting.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:54] It is really great. It sounds like something out of like a 1980s action kind of movie. “Kent-apedia”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:00] Exactly. Well, Kent-apedia told us that “Diwali” was shot at Grant High School. We shot most of the scenes in their gym, which is called Grant Hall, and we shot there at the end of August. And school was in session. They had just started up the school year. He said that we shot there for three full days and we had to work around the school schedule because like school was happening in the hallways.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:30] I have such fond memory of our time shooting there because they, they parked our trailers facing sort of like a, a little field with some trees. And normally they were just in a asphalt parking lot. And so I would opened my door and there’d be trees and grass. And Brian brought a football and we like tossed the football out in the grass. And I have such fond memories of this whole week.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:54] I remember it, too, for those exact same reasons. Well, this school is host to a lot of filmmaking, including “Freaks and Geeks”, “Blackish”, “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Trueblood”. And I’ve got a little bit trivia for ya.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:08] Yeah?
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:09] Melora Hardin went to Grant High School.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:11] Get out of town.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:13] Yeah, we shot at her alma mater.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:15] Wow. I love that. She’s like a true sort of like Hollywood kid. You know? Like there’s-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:20] She is.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:21] All these things from her life, like right here. To me, it’s still all sort of like, I still feel like a transplant in some ways. In Los Angeles, like still to this day, if I’m ever out and about and I see the Hollywood sign, I’m like, “There’s the Hollywood sign. Oh my god”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:36] If I drive by and I see like a film crew filming something on the street, I get as excited as if they pulled up in my neighborhood in St. Louis as a kid. I’m like, “Oh, what are they filming? Oh, look, I wonder what it is. I wonder if we can find out who’s the star”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:52] Yeah, I look-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:52] Like I get that same reaction still.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:54] Yeah. Me too. I drive by and I try to see is like, “Is there someone famous out there”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:58] Exactly. So true. Well, I’m going to move us along, Angela, because I know we want to get to our interview with Mindy. Fast Fact Number Three, I said earlier this was directed by Miguel Arteta. Angela, I was such a huge fan of Miguel. When I found out he was going to direct this episode, this is the only episode he directed. I completely geek it out. OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:23] What did you do?
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:24] He directed this little-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:24] Did you go up to him? Were you dorky? What you do?
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:28] Oh, Angela, I followed him around the entire week. We bonded. At the end of this week, I thought we were best friends and would work together forever on every future project. And I’m not going to lie. Every time there was like a script that I was sent or when I was trying to produce a movie myself, he was the first person I would go to because I was like, I am literally like, this guy is a genius. I love him.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:53] I love that. I didn’t know you were like following him around everywhere.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:57] Oh, yeah. I wanted everything about him to rub off on me, so he had directed this little indie movie called “Chuck and Buck”. Written by and starring Mike White, who, by the way-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:08] You’re also obsessed.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:08] I also have stalked.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:10] Yeah. I know. I know that you stalked him.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:13] I got to work with him. And then that made me feel one step closer to Mike White, who I eventually managed to stalk and become, I became friends with Mike White. And then I eventually got to be in a Mike White movie starring Ben Stiller. And then after that happened, I was like, well, I can, I can now retire because I have worked with my, my idol.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:35] I wrote in my journal about this week. Do you wanna hear what I wrote, lady?
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:40] Of course. I always want to hear about your journal. Your journal delights me. It does.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:45] That’s gonna be your autobiography. “A Journal Delights Me” by Jenna Fischer. I wrote that and I wrote this, “Me and the adorable Mindy Kaling are gonna be doing really early morning interviews together on all the local NBC stations. We are gonna talk to 16 cities and we have to get up at 5:00 a.m.”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:07] Oh, my gosh. You guys did a little press junket.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:09] I think this is my very first one.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:11] Well, what’s crazy about that, Angela, is you probably then after you were done, had to come to work.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:16] Oh, yeah. Because they, we had to. I remember we had to be onstage. We actually did them on the set with the set as the background.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:23] Oh yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:23] And we got there and we met this “Satellite Media Tour” is what they called it, and we met their crew and we had to be there at 4:00 a.m. to go through hair and makeup. And then we started doing interviews at 5:00 a.m. and we talked to a new city every 15 minutes for 3 hours.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:40] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:41] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:42] And you did it with Mindy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:43] Mindy was my first press junket.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:45] Well, this is a wonderful segueway into our upcoming segment. We’ll take a break. But when we come back, we’re going to play our interview with Mindy Kaling. She came and talked to us. It was amazing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:55] It was such a joy to have her here. And I’m so excited for you guys to listen to this. And then afterwards, we’re going to fully break down the episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:04] We’ll get to that right after the break.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:06] We’ll see you with Mindy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:10] Mindy Kaling, hi.
MINDY KALING [00:12:13] Hi, guys.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:14] Hi.
MINDY KALING [00:12:14] I’m so happy to be here.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:15] Welcome to “Office Ladies”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:17] I’m giving you a hug through the Zoomy Zoom.
MINDY KALING [00:12:19] Thank you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:21] Same.
MINDY KALING [00:12:21] Congrats, you guys, on the massive success of this. This is, like this is awesome. This is, everyone in my life is obviously such a fan. And I’m like, I’m so proud of you guys. This is so great.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:31] Thank you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:32] Thanks, Mindy.
MINDY KALING [00:12:33] Yeah, of course.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:34] We love it. We’re having a good time.
MINDY KALING [00:12:36] It’s fun to hear the way that the show was through your guys’ eyes, because it’s so loving and fun and super accurate. And I like, I’m really enjoying it. So this is great. Thanks for having me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:48] Thank you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:49] That was so nice.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:50] I feel like this is all just pure joy. I’m just so delighted to see you and to talk to you.
MINDY KALING [00:12:55] Yeah, me too.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:55] And this is such a fun episode. So we just get to reminisce a little bit.
MINDY KALING [00:12:59] Love it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:00] Well, before we get into “Diwali”, we always like to ask all of our guests their “Office” origin story. So how did you come to be on the show?
MINDY KALING [00:13:09] Well, it was 2004 and I had, I was off, doing a play off off Broadway in New York called “Matt and Ben”. Which was a play that I wrote with my writing partner and friend at the time, Brenda Withers, where, it’s like an hour long short play where I play Ben Affleck and she plays Matt Damon. It’s so hard to tell this story without being like, just being like, OK, so just ignore that kind of interesting fact and move on. But so we did that, it won the Fringe Festival got some attention and sort of was our entree to L.A. And when we were in L.A., I had like an “Arrested Development” spec and then that play. And I had very few meetings. The climate for hiring writers if you were like an untested Indian American woman, it was very different 16 years ago than it is now. And the only place that I got an interview at. I got two interviews. One was at “Nevermind Nirvana”, which was a pilot about an Indian family. And I was like, yes, I can I could write on that show. And the other one was “The Office”. And I remember “Joey” was like, do you guys remember how huge “Joey” was when we started shooting?
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:21] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:21] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:21] The, the “Friends” spin off.
MINDY KALING [00:14:23] It was like the NBC thing. They put it all their money on that. And then “Father of the Pride”. Do you guys remember that one?
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:28] No.
MINDY KALING [00:14:29] “Father of the Pride” was a cartoon. Jeffrey Katzenberg produced cartoon about, from the point of view of two tigers that worked with Siegfried and Roy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:40] Oh, yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:40] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:41] Yes, it’s coming back to me.
MINDY KALING [00:14:42] And it was an animated show.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:44] This sounds like a bit on “Saturday Night Live”.
MINDY KALING [00:14:47] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:47] This doesn’t sound like a TV show.
MINDY KALING [00:14:48] Not only was it a real show. It was like the hottest show, like you could not get an interview. So I didn’t get an interview on “Will and Grace”, I didn’t get an interview at “Joey” and I didn’t get an interview at “Father of the Pride”. And you can imagine, like, just to show how things have become so different from then, like can imagine like now like a minority woman who won the Fringe Festival coming out to L.A., not getting a meeting on like only two shows. So things have changed a lot. So that’s great. But the two people who I got interviews was “Nevermind Nirvana” and I went into their offices in Burbank. This has never happened to me before. But I sat in the office and as I was there waiting to meet the showrunner, they got the call that the pilot hadn’t been picked up to series. So I sat there and then the assistant came out and was like, you should go home like there’s no jobs. So I just got up and left. And then the second one was at “The Office” with Greg Daniels. And so I met with him and just so you know, my agent at the time who I won’t mention was really like, yeah, the show doesn’t have a lot of heat. Like, I don’t think it’s really going to do anything. Everyone likes the British one better. So it’s just like, you know, it’s good to meet Greg Daniels. He’s like done a lot of good stuff, but like it’s just good, it just good to, like, have a general. So I went in there and there was not a lot of stakes. And I had a very, a really fun interview with Greg that lasted two hours. But you guys know Greg. So it was actually probably only like 15 minutes of talking in two hours. And then I, he hired me and, or he didn’t, he didn’t hire me in the meeting like they still had to do up fronts and everything. But we had a great meeting and I heard it went well. And then like a month and a half later, I was told I was coming back for six episodes, such a small first season. But I was so new. And I think you guys were, you know, new enough too that it was just like, oh my gosh, any episodes. That’s fantastic. Not knowing that that was kind of an unusually small number of episodes. But that was, that was how I got on “The Office”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:46] And how did you end up then playing a role on the show?
MINDY KALING [00:16:50] You know, he had put, Greg had put into the contract these acting, these writing contract, these acting clauses for, I think a number of the writers, at least it was in mine and I think Paul Lieberstein’s. So I guess in the back of his mind, he was thinking in those terms. But the first season, classic episode, “Diversity Day”, written by the great B.J. Novak. I remember in the room, he loved this idea. Greg loved this idea of Michael Scott offending all these people. But it’s like it, it, it’s kind of the funniest version of it when there’s, like, some minority people there too, who can get extra offended. So at that time, I think it just made sense to have another minority person. And I was like, I’ll do it. I actually, I didn’t volunteer. He’s like, he, I had two lines in that episode. And he said, Do you want to be in it? I was like, of course. And so “Diversity Day”. Yeah. Thank heavens that was the second episode, because then that, I guest starred then and I think maybe once or twice that first season, I wasn’t in it very much. And then second season was like I sort of saw, I got more lines and yeah, that’s how it happened.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:55] What blew me away, Mindy, is when I think back on that and I was, I was sort of reading back on Wikipedia about all of us and where we were at in our lives at that time. And you were 24. And that blows my mind. Your, you had your act together for, to me, for someone at 24, you, you, you were amazing. Because at 24 I was, I think I was doing takeout at Chin Chin’s. I wasn’t a waiter, I was just doing a hostess job.
MINDY KALING [00:18:25] Do you know? Do you know what it is? Well thank you for saying that. I mean I love to feel like I was a wunderkind, but you know, what it is? Is that it’s just the life of a writer, comedy writer, and the life of an actor. They’re just so, they’re so different. Right? Like, it’s so, it’s very hard to break into comedy writing. But I do think that is easier than breaking into acting, because if you can write, you can write your own opportunities and write a spec script that, you know, then you can use and send out, whereas like when you’re a young actor, you’re like, I just hope someone calls me in to see something. So thank you for saying that. But, you know, it also, it felt less special because B.J. is there and he was the same age and he’d already written on a show at 24.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:08] Oh my god.
MINDY KALING [00:19:08] So I was like, oh, I guess I’m like young and cool. He was like, oh yeah. I’ve already worked on, he was on a Bob Saget sitcom and Mike Schur was like 28 and it already had like an Emmy and been at SNL for 9 years or something crazy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:21] Oh my God.
MINDY KALING [00:19:22] So there was no sense of like you could ever think you were special or like ahead of the curve or anything like that, with that group of people.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:29] Well I always thought you were special.
MINDY KALING [00:19:31] Thank you. Thanks, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:34] All right. Should we get into this episode, Jenna?
MINDY KALING [00:19:36] Yes, let’s do it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:37] Yes. Did you get a chance to rewatch it?
MINDY KALING [00:19:39] Yes, I did.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:40] What was it like for you to rewatch it?
MINDY KALING [00:19:44] I, I have to say, I feel really lucky that Greg wanted to do this episode because it feels like now, you know, we, Angela was on my most recent show and we did an episode about Ganesh Puja. And there’s so much more, you know, there’s so many more shows on the air with like diverse casts and everything. But the fact that on primetime television and I don’t know, what year did come out? 2007, maybe?
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:08] It aired November 2nd, 2006.
MINDY KALING [00:20:12] Ok.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:12] It was seen by 8.8 million people and it was the first American television comedy series to depict the Hindu festival of Diwali. It was the very first one.
MINDY KALING [00:20:21] That’s cool.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:22] That’s amazing.
MINDY KALING [00:20:23] Go us for doing that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:25] And you know, the show Mindy’s referring to is “Never Have I Ever”. Mindy, I do want to give it a little plug here because it’s so great and the cast is great and you’re with them from the beginning. The young actors you got, I felt 100 years old on that set.
MINDY KALING [00:20:41] So did I. So did everyone who wasn’t 17. I’m with you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:46] Oh my god, and they were so cute. And they loved “The Office” so much.
MINDY KALING [00:20:49] Oh, my gosh. They were so star struck by you, Angela. It was so special that you got to be there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:53] Oh, my God.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:53] Mindy, what is the name of the lead actress on that show?
MINDY KALING [00:20:56] Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:58] I adore her. She, I, because when you watch the show, you are so immediately in with her journey. Immediately. She is so like effervescent and open and just. Wow, what a find. What a find.
MINDY KALING [00:21:13] Thank you. She’s going to flip out. She, Jenna, she’s a, “Office” is her number one favorite show. If you go on her social media for more than two days. There’s like an “Office” meme or there’s like. Yeah. I bet you’ve been on her Instagram, like with the-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:26] Oh my gosh.
MINDY KALING [00:21:26] Like, please don’t throw trash at me, like some like famous Pam line.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:32] OK. So. So here we go. So now we have Diwali, the Festival of Lights. It’s on network TV. Mindy, you have been so amazing at just really, I feel like representing all different sides of culture and, on television. It’s just you should know what it’s meant to people. We had a lot of people write in about having their community seen in this mainstream way, what it meant to them. It’s, it’s really moving.
MINDY KALING [00:22:01] Wow. That’s so nice. I mean, you know, the one of the harder things about when you write the “Diwali” episode is like, we couldn’t believe that, Greg said, yes, because normally we would do like a Halloween episode at that time of year because it’s the end of October. But then I, when he said yes, I had to kind of confront the fact that I’m Indian American. I don’t know very much about the holiday and that that experience of being Indian American and talking about how you don’t know very much about the holiday kind of became a big part of the episode, which I loved. I didn’t, I liked that Greg thought that was just as interesting, if not more interesting than me going and pretending that, like my family and I were these experts at Hindu holidays and everything. So I really like that Kelly is, is, has this defiant attitude about it that it’s really important while also not knowing anything about it at all.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:51] Yes. Except that she gets to wear it like an outfit that has some sparkles on it.
MINDY KALING [00:22:55] Yes. Yeah. Exactly.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:56] Like she’s super excited and the music part, she’s really excited about that.
MINDY KALING [00:22:59] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:59] And Michael in the cold open. I mean, Mindy, I love whenever Steve would do an impression of us as our characters. And so Michael is like, well, if you ask Kelly, it’s like, blah blah, super fun.
MINDY KALING [00:23:14] Yes. That, that I know and he didn’t get to do that that much. Right? Like, I felt like that he didn’t do impressions of of us too too much.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:23] When he did, I just, it just got me so tickled.
MINDY KALING [00:23:25] I know. It was so funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:27] I have a gazillion things I want to say, Jenna, but-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:29] Go, go, you go.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:31] One of my favorite lines in this whole episode is this. “How long have you been married to the cheerleader”? And that was your dad.
MINDY KALING [00:23:42] Oh my gosh. To this day, my dad gets checks from, he gets residual checks. It’s like, his, the thing he’s the most proud of.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:49] Oh, from “The Office”. Yes, of course. Right.
MINDY KALING [00:23:53] From “The Office”. Yeah. And one time he was with my stepmom at Erawan and they got stopped and someone was like, “You are in ‘The Office’, weren’t you”? And that was early when they were dating before they got married. And my dad was like felt so cool about it. So yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:07] Oh yeah. That was like some good like street cred right there.
MINDY KALING [00:24:10] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:11] I’m being recognized.
MINDY KALING [00:24:12] Yeah. Completely. I just remember that that was like those episodes, you know, at the beginning of the season. It felt like one thing we did a lot was somehow we pulled out someone from the main cast and they were somebody, somewhere else. And that was Stamford for that season.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:26] Yes.
MINDY KALING [00:24:26] And it was one of those ones where I really like the Stamford episodes. I think sometimes when we do that, it worked really well. Sometimes when we pulled them out, we were like, just come back. We just like want you back in the main cast. But that was a time where I felt like it, it worked pretty well. And I remember thinking because I was like at the beginning, I was like, what was like, what was like Ed and John doing? And I was like, oh, they weren’t there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:47] Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:24:47] So it was, it was fun to just, I forgot about that whole thing. And I remember what I really liked about Stamford was like that was a really funny group of people there, even the people that didn’t have big parts like in the Stamford branch.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:00] Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:25:01] Those. I just thought we nailed those prototypes or whatever. Like I was never bored when I had to go over there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:07] No, it was so well done.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:09] We talked a little bit about having over on the Scranton set, like Angela and I having a little bit of like FOMO and jealousy of how much fun they were having over on Stamford because everybody was so funny. And also they would only have to work like one and a half days a week.
MINDY KALING [00:25:24] That’s right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:24] So they were super relaxed and just like having the best time. And then they got four days off. And we weren’t we were just like, hey, we’re fun over her.
MINDY KALING [00:25:32] I forgot about that. Well, well, Jenna the best example of that was the Michael Scott paper company, which was like.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:38] Oh yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:25:39] Which was like to me, the, one of my favorite arcs we’ve ever done. And I don’t think I wrote any of the episodes for you guys there. But like it has, I think that pairing of people, that group of people on their mission was like one of the times I was like, wow, this is just like equally, if not more funny than like anything that’s going-. Wait, and that’s when Idris Elba was-. Was that?
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:00] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:00] Yes.
MINDY KALING [00:26:01] Well, I mean, I guess if you cut back to Idris Elba, you’re doing fine.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:04] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:05] I loved being in Michael Scott Paper Company.
MINDY KALING [00:26:07] Oh my God.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:08] I kind of didn’t want that arc to end.
MINDY KALING [00:26:10] And Vikram, the four of you together.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:12] Oh my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:12] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:13] Amazing.
MINDY KALING [00:26:14] It was so, it was like it could have been its own movie. Like, I know we’re not talking with the Michael Scott Paper Company right now. We’re talking with “Diwali”. But it felt like it was his own “Bad News Bears” type movie.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:23] But you’re, you’re right, Mindy. There were these pairings that would happen that were just as pure and beautiful as what was happening in Scranton. And, you know, I got the DVD box set and I watched the deleted scenes. And there are so many scenes at Stamford that never made it in. And like, there’s the-.
MINDY KALING [00:26:38] Oh really?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:38] Character that’s like, always, like was always breastfeeding.
MINDY KALING [00:26:43] Oh yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:44] Hannah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:45] Hannah would make Jim really uncomfortable. And then as far as this episode, I do have a question for you, because I was texting with Rashida and she was like, this is the episode. I was so worried everyone was gonna hate me because Jim and Karen have this sloppy make out out in the parking lot.
MINDY KALING [00:27:01] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:02] Like a tipsy make out. It’s not in the deleted scenes. It didn’t even make that cut and so-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:07] It was in the shooting draft.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:09] Oh, yeah?
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:10] Did Rashida? Did you guys end up shooting that? Because I was gonna ask about that too. When I was going, I have the shooting draft from this episode, and I went back and I read it and I was like, wait, wait. Jim and Karen kiss?
MINDY KALING [00:27:23] Yeah. I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:23] They’re kissing. Why are they making out? But then it’s nowhere in the episode and it’s not in the deleted scenes.
MINDY KALING [00:27:29] Well, I have, my memory, even though I was the writer on set obviously for the episode, I have like zero memory of that. But I will say that one thing that we used to do, I felt a lot, was to write scripts that advance story and then what we’d notice when we only had 21 and a half minutes to air an episode that such, like a little went such a long way. Like if there is an attractive woman who is working in the new environment and she seems to have some kind of rapport with Jim or together they’re making fun of Andy, you’re like, oh, that’s interesting. Like that might be something. And so it felt like we were always like pulling back that stuff. Like Jenna, don’t you feel like you shot a lot of stuff with with John that was like, not because you guys weren’t like super flirty in those early seasons, like overtly flirty, but like that you watch it and like, oh, this was like they, they used like less than I thought they would in terms of like showing your guys’ like budding romance.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:28] Yes. And I would also add that there were some scenes where we would get in. I don’t know if I would call it fights, but there were some like disagreements in certain episodes and they would pull back on those too and they, they would make them smaller.
MINDY KALING [00:28:45] I wonder if, it’s, it’s interesting. It’s just like for so much of the show in terms of romance, it was always like less is more. Whereas for comedy it was like, let’s hoist up Tony Gardner onto the table.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:59] Yeah. So awkward.
MINDY KALING [00:29:01] Yeah, like but for all that stuff, it was, yeah, just a little goes a long way. But.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:06] Yeah, the relationships were so finessed. I thought they were so smartly done.
MINDY KALING [00:29:18] One of the things I remember really well about this episode was, again, like it’s such a time capsule of like 2006 or whatever, because the love interest. He wasn’t really love interest. But there was an Indian character who my parents preferred to Ryan. That was like a very small part of it and it was played by this writer, Vali Chandrasekaran, who was kind of a friend of the writers on the show. But not an actor. Just a guy. Like a guy we knew.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:42] There was a real sort of casualness to our show of like we’re just kind of putting it together.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:47] Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:29:47] We probably shot this, this is Season 3, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:51] Yep.
MINDY KALING [00:29:51] For “Diwali”, it was, we knew that Season 2 had done well. I don’t, we’d been nominated probably at this point when we were shooting.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:57] We had.
MINDY KALING [00:29:58] We’d been nominated, but we didn’t know, so I felt like now I felt like at the beginning of Season 3 when we started shooting. We started feeling like a little bit more like, OK, we’re not going to just get canceled or something because-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:12] Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:30:12] I remember so much stress earlier on thinking like it’s hard to enjoy a show as much when you’re like, is this even going to last? And I do remember being able to enjoy things a little bit more starting like at the beginning of Season 3. Sorry, I just keep going off of because I don’t get to talking about “The Office” that much. I just am talking really like, like holistically about the show instead of just about this episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:36] Don’t worry, we’re gonna break down this whole episode and like get into the nitty gritty of it. So this can be your “Office” memories. There’s no prescription for what we talk about.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:45] Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:30:45] OK, cool.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:46] Greg was on to talk about “Booze Cruise” and we just, we went everywhere. You know?
MINDY KALING [00:30:51] Ok.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:52] But that’s, it’s such a special chapter in all of our lives. I think it’s hard to compartmentalize it to one episode. It’s such a big part of us.
MINDY KALING [00:30:58] You know, one of the things I remember a lot about doing “The Office” was we didn’t realize as writers how rare it was for Greg to just say, OK, well, I’m just going to give one person from the writer’s world onset. And that’s just gonna be the writer of the episode. Some people do that now, but it’s usually like an upper level writer. So it’s your job to make sure that the intention of the lines is being correct, give alts, answered questions from the actors. And I was the story editor when I did this. And I remember like that was pretty stressful. I think. Like, I remember being on the set because Miguel Arteta was not one of our directors that we had all the time. And so I remember feeling like, is this, like am I being too, like onset because we’re in location a lot for this episode. I was like, am I too much in his hair? Is he gonna yell at me? ‘Cause I think Season 1, I was never alone for “Hot Girl”. Like, I think Howard and Greg were there for almost all the shooting because it was the last, I think, one of the last ones we shot. But for this one, it was just like go, manage set, answer all Indian questions and make sure it’s hilarious and do all alts.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:08] It’s so funny you say that, Mindy, because my impression of you as the writer on set was just always that you were one of my favorites.
MINDY KALING [00:32:16] Really? That’s so nice.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:18] Oh yes. Mostly because you were so up to laugh. Like you found, I always felt like you found everyone hilarious. You seemed to like everything. You had the best alts, so you would sort of throw out ideas. Maybe based on something you watched us do, you’d be like, oh gosh. Oh my gosh. Okay, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You have to do that again. Do that again. And then what do you think about saying this? And it was like, oh, my gosh, it was just like this uplifting, exciting.
MINDY KALING [00:32:47] That’s so nice.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:48] Oh, I loved it. I loved it. We’ve talked a lot about that. And Jen Celotta was very similar as well, like. Well, Jen, you couldn’t get, she would, just would laugh the whole time. Like we’d actually have to throw her off because-.
MINDY KALING [00:33:01] She was laughing too much.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:02] She would ruin takes. But yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:33:04] Yeah I, I thought we, you know, there’s this, this thing that we would do on the show where when it cut would come out, the director’s cut. And I’ve never seen it on any other show. We would all gather and watch it together in the writers’ room and director’s cuts famously on other shows like make you want to kill yourself. They’re usually so bad, but the quality was so good because the cast was so good. And so I remember it was like my favorite time. We could interrupt all of our work and just go into the little living room area of our writers’ room and watch. I mean, I was such a fan of the show, I, I watched almost every cut of every episode and then I would watch it live too. Like I, and I didn’t realize how unusual that is for somebody who works on a show. Most people do it and then they, a lot of actors don’t even watch it when it airs. But I, I really was such a huge fan of the show and a lot of times in those conference room scenes, like I’d have like no lines or one line or something in these four page scenes. And to me, it was like going to Second City and just watching everyone just be so funny and it’d just be for free. And you’d be in this, like, freezing cold room and there’d be snacks every two hours. And I was like, what? How could this be better?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:15] It felt like such an abundance of riches. I just loved sitting and watching everyone in character just reacting.
MINDY KALING [00:34:21] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:22] Mindy, I remember one time you were onstage and B.J. and you guys were at reception by Jenna and you guys were talking and I walked up and you were having a conversation about some type of, like, economics. It was like some kind of like you’d, you had expanded economics. And I walked up and I was like, I’m going to go over here. It was just like they are two of smartest people I have ever met. And I’m going a hard pivot and back away.
MINDY KALING [00:34:51] Angela. Wait. B.J. and I we’re talking about economics, we weren’t fighting? I’m so surprised.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:56] Oh, no, you were, it was a heated discussion. You were on opposite sides. 100%.
MINDY KALING [00:35:02] That is so funny.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:03] Well I just, I remember you and Paul and B.J. as a little trio, probably because you were the writers who were with the actors. So between takes, you guys would always kind of huddle up and talk like story ideas and like what’s happening in the writers’ room. And so you were having to kind of manage two jobs at once. And I used to, like, hover around you guys and eavesdrop and just like hope you would invite me in to your hilarious conver-.
MINDY KALING [00:35:32] Really?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:33] Yes. Some of my favorite memories are listening to you guys discuss story and character and pitch jokes to each other in between scenes.
MINDY KALING [00:35:41] Well, that’s so funny, because I felt like when we were in the annex, we, you know, we were, the writers were in the annex. I’m sure you guys have talked about this many times. But we were in the annex, obviously, because then we could go be the writers’ room and we wouldn’t have to be in some of the big group scenes. But I remember also thinking like but I want to be in the big group scenes like I, those were the funnest scenes to watch when, like, you know, Dwight would run in and be like everyone to the roof, like I, we just were left out of those scenes, like. About “Diwali”. So here’s a couple things that I felt were maybe interesting.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:14] Yes.
MINDY KALING [00:36:14] To say, which was that we only cast my parents in it, which seems just like a complete act of nepotism and favoritism because we had auditioned the parts. And Greg had felt that the actors we’d found in that age group, like the late 50s, early 60s, were like a little bit too either theatrical for that style of acting on our show or too stilted because they had no acting experience. Now I’m the first to say that my parent’s acting was also very stilted, but he was like, at least they bear some familial resemblance to you. So we’ll just like, we’ll just put them in there. And I don’t know if you guys remember this, but I remember going into it. My mom was like had this energy of like, I’m just like gonna be so much better than than your father. Like, I just know, like neither of them had done any acting. She was a, she was a doctor. He was an architect. But she had this sense like coming over that she’s like, I just hope that you give me the most lines because I’m just naturally better on camera and like, it’s gonna be good. But then Miguel like, fell in love with my dad. Like, he was like, we have to give him more lines. Like he’s killing it. And you guys remember, like this is the show where if anyone ever fell for anyone, who was like just kind of like a, if anyone was interesting to a director in the wrong reasons, like just because like, oh my God. Like I just love guys’ look, they could recur on the show for a long time, but I remember being like, I cannot have my dad and my mom come back here, like, ever again to do this kind of thing. So I remember Miguel Arteta was like, “Hey, do you think we can add your dad to the background of, like, another scene”? And I was like, “No, we can’t”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:50] I was just going to ask you what it was like for you to have them on set.
MINDY KALING [00:37:54] I was. I don’t know if you guys feel this way, well you don’t really, Ang, ’cause like your family, you guys are so tight. So I don’t think you have this, but I did not feel so established on the show as a writer or as an actor that I felt so comfortable having them there. Like I was really worried about it seeming unprofessional or just like that they would tell boring stories to people and like Jenna would be like, hey, can you get this guy away from me? To like an A.D. like, I can’t hear the story anymore like, can you please? So I think I was worried and I think I told them, like, don’t like to talk to people at craft services for too long, like just say hi and answer questions but don’t like launch into, you know, other stuff. But that was one thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:40] I thought they were delightful. We were so excited to have them and-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:43] They were so cute. Mindy, they were so good.
MINDY KALING [00:38:47] Well they’re both like 5’4. They’re just like both little, they’re both little people.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:50] Yeah, they’re my people. I remember your mom complimented my blouse and I remember it.
MINDY KALING [00:38:56] That’s nice.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:57] She liked the color on me. And I was like, Oh, thanks so much. I don’t know. I thought they were delightful.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:02] And by the way, I thought their acting was amazing.
MINDY KALING [00:39:06] Thank you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:07] I was watching them in that scene with Steve, I was like, they are killing it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:09] Oh, my gosh, your mom ate him up. Like that was amazing.
MINDY KALING [00:39:13] They were, I mean, I cannot believe because I was at the time where I was like, uh, I’d like to have a scene with Steve, you know, like it felt so special. And there they are, they were like he’s at a crossroads with Carol and my dad is like, you should be with her. I forgot exactly what he said. But I remember being like, this is kind of a juicy scene. Well, you know, there’s a nice little story because, like, I feel like Pam stories had such an emotional impact, but they often didn’t have, like, lots and lots of, like, lines to them. But they always were so impactful is like I thought your little story in this one was pretty sweet, Jenna. Like it was like, you know, you didn’t really want to go. And then you end up having like, I don’t know, I thought it was like a nice, I like those kinds of Pam stories.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:54] I liked it too. I also, I was really struck by how incredibly good looking David Denman was in this episode. I was like, Pam, Pam, stop for a second. Open your eyes. See what’s in front of you. And just maybe, I mean, maybe just revisit that for one night, Pam. It’s one night. That’s what, that’s what I was thinking the whole time.
MINDY KALING [00:40:17] Yeah. David Denman.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:18] He was also really tan. He was really like, I don’t know what David was doing in his real life, but he’s super tan and in shape.
MINDY KALING [00:40:26] Yeah. It was good to show that Roy had good qualities and was good looking too, so that you weren’t just like, what the hell? Like, why?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:33] Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:40:33] Why is it not? It’s good that he was-. Yeah, David Denman is a legitimate smoke show. He doesn’t get enough credit.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:41] He is. Yeah.
MINDY KALING [00:40:41] Guys, this was so much fun. Now that I’ve done it and you guys made me feel so welcome. I would love to come back and do another one sometime.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:49] We will have you back any time, Mindy.
MINDY KALING [00:40:51] I really, I’m sure you already did this and talked about it with somebody else in the show. But if we ever do “Branch Wars”, Jenna. I have so many funny memories of it. Like one thing I remember really well was normally you’d sit in a conference room type scene and Michael would be the person that would just be so funny that you felt like I’m going to break and die. And I’m remember, I was not, I was on set with you because I had written the episode, but I was not obviously at the branch like as an, as a character. I wasn’t there. And I remember when you had to take over for Michael because he was, had a breakdown that was like some of the funniest moments of any episode I’d ever seen, like you in front of, like, just eating it and having to be like this valiante assistant and friend to Michael. I remember that. And I also remember Michael cutting a piece of her sweater off. Those were my two favorite moments of that episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:45] Thank you, Mindy.
MINDY KALING [00:41:46] I had a great time.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:46] Mindy, thank you so much. It’s such a joy to see you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:50] Thank you so much.
MINDY KALING [00:41:51] It was really fun. Great to see you. And, yeah. Guys. Good-, I mean, I was going to say good luck, but you don’t need good luck. You’re already, this is the number one podcast ever. But-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:00] Oh, stop it. By the way, speaking of, I can’t believe “Legally Blond 3”, I’m so excited.
MINDY KALING [00:42:06] Thank you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:07] We love you so much, Mindy. Okay. Bye.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:09] Bye, Mindy.
MINDY KALING [00:42:10] Bye.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:14] And we are back. Mindy Kaling. So fun.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:19] Please come back. That was so great.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:22] We have to have her back.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:23] I know. All right, ladies, shall we break down this episode?
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:27] We talked a little bit about this cold open with Mindy. We open in the office. Kelly is helping Ryan with his kurta. And Michael enters and he starts laughing at it. He calls it a dress. Right? But then Pam and Kelly gush about how handsome Ryan looks. And Michael suddenly wishes that he had one, too. He’s such a child.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:46] He’s like, how come you didn’t get me one? I think you can see Mindy starting to break. When he says that, and I wondered if that was an improvised line, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:54] No, it’s in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:55] Because I feel like you can see Mindy starting to do that, that break that she does.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:59] Like she was taken by surprise.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:01] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:02] No, that’s just Mindy breaking because you said words, which is what Mindy used to like to do.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:06] Well, now we have a Party Planning Committee scene. You guys, we lived for these. We got so tickled whenever there was one in a script. I find it fascinating that in this Party Planning Committee scene, it is Ryan, Meredith, Pam, Angela and Phyllis and they are discussing who’s going to carpool with who.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:24] There’s a chart.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:25] Clearly, they couldn’t plan this party. They were invited guests. So they had to have something to plan. So they’re planning carpools. This is what Phyllis wrote on the dry erase board. In Bob’s Yukon. And she was very proud to say that he had a Yukon. In Bob’s Yukon would be Phyllis, Stanley, Angela, Kevin and Pam. In Meredith’s minivan would be Meredith, Darryl, Lonny, Creed, Ryan and Kelly. Now, who is missing from the carpool? Oscar. He’s on leave. Michael and Dwight. Who’s riding with Michael and Dwight? They’re on their own, I guess.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:00] Yeah. Good question. Well, I guess Michael and Carol are gonna go together. But how did Dwight get there?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:04] He’s solo. He’s solo. But I want you guys to know there is a fantastic deleted scene. There is an extension of this Party Planning Committee scene. And it’s so funny because Angela doesn’t want anyone to go and I actually have a talking head where it sort of sets up why I’m so against Diwali. And it’s not really about Diwali. It’s because I think Dwight might still have a thing for Kelly. Or maybe there’ll be someone else there he might be interested in. So I really have this attitude that, listen, I actually have this line where I say certain people in this office are a little too obsessed with things from India.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:45] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:45] So she’s jealous. And that’s really her filter through all of this. That’s why she’s so salty all the way through. And then Jenna, what I love is she’s trying to, like, talk people out of going. And Ryan was like, well, Kelly’s kind of into it. I thought we could go. And then he’s like, I don’t care actually, we can bail. I don’t care. Ryan was like, if you guys want me to bail, fine.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:09] We actually got a lot of mail wondering why Angela was so salty about this festival. And so I’m really glad you shared that deleted scene because there was this whole extra storyline element that it’s you-, and I think you kind of see it a little bit in the scene where Pam is telling Kelly she might not go and this and that. And your head has popped up.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:33] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:34] Behind that partition. And you are a little jealous when Dwight, with such authority says he’s single. He’s not seeing anyone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:42] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:43] Because Kelly suggests maybe Pam go with Dwight if she doesn’t want to go alone. And she’s like, you’re single, right, Dwight? And Dwight’s like, oh, yeah, I’m totally single. And I think that’s, you see that little jealousy right there from Angela, like, ooh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:57] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:58] Don’t like it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:59] There’s deleted scenes that really sort of play out this Dwight Angela storyline and her jealousy and how it resolves itself, but that, that’s what was going on for Angela Martin.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:10] So Michael gets aware of the fact that people might not be as enthusiastic about this Diwali festival as he would like. He says he thinks it’s because, you know, people are just ignorant about other cultures and he really does not want to be embarrassed by everyone’s ignorance in front of his girlfriend, Carol.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:27] Yeah. So he’s got to educate everyone. So this means we’re all going in the conference room.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:32] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:32] Once again, where does Michael get these posters? It fills last minute, but yet he has all these posters. Does he send Dwight on like a mad dash? There’s all kinds of posters once we get in the conference room.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:43] It’s so true. And when he starts showing us this slide show, you notice how there’s a photo of Michael and Carol kissing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:51] Awkward.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:52] That accidentally makes its way into this presentation.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:56] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:56] Well, then he passes out the “Kamasutra” to the employees. And remember, Angela? That was, those were like little booklets that Phil Shea had to put together in print of all these Kamasutra positions. And they were blurred out for television, but they were not blurred out in real life. We’re all like, we’re all sitting in the room as actors and we get these little booklets. And I remember being totally like, oh, oh wow. OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:24] Of course, Kevin says this is the best meeting they’ve ever had.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:28] The best one.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:29] If you guys get a chance and rewatch this scene, at the end, Toby takes away the “Kamasutra”. And I want you to look at Phyllis’ face because she makes an an expression like she’s really bummed out to lose the book.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:41] Oh, my gosh, I missed that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:45] Oh, it made me laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:45] Oh, I can’t wait to go back and see that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:47] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:47] Well, Angela, should we talk a little bit about what’s going on in Stamford?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:50] You mean with Josh Porter’s like biker shorts and his fancy bike, and Jim and his clunky bike with a big basket? What’s happening, Jim? What’s going on?
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:00] Well, Jim has started biking to work, just like Josh. He says, I’m going to save gas money. It keeps me in shape. He did not anticipate how sweaty he would be. That talking head is so funny, how much sweat they put on him. Angela, do you remember how they used to make us sweaty? When you have to be sweaty.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:19] They spray you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:21] Yeah. They would either spray you with like a bottle that you would mist your plants with or they would spray you with, like those Evian mist sprays and they have to like spritz you under the arms. But then they’d have to come and do it like between every take because it would dry. But then sometimes they would put like, baby oil around, like your hairline and then spray you, so it would look especially sweaty.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:48] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:48] I’m just given everybody a little inside info on how you make an actor sweaty. You can try it at home.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:55] Jenna, I’m just laughing at how many times you just said sweaty.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:59] Sweaty.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:02] All right. So now at 4 minutes, 23 seconds, Sam, will you play my sting?
STING [00:49:09] Flirty Karen.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:10] Flirty Karen.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:11] And that’s my mom, Bertie Kinsey. “Flirty Karen”. Karen says, “Hey, nice basket”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:18] Ever since the whole chips incident, she’s smitten.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:21] Yep.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:21] So then Josh comes over and gives Karen the company credit card because they have to work late and they’re allowed to buy dinner. But he says, you know, no more than 20 dollars a person this time. This time? 20 dollars a person. We shot this in 2006. Is there a meal out there that you order that’s more than 20 dollars a person?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:45] Hey, maybe there’s a reason Stamford doesn’t make it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:49] I mean, my gosh. I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:53] They’re a. They-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:54] Maybe I just don’t eat at very fancy places for my takeout. But I feel like I would be, it would, I would be challenged to order a meal for more than 20 dollars a person in 2006.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:05] Yeah. Especially like late at night in Scranton. Where are they getting? You know, like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:10] Thai food.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:11] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:12] Exactly. This is not difficult. Andy, though, busts out some Jägermeister. He’s got other plans. He’s ready to party.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:20] Ed Helms’ face when he holds up that Jägermeister bottle and the shot glasses is hilarious. You get a window into who Andy was in college and you’re like, oh, buddy. Well, back in Scranton, things are getting exciting because everyone is showing up to Diwali. They’re arriving, they’re walking in. It’s really, really like bright and colorful. And there’s music playing. And Phyllis is like, “Isn’t it fun to take our shoes off”? And Angela’s, like, “I wish not everyone took their shoes off”. And Kevin’s like, “Stop it. I told you it was a condition”. So you guys remember in “Grief Counseling”, we talked about a deleted scene that would have been in the episode where Angela and Kevin go off again about his sweaty feet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:02] Yes, this is a callback to a deleted scene. So it’s going to go unappreciated by most viewers. But those die hard viewers who watch those deleted scenes will know what this means.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:13] I feel like someone in the writers’ room was really determined to make sure we had scenes about Kevin’s feet. I feel like it was a note card on the, on the wall that said “Kevin’s sweaty feet”. And someone loved it and kept wanting to get it in the episodes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:29] Well, this is Angela’s worst nightmare. People taking off all their shoes, even minus Kevin’s sweaty feet. I mean, this is just not how she wants to be at a party.
Angela [00:51:38] No, no.
Jenna [00:51:40] So, Angela, we got a fan question about these Diwali scenes. It comes from Sarah Beth Miller. She asks, Was this a real Diwali celebration happening in the filming of this episode? How did you get all of those people in those beautiful costumes?
Angela [00:51:54] Great question, Sarah Beth. I mean, there are so many people in this scene. So here’s the thing. It was not a real Diwali festival that was all put together by our amazing crew just specifically for this episode.
Jenna [00:52:09] Yes, our set designer Michael Gallenberg and his team, they decorated that whole gym. Michael had to do a lot of research in order to transform the gymnasium to feel like a real Diwali festival, so I think he would be very proud to know that. You wondered if this was real. Like, maybe we just stepped into an existing festival? No, they made the whole thing.
Angela [00:52:32] They did a fantastic job as far as costumes go. My character did not get to dress up, Jenna. I was so bummed, you know, I mean, she actually is just wearing what she wore to work. She didn’t even change out of her work clothes.
Jenna [00:52:45] I know.
Angela [00:52:46] But some of the cast did get to dress up B.J., Rainn, Mindy, and I’m sure our wardrobe stylist was thrilled to do something other than just drab office attire.
Jenna [00:52:55] They used to get so excited every time we got to wear anything other than our office attire, and Pam didn’t really dress up, but she is not in her office attire, which was fun. I had a whole separate fitting for that.
Angela [00:53:06] We got to see casual Pam.
Jenna [00:53:08] And did you notice I got to wear my hair differently as well? But we did find out some interesting trivia about all the other background actors who were dressed up for this festival.
Angela [00:53:16] Yes, we went to Kentapedia and he said our casting office worked with Central Casting. Now, Central Casting is a casting agency in Los Angeles. They specialize in sort of the background actors and filling out the picture. Right?
Jenna [00:53:30] Yeah.
Angela [00:53:30] Central Casting reached out to a lot of the Indian community here in Los Angeles to hire those background players. All in all, Kent said, we had 100 extras working this episode, and every single one of them brought their own very beautiful costuming for us to use.
Jenna [00:53:46] And to kind of fill out the world, Kent also hired a professional dance company to come and lead us in some of the dances. He found a company called NDM Dance Productions, and he hired their director, choreographer Dev Mahajan and Dev hired eight dancers. He choreographed rehearse their dance in the morning of that day four of shooting is when we shot all the dancing, and then we filmed it later in the afternoon, and all the dancers wear their own costumes as well. I actually went to the website,
Angela [00:54:19] Of course you did, lady. You went to the dancers website. What did you find out?
Jenna [00:54:22] They have appeared on tons of shows. “So You Think You Can Dance?”, “E! Live Oscar Coverage”, “Good Morning America! Superstars of Dance” and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew”. If you want to look them up, you can find them at NDMDance dot com. It was super cool, and it really did end up feeling like a real party. Like a real celebration.
Angela [00:54:46] It really did. I wish my character wanted to participate more because me, Angela, that is me would have been right out there like just having a great time. So it was always hard in these moments to not get to be in costume and not participate and be kind of the grump on the wall. You know?
Jenna [00:55:03] I do, and we’ll talk a little bit about my dancing later, but I did get to dance a little bit and I was thrilled.
Angela [00:55:09] Yes.
Jenna [00:55:10] Very fun.
Angela [00:55:10] All right. So yeah, so there are people that got to dress up, people that didn’t. Michael and Carol walk in with a whole different idea of what this party is.
Jenna [00:55:20] Michael has clearly told Carol that this is a costume party, so she arrives dressed as a cheerleader.
Angela [00:55:26] With pom poms.
Jenna [00:55:28] With pom poms, and Michael has his old Halloween costume on. He has this papier maché head. We had a fan question from Melinda O’Brien. Was Michael’s costume the same one from the Halloween episode, or did they have to make another one? Oh no, Melinda, we save everything. Everything that anyone wore or held or used or interacted with on the office goes into a giant warehouse. It’s tagged. It’s almost like an evidence room. So when they wrote that into this episode, they just went to that warehouse and they picked up that papier maché hat and put it right on his shoulder again.
Angela [00:56:02] That’s right, it’s like the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. It’s like rows and rows of boxes with dates, tags, episode names. So they went right to that box. And of course, Michael, you know, he can take the head off and then he just looks like he’s in a suit. But Carol is stuck now as a cheerleader because Michael thought this was Indian Halloween.
Jenna [00:56:22] Yes, I know for Carol she is such a sport in this episode, she has to endure so much.
Angela [00:56:30] And Nancy Carell just knocked it out of the park. She plays it so perfect of just sort of like quietly enduring this awkward evening.
Jenna [00:56:40] While dressed like a cheerleader.
Angela [00:56:41] Yeah.
Jenna [00:56:42] Well, let’s move over to the buffet. Angela is at the buffet. She asks if they have any vegetarian options. She doesn’t even seem satisfied when she learns that everything is vegetarian. It’s all vegetarian.
Angela [00:56:57] She’s just in full grump mode.
Jenna [00:56:59] She’s like, Just give me some bread. And then the guy hands her the bread with his hands. And Angela, you have a line here that I am fairly certain you improvised.
Angela [00:57:08] Oh yeah, I say, you used your hands, as I walk away. And I did improvise that because the guy literally did hand it to me with his hands and I thought, That’s not good.
Jenna [00:57:22] He should’ve use some tongs.
Angela [00:57:24] Some tongs you just handed to me with his hands. And so I improvised that line and it stayed in and it makes me laugh. Of course, she goes ahead and eats it, so I guess she’s not too concerned, but it’s clearly she’s just like not having a good time, and she’s a little like grossed out because she’s seeing a lot of feet and now a guy just handed her bread with his hands, a stranger.
Jenna [00:57:45] Well, in the script, it says that you take a bite and say, Ugh, garlic. We had some fan questions about the foods. Stacey and Rhett V both wrote in to say, Was any of that delicious looking buffet food real? Did you get to sample some of the cuisine while filming this episode? Guys, it was all real food. It was all real, it was all delicious, Kent told me we hired a specialty food stylist to create the food that it was authentically prepared and we had it all three days of filming and we got to eat it. And I remember that it was delicious.
Angela [00:58:20] It was delicious. I only got to eat the naan, but it was very good naan.
Jenna [00:58:23] Oh, I ate between takes. I just ate it. You don’t even see Pam eating it on screen. I was like, I will eat this. Well, now we come to one of the moments in this episode that is one of my favorites, Angela. This is when Ryan meets Kelly’s giggly sisters.
Angela [00:58:42] Yeah.
Jenna [00:58:43] It’s so, so cute. We got some fan questions from Lindsey, Bridget and Dan, who all want to know, Do you know what Kelly’s sister is saying? When they’re talking to Ryan? They’re saying something about Zach Braff.
Angela [00:58:57] OK. Here’s what the three little girls say. They say, Kelly likes Zach Braff. That’s what they’re saying in Hindi, and they’re sort of like teasing him. They were so cute, and they were played by Tanveer Atwal, Ananya Kapoor and Jaysha Patel.
Jenna [00:59:13] Well, the little girl who plays Kelly’s sister that says, the Zach Braff line, that’s Jaysha. I found her on Instagram, and I reached out to her to ask her about what it was like to be on the show. And she wrote back, I can’t wait to share.
Angela [00:59:28] She must be like a grown lady now.
Jenna [00:59:31] She is a grown woman now. She told me she was 13 years old when she shot this episode. She said she had not really heard about the show. She was still watching Disney Channel, she said. But she said her dad took her to the audition and she remembers walking into the casting office and just seeing tons of other kids who were all there for the same role. And she said the audition was just her saying that one line in Hindi, and she said she didn’t speak any Hindi, so her dad told her how to say it about five seconds before she went into the audition room. And then she got the part. So she said she was so excited and I asked her what it was like to be on set if she had any memories, and she sent back the sweetest message. So we’re going to play it for you now.
Jaysha [01:00:18] I remember Rainn Wilson walking up to me and shoving a light saber in my hand and yelling Light Saber War. I also remember getting to know Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, who were so sweet to me. Meeting Mindy Kaling really meant a lot to me growing up because I didn’t really see many Indian actresses in the entertainment industry at that time. And I love what Mindy has done with her platform, and she is still a huge inspiration for me till this day. I also remember all of the delicious Indian food on set and getting to dance all day, and I remember being so happy that I had the chance to wear my Indian clothes.
Jenna [01:00:52] Isn’t that so sweet?
Angela [01:00:53] That is wonderful that as I listen to it, I was just smiling so big because that is everything about that message is lovely. I love all of her memories. She’s absolutely right about Mindy and what Mindy has done, and she’s such an inspiration to so many people.
Jenna [01:01:09] Yes. Yeah, she told me after the episode aired, she had classmates and family members reaching out that they had recorded it and taking pictures of her name in the credits. So that was when she was 13. She really wanted to be an actress, she said. When she was 15, she decided she wanted to go into journalism. And now Jaysha is the morning news reporter at NBC 15 in Mobile, Alabama. She told me she has to go to bed at four o’clock in the afternoon because she has to be in the studio at 3:30 in the morning.
Angela [01:01:42] I have always heard that about these morning anchors on the East Coast that they have to get up so early. That’s the thing, though, Jaysha that is so cool.
Jenna [01:01:53] Isn’t that so cool? She said all her coworkers know about her appearance on “The Office” and that fans will mention to her because she’s Indian. They’ll mention the Diwali episode and then she always like blows their mind when she says, Oh no, I was in it. So I thought that was so sweet.
Angela [01:02:09] I was in it. I say a line that offends Ryan the temp.
Jenna [01:02:13] Yes, exactly. Except he doesn’t quite know he’s being the butt of a joke.
Angela [01:02:18] Right.
Jenna [01:02:18] But she said being on the office was one of her most memorable moments of her childhood.
Angela [01:02:24] I also love that, you know, I’m sure Rainn improvised going up to her with that light saber. There’s a bunch of deleted scenes where he’s fighting with kids with light sabers, and it didn’t make it in. But he, he, Rainn looked very much in his element, like that’s how he bonds with children.
Jenna [01:02:41] Yes, Angela, should we check in on those folks at Stanford? See how they’re doing?
Angela [01:02:46] You mean the folks drinking Jagermeister? Yeah. How are they?
Jenna [01:02:49] And Angela, did you see what they ordered for dinner?
Angela [01:02:52] Oh, Jenna you and I know firsthand. You do not drink a lot of alcohol and only eat sushi.
Jenna [01:02:59] Now, Angela, why do we know that firsthand?
Angela [01:03:01] We know that because at the Golden Globes, was it the Golden Globes?
Jenna [01:03:06] Oh, lady, I was thinking of my Bachelorette party that you planned for me.
Angela [01:03:10] oh! Well, there was the Golden Globes, but the Bachelorette.
Jenna [01:03:12] Wait, have we repeated this mistake multiple times?
Angela [01:03:14] Yes, except the second time I did better, the first time it did not work out well for me the second time. If memory serves. Sorry to say this on here, but it it hit your sister pretty hard.
Jenna [01:03:28] Yeah. Guys, Angela planned a bachelorette party for me when I was getting married to Lee, and she took us all out for a sushi dinner. It was a fancy schmancy sushi place in Beverly Hills that I’d never eaten out. I’d only dreamed of, and I was like, Can we go there for my bachelorette?
Angela [01:03:47] They were thrilled to have us.
Jenna [01:03:49] It was so cute. All of the ladies from “The Office” were there. All of my other friends were there. And afterwards you took us to a dance club.
Angela [01:03:59] Hold up, lady, if we’re going to get this right. First of all, the sushi place was your idea. And then after the sushi place, you guys I got cupcakes with like her face on it. It was so cute. We had lots of free drinks and over the restaurant was very kind and lots of great sushi. And then after the dinner, I was like, Well, thank you guys. And Jenna was like, What’s next? And I was like, What?
Jenna [01:04:27] What?
Angela [01:04:28] Do you not?
Jenna [01:04:29] Is this true? I do not remember this?
Angela [01:04:32] Do you not know this?
Jenna [01:04:32] No.
Angela [01:04:32] Lady. All I had planned was the dinner. I didn’t plan anything after. Is this the first time you’re ever hearing of this?
Jenna [01:04:40] Yes. This is putting the dance club into perspective now, because I thought at the time it was an odd choice because we’ve never in a million years gone clubbing. And now we were suddenly clubbing for my bachelorette, but I was like, This is great. What a fun idea.
Angela [01:04:58] Yeah. I should say, you guys, we had a car. I got one of the big limos. You know that we could all pile in, and I called a friend of mine who was like, always kind of like got, you know, you have that one friend that’s like, I got to hook up. I got to go.
Jenna [01:05:11] Yeah, I’m in the know.
Angela [01:05:12] I called my friend, Tess, and I was like, Tess, Um, I, I, Jenna wants to go dancing. I, we’re in Beverly Hills. What do I do? What do I do? And she was like, I’m on it. Give me like five, 10 minutes. I said, OK. So we kind of hang out a little bit and I was like, I’m sorting out some stuff, guys.
Jenna [01:05:29] I do remember hanging out on the sidewalk. Outside.
Angela [01:05:32] Yes, it’s because I didn’t have a plan because.
Jenna [01:05:35] The restaurant.
Angela [01:05:35] All I had planned for was fancy sushi and our evening would have been over at like ten.
Jenna [01:05:41] Yeah.
Angela [01:05:42] Anyway, I get a call from Tess and she goes, All right. Angela, it’s pretty last minute. It’s like, you know, a Thursday night in Beverly Hills. So I did get you in this one club. I know this guy. He’s got a booth for you and they’re going to give you drink service. It’s kind of a random club, but it’ll be fun. You guys can dance.
Jenna [01:06:00] Angela, it’s the only time I’ve ever experienced bottle service. Bottle services is where you like. They bring you just bottles of alcohol and then mixers and like little cut limes to your table and you make your drink.
Angela [01:06:16] Also when they walk it over, everyone starts doing, at least for us. I think this was the norm because I would see different people get bottle service and it was like beep, beep, boom and they shot off like confetti in the air. It was so weird.
Jenna [01:06:28] It was so bizarre. They had. It was crazy dancing. I remember we got in trouble because we were dancing on top of the couches and we got reprimanded for that. But guys on our stomachs of sushi mixed with bottle service. Long story short, at the end of the night, as the limo is dropping everyone off, my sister puked in Ellie Kemper’s bushes. I puked when I got home. It was in my hair. I slept in it. It was an epic night. But that’s what you get when you mix sushi and a lot of booze, and that is what is in store for these guys in Stamford.
Angela [01:07:09] Yeah, as Jen and I rewatch this episode, I texted her and I was like, Oh, lady alcohol and sushi.
Jenna [01:07:15] It’s so true. It is so true. Should we go back to Diwali? Because Roy’s has arrived and he is watching Pam dance and have fun, and I have a full Mindy catch for you right here.
Angela [01:07:29] You do?
Jenna [01:07:29] And we’ve got a sting for it and everything.
Sting [01:07:32] Full Mindy.
Jenna [01:07:35] There you go. It’s a full Mindi catch mirror during wrote in to say at the Diwali party, when Roy walks in, Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” is playing in the background. And Angela, this was a note in the script. Mindy wrote in what song would be playing when Roy walks in and that it would be a Beyoncé song. So I think this is a full, full Mindy.
Angela [01:08:00] I love it. It’s a very subtle, full Mindy. It’s like for Mindy when you don’t even see Mindy, but her presence is still there.
Jenna [01:08:08] Exactly. And you know, my dance partner, we talked about this in the interview with Mindy, my dance partner Vali. OK? He was well known by the writers because he was a writer on “My Name is Earl” at the time, and he went on to write on “30 Rock” and was one of the executive producers of “Modern Family”.
Angela [01:08:28] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [01:08:30] I know.
Angela [01:08:31] Well that, Mindy did say guys. He wasn’t an actor. He was like a friend of ours. That’s so wild. Well, can I ask you a little bit about your dance moves there, Miss Fischer?
Jenna [01:08:40] You can. What are you going to say?
Angela [01:08:43] I’ve danced with you, and I can tell you right now, folks, that was not a choreographed dance routine that was just Jenna being Jenna.
Jenna [01:08:51] Yeah, we had a fan question from Zaria Collins, who asked that same question, were those dance moves choreographed?
Angela [01:08:58] Oh no.
Jenna [01:08:59] Oh no.
Angela [01:08:59] That’s all. Miss Fischer.
Jenna [01:09:00] That’s me fully dancing with my heart and soul.
Angela [01:09:04] That’s hello, St. Louis. St. Louis prom/
Jenna [01:09:09] That’s Sounds of Scranton right there. That’s the same girl who made a sounds of Scranton playlist. Everyone. There I am. You could almost rewind me and put me in my high school gym right there.
Angela [01:09:20] Well, something is going to happen. That is super awkward, because that is Michael’s way. Michael’s way is to take a wonderful moment and make everyone cringe. And the Diwali was going to be no exception. He, you know, has this amazing scene with Mindy’s parents that play Kelly’s parents, which we already talked about, and he’s so inspired by their love. He’s going to do it.
Jenna [01:09:49] Yeah.
Angela [01:09:49] He’s going to do it.
Jenna [01:09:50] Their commitment.
Angela [01:09:51] Yeah, he’s going to propose to Carol. In front of a whole room of strangers on their ninth date.
Jenna [01:10:02] Yes. He’s like, Carol, will you do me the honor of making me your husband? Of making me your husband. And she’s like, Can we talk about this in private? And this is one of my favorite moments in movies and TV where he’s like, what? Into a microphone. She’s like, Can we talk about it in private?
Angela [01:10:23] And then he’s like, Oh man, oh crap.
Jenna [01:10:27] Yes.
Angela [01:10:28] Well, they have, you know, out in the parking lot Jenna and who made me laugh so hard that, you know, Carol is like, I can’t do this, Michael. I can’t do it. And his last ditch effort, his last few moments, what is he going to say? That might change her mind? He’s going to go for it. What could he say to change this woman’s mind? Do you know what he says? Let me come with you. I have this book The Karma Sutra, she says.
Jenna [01:10:58] Exactly.
Angela [01:10:58] Good night, Michael.
Jenna [01:11:00] Well, at this point, Pam is she’s talking to Vali, and she’s realizing something she wants to reach out to Jim. So she’s going to she’s going to text Jim.
Angela [01:11:13] That thing happened. That thing happened. Which is, you know, this, this crazy moment just happened. And who does she want to share it with? Right? This is how you know you really care about someone. You’re a person out there, folks, as the person you want to tell everything to right after it happens. It’s who you bounce everything off of, and Pam wants to tell her person what just happened.
Jenna [01:11:39] But she runs into Angela. She needs to get her shoes. And there is Angela guarding the shoes. She says well and eating her dry naan. By the way, Angela fan question from Rainy Greg, was the naan dry?
Angela [01:11:54] No.
Jenna [01:11:55] Was it actually dry?
Angela [01:11:56] It wasn’t. It was perfectly fine.
Jenna [01:11:58] I, I would say that too, I ate some of that naan, it was wonderful.
Angela [01:12:02] I was glad to have it. I was probably hungry. Well, Jenna and I used to always get so tickled to have scenes together because it rarely happened. So we were really excited about this. I loved shooting the scene with you and I love it so much. I just want us to play it. Sam, can you play it?
Pam [01:12:20] It’s hot in there. How’s the naan?
Angela Martin [01:12:24] Dry. Look like you were having fun?
Pam [01:12:27] I am. You should come dance with us.
Angela Martin [01:12:30] I have to watch our shoes so they don’t get stolen. Who are you texting?
Pam [01:12:34] No one.
Jenna [01:12:35] Oh.
Angela [01:12:35] But also, lady, my character is so nosy.
Jenna [01:12:41] So nosy, who are you texting?
Angela [01:12:42] Yeah, Look like you’re having fun, who are you texting? I mean, who am I to ask you who you’re texting?
Jenna [01:12:48] You’re the party police.
Angela [01:12:49] Also. You’re single. Dwight made this big announcement that he’s single. I don’t know. Maybe you’re texting Dwight. What’s happening?
Jenna [01:12:57] Angela spinning out in this episode, and a lot of those scenes ended up getting deleted, but it would be a fun watch to go back and watch them, because that is why you are so intense in this stuff.
Angela [01:13:07] Yeah.
Jenna [01:13:07] So now Pam is going to make it outside. She hasn’t received a text back from Jim, and she sits with Michael. Michael tries to relate to her. He’s like, Wow, they’re both victims of broken engagements. And Pam’s like, Well, I mean, except that you were never actually engaged, but whatever she tries to bond with Michael. And of course, he does that thing that you were just talking about where he just takes it one step too far and he starts to lean in like he’s going to kiss her.
Angela [01:13:40] So awkward.
Jenna [01:13:41] We got a lot of mail about it, Angela. Ruby Alexandra and Vanessa Ortiz all wrote in to ask if that was a scripted moment when Michael tries to kiss Pam. What was it like? It was scripted, you guys. That was in the script and then the thing that great line that Pam has where she says, I’m rejecting your kiss, he’s like, she’s like, What are you doing? He’s like, What are you doing? She’s like, I’m rejecting your kiss. That’s what I’m doing.
Angela [01:14:11] Yeah. What are you doing?
Jenna [01:14:13] That was all scripted. And Angela, I was so excited to do that scene because I remember staying late that evening and shooting outside. I talked about this before when I had that scene with John up on the roof, where Pam and Jim eat the grilled cheese sandwiches. It was one of those warm summer evenings in Los Angeles. They’re the best. This was another one of those, and it’s one of my fondest memories from shooting the show because I got Steve all to myself and I got Miguel Arteta all the myself and Mindy was there and it was just us doing the scene, getting it just perfect. It felt like we had all the time in the world. There was no rush and I just absolutely loved it.
Angela [01:14:57] Yeah. Well, Mindy mentioned, you know, that she was kind of jealous of her parents, that they got to have this great scene with Steve because there are several characters, myself included, that rarely got to have one on one scenes with Steve, it just wouldn’t make sense in the world of the show. And whenever I did, it felt so special and I think you got to have some amazing scenes with him throughout the course of the show. And this is just one of those that was just beautiful and so fun and funny and crunchy and heartfelt. Just all of it.
Jenna [01:15:29] That’s all true, Angela. We did have someone write in with an old tech alert.
Angela [01:15:33] Oh.
Jenna [01:15:33] That I thought you would appreciate.
Angela [01:15:34] Hit me up. How did I miss it? What is it?
Jenna [01:15:36] Kayla Whitehead said Pam’s cell phone.
Angela [01:15:39] Oh yeah.
Jenna [01:15:40] It’s such old tech. But she’s like but also when she walks outside, Michael sees her on the steps and he notices that she’s holding her phone and he says, expecting a call. She was like, No one would say that to you today. If you have your phone in your hand today, no one’s like expecting a call because we always all have our phones and our hands.
Angela [01:15:59] That is a brilliant catch. I am applauding that catch.
Jenna [01:16:04] I love that observation.
Angela [01:16:06] That is an amazing observation because back then, yeah, your phone was in your purse. It was. We didn’t walk around holding phones like flip phones like that because we did hardly anything with them other than talk to someone. So if you’re holding it, you’d probably just spoke to someone or you were about to.
Jenna [01:16:19] Yes.
Angela [01:16:20] That is a great observation.
Jenna [01:16:22] Pretty great.
Angela [01:16:22] Well, I want to take us back to Stanford because I think there is a moment in this episode that is the happiest we have seen Andy since he has appeared on the show. It’s happy Andy, and I want to talk. I want to share Happy Andy with you. Happy Andy happens at around 15 minutes. They have had a lot of Jagger. Karen, though, she’s just tossing her Jaggerr shots into the trash. No one knows it. She’s not getting wasted. And Andy starts singing acapella. Karen’s like, no acapella Andy, but he’s drunk and he’s singing the Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine”. And as he drunkenly sings, all of a sudden Jim who’s super wasted starts joining in and singing, and it’s so adorable and he’s like, Tuna. Are you kidding me? He’s so happy. He’s so happy. They’re having like an acapella moment. And this is happy Andy.
Jenna [01:17:23] He is thrilled. Well, Angela, we had a fan catch from Renata Torres, she says. At 17 minutes, 58 seconds, you can see a pair of white flip flops under Karen’s desk. And she wanted to know if that was on purpose. But we know why those are there.
Angela [01:17:42] We do. Those were where she does flip flops.
Jenna [01:17:45] Yeah, the wardrobe department would give us Uggs or flip flops to wear to and from our trailers and set, so we didn’t have to walk in our kind of like high heel office shoes, right?
Angela [01:17:57] Yeah.
Jenna [01:17:58] Yes. You caught Rashida’s flip flops.
Angela [01:18:02] You know, wardrobe actually told me one time. Also our trailers, we’re not close to the soundstage. It was a little, you know, quite a walk. And they said that also they would take our shoes to protect our shoes because.
Jenna [01:18:14] Yeah.
Angela [01:18:14] If we walked across the parking lot back and forth and sometimes if there was weather of any kind, they preferred actually to leave our shoes on set by our desks.
Jenna [01:18:24] Yeah.
Angela [01:18:25] Rather than us walking around in them all the time. And we were delighted because that meant less time in heels.
Jenna [01:18:29] We had our travel shoes. Those were Rashida’s travel shoes. Well, as they’re leaving for the night in Stamford, Jim is going to ride that bike home. He’s going to ride his bike home. Or is he?
Angela [01:18:42] Well, yeah.
Jenna [01:18:43] He falls over.
Angela [01:18:44] Well, you know, it’s the end of the night at Stamford. They’ve had Yeager. They’ve bonded over Indigo Girls. I mean, Andy’s bust out his air mattress. He’s like,
Jenna [01:18:54] Oh yeah, he’s, he’s staying in a night.
Angela [01:18:57] Jim is going to try to ride his giant bicycle with the big basket home, and he like tips over into the bushes and Karen’s in her car. She’s like, Hold up, get my car drunk and Jenna, do you remember how freaked out people were about this moment?
Jenna [01:19:15] Yeah.
Angela [01:19:16] I mean, people thought Karen was shady, that she let them get so wasted and that that was she waiting for Jim?
Jenna [01:19:23] Like she had planned it along.
Angela [01:19:25] Yeah. She waiting out in the parking lot for jam and was like, Hey, Mr. Tipsy, get in my car.
Jenna [01:19:29] And remember this in this episode, it was written that they were going to like kiss.
Angela [01:19:34] Oh, I talked to Rashida about it. I texted with her, and I want to read you guys what she said. She said in this episode there they had written a scene where Jim and Karen get sloppy, drunk and make out. So maybe I guess she had been drinking too in that different version, right?
Jenna [01:19:51] In that different version because I have the scripted version of that. They, the three of them go to a bar and they all get drunk together at a bar, and then they were supposed to make out on the street outside of this bar.
Angela [01:20:04] And Rashida said they actually filmed the scene in the parking lot. Yeah. She said she was really worried she was like, everyone’s going to hate me. And then she told me, Stephen Merchant actually suggested that they cut the scene out.
Jenna [01:20:20] Huh. That he got to watch, because Stephen and Ricky would watch our episodes and they would give the producers notes. Rarely. But sometimes and their notes were always correct. Well, they were always like, they knew. Don’t move that needle so far.
Angela [01:20:36] And Rashida said she felt like Stephen really understood the relationships and that this was going too far, too bold, too quickly. And it would sort of sabotage anything that Jim and Karen might could possibly be as a foil for Pam, it was just too much.
Jenna [01:20:51] Yeah, I think if you wanted to believe in their relationship, which you will like, Jim and Karen are going to really have a great relationship. You don’t want it to start off with like a sloppy drunk make out parking on the side of the street.
Angela [01:21:06] Kids. Are you listening? Nothing good happens after midnight. OK, go home.
Jenna [01:21:10] This is my aunt told me when I went off to college, she said. Here’s my advice to you about sleeping around. This is what she said. She said, You’re going to go to these parties, you’re going to do some drinking and you might in the moment want to make a decision that’s impulsive. She said, My advice to you is go home because you can always wake up in the morning and say, I wish I’d slept with that guy. And you can do something about it. But you can’t undo. You can’t undo.
Angela [01:21:39] Yeah, I’m with your aunt. You can’t undo. But I was kind of lame in college when I turned twenty one. I had a big paper due for a class I was taking, and all my friends were like, You’re going to go out to your 21st birthday. And I said, Oh, now I need to work on my paper. So I worked on my paper and my dad had a Texaco gas card and he would pay my Texaco gas card just like reality bites. I would go to that gas station and I would get gas bread, sandwich meat, potato chips, soda, like everything. And I went to Texaco and I bought myself a car, Anita. It’s not even the big corona. It’s a Coranita because I was 21 and I went and I worked on my term paper and I had my Coranita. And that was my 21st birthday.
Jenna [01:22:33] That is literally adorable. That is adorable.
Angela [01:22:36] I was a big dork, lady. That’s why we would have been friends. I would’ve hung out with you and your cat. We would have been besties.
Jenna [01:22:43] This is also why, as adults, we mixed sushi with a lot of hard liquor and as we didn’t learn in college, we didn’t learn.
Angela [01:22:50] Where are we at? I don’t even know where we’re at, except that Karen put Jim in his car and now we go back to Diwali and it’s one of my favorite moments ever. Dwight and Michael are going to perform a cover of Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song” dedicated to Indians everywhere.
Jenna [01:23:07] Yes, the crowd loves it, Angela, so many people wrote in asking about this song, was it improvised? A lot of people thought that because Steve was holding a piece of paper that maybe we wrote this on the fly. No, this was in the script. And in fact, Kent told me it had been in the script as far back as the pre table draft. This is kind of a writer’s term, but they send out a draft of the script before they let anyone see it, and they have to give it to all of the main producers so that they can start planning wardrobe and locations. And Kent said that at that pre table draft, this was the tag for the episode and it remained there until we shot it. So they got permission and all that kind of stuff. And he said Steve asked for that piece of paper because he felt like his character wrote it at the party, and that would sell the idea that this was like a last minute idea by Michael.
Angela [01:24:03] Yeah, yeah. I thought the same thing. I thought Michael Michael needed those notes. Steve did not.
Jenna [01:24:09] Right. Yeah.
Angela [01:24:10] Well, it’s so good, and I have a really great catch. I’m going to call it a BFF catch.
Jenna [01:24:17] What is it?
Angela [01:24:18] At 20 minutes, 34 seconds after he’s finished singing and it pans to the crowd and everyone cheers. You and I are sitting side by side on the floor together.
Jenna [01:24:30] Oh, my gosh, Angela. You know, we did that ourselves.
Angela [01:24:34] I know we sat together, we probably were. I mean, I remember them doing that song. We were all just elated and along for the ride. It was so fun. And I think we I think we just sat next to each other because they probably weren’t even sure if they were going to use that big swing back to the crowd, right?
Jenna [01:24:50] Yeah.
Angela [01:24:51] And so there we are. There we are on the ground next to each other. BFF catch.
Jenna [01:24:56] That is the perfect way to end this podcast episode of Diwali. We did it with a BFF.
Angela [01:25:03] We did it. And thank you so much to Mindy Kaling for stopping by. I just felt like we could kept talking and talking, and I can’t wait for her to come back. And if you guys get a chance, go check out Mindy’s new show that she co-created with Lang Fischer. It’s so cute. It’s a coming of age kind of comedy drama called “Never Have I Ever”, and the cast is wonderful and the writing is great.
Jenna [01:25:25] And you guys, if you watch it, you’ll see Angela on it because Angela’s in it in a couple of episodes.
Angela [01:25:30] Yes, I’m in two episodes. I play the mom. I play one of her nemesis’ mom, and it was really fun. I’ll be the mom all day long. Jenna.
Jenna [01:25:39] I know.
Angela [01:25:42] Yeah. Casting folks out there, if you need a mom with a little bit of sass. Give me a call.
Jenna [01:25:47] You know where to go. Guys, thank you so much. This is a really fun one and we will be back next week with “Branchwars”.
Angela [01:25:54] See you then.
Jenna [01:25:55] Bye. Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Codi Fischer. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer.
Angela [01:26:07] And our theme song is “Rubber Tree” by Creed Bratton
Jenna [01:26:11] for Ad free versions of the show and our bonus episodes “Candy Bag”. Go to StitcherPremium dot Com.
Angela [01:26:17] For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium Use Code “office”.
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