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Billie Eilish and Mindy Kaling may be a duet you never expected to hear. That’s mainly because Kaling is not a singer. Eilish still found a way to work her and The Office gang into her song “My Strange Addiction.”

Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling | Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Kaling spoke with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross on April 27 about her new Netflix show Never Have I Ever. Gross asked her about the enduring phenomenon of The Office and Kaling told the story of how Eilish approached her for the song. Never Have I Ever premiered April 27 on Netflix.

Billie Eilish wasn’t Billie Eilish when she asked Mindy Kaling for ‘The Office’ clips

Eilish had an idea for using clips from The Office in a song. Kaling, a writer/producer as well as star on The Office, only found out some young singer/songwriter was asking for permission to license clips. She said yes just to be supportive.

Billie Eilish in Concert
Billie Eilish | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

“I remember about three or four yeras ago I got a call from one oy my agents saying, ‘Hey, this young singer/songwriter would love to sample a section of one of your episodes. I think you wrote it and then your voice is in it as Kelly. Do you mind if they do it? She’s like an L.A. based indie singer/songwriter,’” Kaling said. “I said, ‘Yeah, sure, that’s fine’ and signed something. It was Billie Eilish.”

Billie Eilish used the episode ‘Three Level Midnight’ in ‘My Strange Additction’

The episode of The Office is about Michael Scott (Steve Carell) screening his film Three Level Midnight. Eilish’s song opens with the clip of Scott saying, “No, Billy. I haven’t done that dance since my wife died.” Kaling is one of the featured voices talking about the film after a screening.

“She wrote a song called ‘My Strange Addiction’ which is one of her big hits,” Kaling said. “The song samples different parts of The Office because she loves the show so much.”

Mindy Kaling found out about the singer’s ‘The Office’ obsession

Kaling was touched that Eilish, only a teenager when writing “My Strange Addiction,” was such a fan of her show. The Office aired its final episode in 2013.

Billie Eilish and Finneas Eilish
Billie Eilish and Finneas Eilish | CBS via Getty Images

“In fact, she would even say it’s not love,” Kaling said of Eilsih. “She’s obsessed with the show and I think she’s seen the entire series from season 1 to season 9 all the way through four or five times. So she wrote this song and I was sampled in it and I didn’t understand who she was at the time.”

Billie Eilish isn’t the only young ‘Office’ fan

Kaling has discovered The Office has a strong following among viewers who were too young to watch it when it aired on NBC.

“It’s had this real impact on this younger generation,” Kaling said. “It’s funny how many 14-15-year-old kids will come up to me at the airport because they’ve binged it on Netflix. They’ve seen everything. It’s been great because that’s not a show I think could be made now.”

Mindy Kaling | Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Perhaps those viewers aren’t getting their fill from modern TV, so they have to look back on The Office.

I think there’s just a heightened sensitivity now to viewers that wasn’t there when the show came out, but it’s strange because the show is more popular now than certainly the first season of the show when we really struggled. I think network executives, the way Michael Scott behaves and the kind of stuff that he says, I think they would have a real fear that there would be blogs and articles and petitions written against them. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m often surprised at what’s on TV. 

Mindy Kaling on Fresh Air, 4/27/2020