Though the cast of The Office often gets the majority of the credit for the success of the show, the talented writers are a major reason that the show is so incredible and hilarious. While the cast certainly enhanced their characters and delivered an abundance of memorable improvised moments, the writers conceptualized the overwhelming majority of jokes and character interactions.
Of course, many of The Office writers actually doubled as cast members also. B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, and Mike Schur all wrote for the show and portrayed Ryan Howard, Kelly Kapoor, Toby Flenderson, and Mose Schrute respectively. Navigating both jobs only strengthened the collaboration between the cast and the crew and helped the show have some of the most dynamic and colorful characters in TV history.
‘The Office’ creator, Greg Daniels, names the show’s best writer
It’s clear that all the writers who penned episodes of The Office were exceptionally talented. However, according to Greg Daniels (who created the American version of The Office) there was one person whose talents truly stood out from the pack. Daniel easily named Kaling (who is responsible for fan-favorite episodes like “The Dundies”, “The Injury”, and “Niagra”) as the show’s most talented writer.
“I always call her the best writer on our staff,” Daniels stated when he was interviewed by The New York Times back in 2011.“It’s probably completely the wrong thing to do.” Continuing on, The Office creator revealed that he couldn’t fully understand Kaling’s brilliance. “Your average writer, when they get really good, I know how they got it,” Daniels shared. “I can see the steps. But I love how with Mindy, I don’t see how she does it.”
Mindy Kaling worked incredibly long hours on the show
Part of Kaling’s success on The Office likely stemmed from just how hard she worked on the show. It wasn’t uncommon for Kaling to work 18-hour days during her tenure on the series. As a writer, Kaling was on set by 10AM and often didn’t leave set until close to midnight. However, if she was portraying Kelly Kapoor, her call time was 6AM in order to account for getting through hair and makeup and filming scenes.
But how did Kaling maintain such a crazy schedule for years on end? In the aforementioned interview, The Office star confessed that she likes staying busy. Furthermore, she shared that the fear of missing out on an opportunity to showcase her talent stopped her from leaving at a more reasonable time.
Why Kaling was such a workaholic while writing for ‘The Office’
“I’d rather be in the [The Office] writers’ room complaining about how overworked I am than in the Bahamas, where I’m like, What am I doing here? By Monday night of a long weekend, I’m getting stir-crazy.” Kaling admitted. “Oftentimes, the show runner will be like: ‘Hey, we don’t need everybody to stay. Who wants to leave?’ I have never volunteered. What if this is the time when they make some great discovery or there’s this great line of jokes and I would have not been a part of that?”
Clearly, Daniels was right about Kaling’s talent as she has gone on to become even more successful following her stint at The Office. Kaling may be the definition of a workaholic but, obviously, it’s paid off for her.