‘The Office’: Mindy Kaling Tried to Write ‘Drab, Unfunny’ Lines for Kelly

It’s no secret that Mindy Kaling was something of a jack-of-all-trades on The Office. Kaling was first hired as a writer on the hit comedy. As the only female writer on the show for several seasons, Kaling was able to provide a truly hilarious and unique persepctive. She penned iconic episodes like “The Injury”, “Niagra”, “The Dundies”, “Hot Girl” and more. But Kaling’s contributions to The Office certainly don’t end with writing. She also served as an executive producer for the show in later seasons.

The Office star Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor
Mindy Kaling | Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Of course, Kaling is also known for being a beloved member of The Office cast. Her character, Kelly Kapoor, was the bubbly, boy-obsessed, and tempermental customer service agent that had some phenomenal moments throught the show. The first time fans really get to meet Kelly is when she slaps Michael across the face in “Diversity Day.” Though Kaling’s character changes drastically over the show’s nine seasons, she still had some pretty iconic moments and lines throughout the series.

Mindy Kaling intentionally tried to write unfunny lines for her character, Kelly

“Yeah I have a lot of questions. Number one. How dare you?” is easily among Kelly’s most memorable lines in the nine seasons of The Office. And Kaling actually wrote that line of dialouge herself. Funnily enough, Kaling never set out to give her character such hysterical dialouge. But her epic comedic timing often made what could easily be lackluster lines sparkle.

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“I never intentionally give myself the funniest lines,” Kaling shared with Office Tally in an interview. “However, they often resonate as the funniest because of my gifts as a comic actor. Sometimes I try to give myself really drab unfunny lines so as to not steal focus, but even that doesn’t work because they always sparkle upon delivery. It’s hard.”

‘The Office’ creator called Kaling the best writer on his staff

But what Kaling considerd to be “unfunny and drab” might not resonate that way to others. Becuase Kaling is such a gifted writer, even things that seem mundane to her can seem magical to other. In fact, Greg Daniels, who created The Office, once named Kaling as the best writer on the show. And considering the writers that Kaling worked alongside, that’s high praise indeed.

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“I always call her the best writer on our staff,” Daniels shared with the New York Times back in 2011. “It’s probably completely the wrong thing to do.” Continuing on, The Office creator stated that he couldn’t fully understand how Kaling was able to produce such incredible work. “Your average writer, when they get really good, I know how they got it,” Daniels stated. “I can see the steps. But I love how with Mindy, I don’t see how she does it.”

Kaling’s character and writing always shined on ‘The Office’

Clearly, Kaling’s brilliance didn’t go unnoticed while she was working on The Office. Try as she might, she didn’t succed with writing drab and unfunny lines for her infamous character.