“The Office” star/writer/producer/director Mindy Kaling’s new book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” is the exact mixture of memoir and list-y humor you’d expect from the writer of such “Office” episodes as “The Dundies,” “The Injury” and “Niagara.”
Among the topics in her quick, breezy book: Her lifelong weight-loss battle, her desire for a pseudonym, and her method of educating herself about Hollywood (the movies and TV section of Barnes & Noble).
She also talks about her sometimes emotional days at “The Office.”
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A few excerpts:
On the “general meeting” in Hollywood: “It essentially means ‘I am curious about you, but I don’t want to have a meal with you, and I want there to be little expectation of any tangible outcome from our meeting.’ … These meetings are fun if you like chatting, which I do, but frustrating if you like moving forward with your life, which I also do. But usually you get a free bottle of water.”
Things she didn’t call her book: “The Book That Was Never a Blog,” “When Your Boyfriend Fits Into Your Jeans and Other Atrocities” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It, But I Suspect She Gets Help from Illegal Immigrants.”
On her unusual celebrity crushes when she was six: “At the age of six, the criteria for handsome was, simply, ‘Is he not related to me?’ and ‘Have I seen him on television?’ That was it. By this standard, Larry Bird, Dick Clark, Andy Rooney. All handsome guys.”
On how “Law & Order: SVU” deters her from ever having a one-night stand: “Ultimately, it comes down to this: How embarrassing would it be for me to be talking to a detective at a precinct after you tried to rape and murder me in my home, and not be able to tell him your name or any information about you because we were having a one-night stand? I’ve seen ‘Law & Order: SVU.’ I know how it works.”
On her love of chest hair, sparked by a Pierce Brosnan pool scene in “Mrs. Doubtfire”: “It was a minor sexual awakening. During ‘Mrs. Doubtfire.’ Not a movie often cited for its idealized depiction of traditional masculinity.”
On Bill Hader, gestating feline: During a brief stint as a guest writer on “Saturday Night Live,” Kaling wrote a skit for Bill Hader, in which he was to play a pregnant cat. The skit did not make it onto the show.
Her favorite comedy moments ever: They include “Fun Run,” “The Office” episode where Michael runs over Meredith, Chris Farley as motivational speaker Matt Foley on “SNL,” the racial draft sketch on “Chappelle’s Show,” and the Christopher drug intervention scene from “The Strong, Silent Type” episode of “The Sopranos.”
On her plans for her funeral: The dress code will be “chic devastated” and everyone will receive gift bags.