Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling (2011)
My All-Important Legacy
A Eulogy for Mindy Kaling, by Michael Schur
My friend, former Office writer and now creator of Parks and Recreation, Mike Schur supplied me with a eulogy in advance of my death.
FRIENDS, MEMBERS of Mindy’s Family, Representatives of Major Department Stores, good afternoon.
My name is Michael Schur, and I worked with Mindy Kaling for several years on the TV program The Office. The American version—not the Chinese version that has been running for the past forty-one years.
Mindy’s sudden death last week shocked me, as I’m sure it also shocked the four women she was fighting over those shoes with during the Dubai Bloomingdale’s Midnight Madness Sale. Though the stabbing has been labeled “accidental,” those of us who knew Mindy knew it was only a matter of time before a luxury-goods-based brawl would do her in. And if there’s a silver lining to all of this, it’s that I had “Impaled by Heel of Christian Louboutin Jem Suede Peep-Toe Slingback” in the “How Will Mindy Kaling Die?” pool that Rainn Wilson has been running since 2006, so I won $200.
I’ll never forget the Mindy Kaling that I met on our first day of work: bright-eyed, green, a complete novice in the world of television writing … and yet somehow far more confident than everyone else. She was supremelyconfident. Braggy, maybe. Cocky? What’s the right word … let’s go with talggy, which is a word I just made up that means “talkative and braggy.”
Her work ethic was second to none. And by that I mean: if you made a list of all the levels of work ethics, hers would be just above “none.” One day she came into work so late it was the next morning. And for that morning, she was also late. And hung-over. But we forgave her, because when we tried to bring it up, she just started talking about how hot some actor was, and then how much she loved Italian ice, and then how Beyoncé should release a country album, and then a bunch of other stuff, and we got tired and just forgot about the whole thing.
Mindy wore a lot of hats. Ivy League graduate, actor, comedian, playwright, inveterate gossip, weirdly pro-gun Republican, outspoken advocate of conspicuous consumption, and of course—as we learned upon the posthumous release of her puffy-sticker-covered diaries—hard-core perv. But despite all of these foibles and flaws, and the literally thousands of others I jotted down in my psychotherapist-mandated “Mindy Workbook” in order to maintain a sense of professionalism while we worked together, I loved Mindy Kaling. No one wrote like Mindy. No one was funnier than Mindy. No one else, in short, was Mindy. This will not be true for long, I understand, as her will dictates that her DNA be replicated one million times, news that recently sent the NYSE Retail Shopping Index skyrocketing.
This is Mike and me at the Writers Guild of America annual awards. We lost every category and got drunk in the hotel lobby.
I can’t believe she’s gone. I console myself by thinking, Well, I guess the angels just wanted her to shut up. I will miss her dearly, and I hope that she is up in heaven right now watching us and smiling, even though deep down I know that if there is an afterlife, she’s a pretty much open-and-shut case for hell.