Mindy Kaling, best known for the portrayal of her character, Kelly Kapoor, on The Office, is also one of the show’s main writers, and a talented comedian. In her greatly entertaining book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Kaling is not looking to just tell her life story so far, nor is she just relaying a series of hilarious anecdotes, or recommended life lessons; instead she does a perfectly blended combination of all three.
The key to Mindy Kaling is that like other great contemporary female comedians like Tina Fey and Molly Shannon, she doesn’t hold back, but is willing to make herself look ridiculous, knowing it’s incredibly funny. The book is filled with amusing photos from her life, growing up, as she regales the reader with stories of her life in becoming a comedy writer. The book is a short, fast read that covers important episodes of Kaling’s life, and her work on The Office, but also features some great life lessons she’s learned along the way that the reader can really appreciate, whether they’re female or male. The highpoint of the book is her attendance at a photo shoot where she is graced by a trailer full of beautiful dresses all in a size zero, way too small for her. After accepting this insulting setback and some inner searching, she comes back to the costume designer, demanding that he make a specific dress fit her, even though it’s too small for her. The dress ended up getting cut and ruined so that it looked fantastic from the front. It was a harsh lesson for Hollywood that is simply inspiring for readers.
Originally written on November 20, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.
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