THE BLOG

Mindy Kaling -- Funny Girl

11/02/2011 12:39 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

"I love you Tory Burch, you closeted bling-loving Indian woman, you." This is how I first met comedian, television producer and writer Mindy Kaling. Until she first tweeted me in August, I only knew her as Kelly Kapoor, the clueless fashion-lover on The Office, but I never really understood just how funny -- and smart -- she is until I started reading her tweets and blog, "The Concerns of Mindy Kaling."

Tonight, at our Madison Avenue flagship in New York City, I'm excited to host a party for her new book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)." No doubt Mindy will regale us with more of her keenly-aware witticisms, like her recent tweet: "In Manhattan! Having dinner solo! I'm so artsy and confident. Rem Coolhouse."

Until then, here's a Q&A that we did with Mindy for The Tory Blog. We laughed out loud ...

The best piece of advice I ever received was...
From my parents, who are excellent people and my closest confidantes. My dad always says, "The best revenge is living well," which is terrific advice, but difficult for me to take sometimes because I have an enormous, fragile ego. I often get hurt and seek revenge. Basically it means that instead of keying the car of someone who's wronged me, I should go for a run or do some push-ups. My mom has always said, "You have to be your own best friend." I didn't understand this when I was a kid. I was like, "Ew, I hate myself. I want a pretty blond best friend who is good at sports and whose parents have a house in Nantucket." But now, I get it more. Being my own best friend means giving myself the tough advice that a great friend would give, and putting myself first. You can also never feel lonely, abandoned or generally like a screw-up, if you're your own best friend.

My parents think I'm...
Kate Middleton, but more perfect. What can I say -- they're my parents!

My style is...
Fun. Playful Los Angeles by way of a Mumbai wedding extravaganza. Sometimes I wear a giant ethnic necklace. That's my "move."

My style icons are...
Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Denise Huxtable and Rihanna, and I really love the way Stephen Colbert carries himself. He's so elegant.

Favorite designers...
I love Miu Miu and Temperley for when I have to look black tie. Roland Mouret when I need to look hot as hell, but like a serious-minded person, Alice & Olivia for fun parties, Charlotte Ronson, J. Crew, BCBGeneration for work, and Tory Burch for absolutely everything (sorry it's true, I'm wearing my Selma boots and Simone cardigan as I write this).

Favorite TV character...
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul on Breaking Bad are my current you-have-to-watch-these-guys recommendation for anyone I talk to for more than three minutes. I also have anenormous amount of love Edie Falco's Carmela Soprano.

Secret (or not-so-secret) indulgence...
I cannot stop myself from buying anything with sequins on it. I'd buy a sequined toilet brush if it existed.

Book I'm reading now...
I'm reading and thoroughly enjoying "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath. No, just kidding. I'm reading "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard, but I can only read a few pages at a time and never before bed. It's too intense and is basically fodder for horrific nightmares. I'm looking forward to the Steve Jobs biography that he authorized. I love that guy.

A wink or a smile?
I say smile, because recently I started showing my teeth when I smile. I used to not show my teeth because I have some hardcore gaps in my top row of teeth and I thought it made me look goofy. This year, I just decided, "Oh, what the hell. I'm not this Victoria Beckham person whose whole look is not to reveal joy." So I smile with my irregular teeth.

The secret to making people laugh is...
You can never "try" to make people laugh. If you're trying to do that, you'll likely end up with your cheesy, adorable dentist's level of comedy. I find that the funniest person is the person who tells the truth in an unusual way, like Chris Rock or Louie C.K.

I tweet because...
It's fun! And sometimes my ideas don't get into the script we're working on, so through Twitter, they're allowed to be voiced.

What really concerns me...
I have a personal relationship with the deadly and tragic pancreatic cancer. Less than six percent of people who are diagnosed with this cancer will live for more than five years. At present, the federal government has no comprehensive research strategy to combat pancreatic cancer and dedicates very little funding to pancreatic cancer research compared to other cancers and the deadly nature of this disease. I've spent the last few months trying to gain awareness and get Congress to be aware too. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a great site for information on this.