It is the golden age of comedy now, Mindy Kaling told reporters at NBCU Press Day, because whereas once you used to have to wait 2 1/2 years for Larry David to get around to writing another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “now there’s always something happening” in comedy on the TV landscape. She was joined by stars of other Universal TV comedies airing on NBC and elsewhere.
Related: Mindy Kaling Exits UTA
Jenna Elfman is a big fan of single cam comedies, like her new Growing Up Fisher, because “with the Internet … audiences are more savvy, and with a single camera you can home in on nuance more than with multi-cam and capture the smarter side of the story.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg chimed in: “I was on SNL, which was live, but everything I did was pre-taped, so I was already headed in that direction. Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott said there a “weird thing” about doing comedy on a multi-cam. “If you don’t say a joke with a particular inflection, the laughs just don’t occur. I did very badly in that format.” But he acknowledged, “Shows like Cheers were able to make it work.”
One reporter wondered if it was frustrating to be on a comedy that was good but did not click with viewers. About a Boy’s David Walton called it “super sad.” But Kaling thought it was great that, say Freaks and Geeks only did 18 episodes “and you wish you could see more — like Marilyn Monroe.” It’s far more depressing, she said, when a show stays on the air too long “getting old and fat, like Elvis.”
When another reporter said, as a statement of fact, that Kaling no doubt was surprised by her show’s third-season pickup at Fox, she shot down the journalist with: “I’m not surprised because the show is great. I’m so proud of it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my career.”
Discussing the decision by Shameless producers to enter the Emmy competition as a comedy, Kaling said it was her belief a comedy contains jokes. Scott responded, “I think every show should have its own category at the Emmys: Best Lead Actress On The Mindy Project.”
“How rough would it be to lose that?” snarked Samberg.