Skepticism

John Edward gets dissed.

Mindy Kaling is the cute ex-girlfriend in one of my favorite movies, The 40-Year Old Virgin; she’s also on the American version of The Office playing an annoying talkative chick. The Onion’s A.V. Club has an interview with her this week in which it is mentioned that she worked as a production assistant on cold reader John Edward’s show Crossing Over. Here’s the relevant bit:

AVC: What was it like working on the show?

MK: People ask me this question all the time. I never had anything remotely remarkable happen. I’ve had so many more supernatural phenomena happen to me when I’ve been working in Burbank on The Office than I did working with John Edward. It was really just a PA job… the one really interesting thing was that I’d never seen grief so much. I’ve never seen so many grieving people, because I’ve never known anyone that’s died, and that was the most interesting part of it.

AVC: It sounds incredibly depressing, actually.

MK: It was pretty depressing. Although people were so excited to be able to be connecting. I mean, people who’d lost little children and stuff would come on and feel like they were connecting with them. In some ways, it could be very uplifting.

AVC: Did you feel like he actually believed that he had the ability to talk to dead people?

MK: He was pretty blasé about it. This is so terrible, I’m sure I’m going to get some hate mail for this. It never seemed to me like he really believed it, but everyone around him was just telling him what a genius he was, and how amazing he was, all the time. People really did seem to believe. We’d get these letters too, people were like, “I’ve been waiting a year and a half just to come on the show,” and it’s just this shitty little studio off in Astoria. We were just like, “Wow.”

That’s particularly damning coming from someone who sounds fairly open (or at least ambivalent) toward the idea of an afterlife and supernatural abilities. For emphasis: “It never seemed to me like he really believed it.”

Read the rest of Kaling’s interview here. It’s long, but if you’re a fan of The Office you’ll enjoy it.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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3 Comments

  1. Not damning enough for my taste, but still nice to get the perspective of a real insider. And it is a great interview. She's one of my least favorite characters on the show, but I've now gotten a new respect for her knowing all that I do now.

  2. I love The Forty Year-Old Virgin, too, but I don't remember her character.

    Her comments about Edward's show are pretty interesting. As you say, she doesn't sound particularly skeptical in general, but it's still good to hear that, well, John Edward's show is just an ordinary show. "It's just this shitty little studio off in Astoria", indeed. All theatrics, nothing supernatural at all.

    Just another sign that if you really want to be entertained by someone who claims to speak to the dead, you're better off watching Psych. ;)

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