Everybody could use a little Subtle Sexuality in their lives — the musical group from The Office, that is. The fictional group's stars Mindy Kaling and Ellie Kemper reminisced about The Office and what made their music collaboration on the show so special during a visit on Late Night with Seth Meyers. The Office lovers may remember Subtle Sexuality and their song "Male Prima Donna" from the show's 2009 webisodes, but they may not have known that Kaling is the one who brought the greatness to the screen or why it was the time of Kemper's life.
When the two reminisced with Meyers about bringing Subtle Sexuality to The Office, Kemper referred to it at Kaling's brainchild. "I was like, what if Ellie Kemper and I had a girl band and we shot a music video?" Kaling said on Late Night. The two discussed how actors were able to get more involved with show creation process after working on it for some time and paying their dues.
"You were like, 'Let's just bop up to the writers' room and say hello,'" Kemper recalled to Kaling during Late Night. Although Kaling had worked her way up within the series at that point, Kemper was still fresh. "I was new, I didn't know anyone. You were a producer, you'd been there many years, like since the beginning," Kemper recalls of pitching the idea to the writing team.
Not only did Kaling take Kemper under her wing, but it really was team effort (and some fearlessness) to make it happen. "We showed up in our gold lamellae and then we didn't really say anything," Kemper continued during the interview. "We were just like, ‘We're here. Take it in.'" Whether it be the success of their endeavor or how damn fun it was, it's a stand-out experience in Kemper's life. "That was one of the best days of my life. Sorry, but it's true," she said.
The two actually met on The Office (and clearly hit it off) and according to IMDB, Kaling also directed Subtle Sexuality's web episodes. Subtle Sexuality is notoriously known for their video "Male Prima Donna" featuring 'Nard Dog and introducing Mr. Understood. In the video, with cameos by Ryan (BJ Novak) and Andy (Ed Helms), they channel the look, sound, and aesthetic of Lady Gaga's 2008 "Just Dance" and Kesha's 2010 song "Tik Tok." With heavy autotune and fans blowing their hair, they sing lyrics like, "You're a male prima donna, but I can't help but want ya/I'm an independent diva, but I still kinda need ya."
Subtle Sexuality's video is hilarious (and oddly catchy) and knowing the backstory of how it came to fruition makes it so much more enjoyable to watch. As silly as it seemed, it was also a considerable accomplishment in the actors' careers.
In previous interviews, Kaling has recalled what it was like emerging into the writers' room on the iconic series and feeling like a fish out of water. "I remember feeling so left out, like, 'Oh, this is the old boys club that they always tell you about and I'm witnessing it,'" she recalled on The Off Camera Show in 2016. "It was very exciting, but I was also friendless, living in a terrible apartment... so lonely." A few seasons in, Kaling had come such a long way. "I remember being terrified and silent for most of the first season," she said in the interview.
Kaling ended up co-writing 26 Office episodes, many of which became fan favorites. She was obviously equally as supportive of Kemper and her career (and even attended her 2012 wedding). Now, we just need Subtle Sexuality to announce their reunion tour and all will be well in the world.