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INTERVIEW: Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling Talk Spooks and Comedy in ‘Velma’

Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy

Scooby-Doo is funny. It’s humor that as a kid I thought was the peak of what comedy should be and would now, probably, have some notes but it is a classic for a reason. The show brought to life the Mystery Gang and instilled in me a lifelong love of spooky things and solving crimes and so I’m very excited about the new series Velma heading to HBO that takes the gang back to their roots.

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And the team behind the show took to New York Comic Con to share cast details, a look at the series and more! I was lucky enough to be in the room for the press conference with both Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy, who have a long history of working together on shows and both created Velma. And listening to them talk about their love of all things jinkies and more was exciting!

But one aspect of the series that really intrigued me was how comedy was going to be used. We know Mindy Kaling from her comedy roles and so applying that to a show about Velma, Daphne, Fred, and Shaggy before they became the team we know and loved seemed interesting but they talked a lot about the murder and horror aspects of the animated series. And if there’s one thing I remember about loving the cartoon as a kid, it’s that the series was also funny. So I asked how the show brings that comedy (which was very much at the expensive of its characters at times) to life for a modern audience.

Mindy Kaling let Charlie Grandy take the question but not without commenting on my shirt. I was wearing a Super Yaki shirt that features a picture of Willem Dafoe that says “Da Best” under his face to which Kaling said “He is da best” and this is very important to me (which is why I noted it). But Grandy went on to talk about the comedy of the original Scooby-Doo series in comparison to that of their own show.

“I think we certainly try to-there are times when we make specific nods to the slap stick humor of the original and then I think the writing style in the banter between the characters is perhaps definitely more heightened then in keeping with the original, more keeping up with the way we write on a lot of your shows,” Grandy said, referring to Kaling’s other projects that he’s worked on with her. “As a kid I thought Scooby-Doo was hilarious and scary. So I wanted to create a version that I, adult Charlie, would think was hilarious and scary.”

I may never recover from Mindy Kaling commenting on my shirt in front of an entire room. My soul left my body right then and there, never to return. Velma will hit HBO in 2023 and jinkies, I need it now!

(image: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for ReedPop)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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