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Adam Pally on Leaving The Mindy Project and What Hosting The Late Late Show Was Really Like

Adam Pally joined The Mindy Project in its second season as Shulman & Associates’ eye-roll-inducing, resident bro, Dr. Peter Prentice. But his character gradually turned lovable, filling the show’s BFF quota after all of Mindy’s female friends mysteriously disappeared. One and a half seasons later, Pally’s contract with the show is up, and tonight marked his last appearance as a regular on The Mindy Project, a move that did not sit well with fans. The farewell episode [spoiler alert] leaves Peter as he moves to Texas to be with Lauren, his ex-girlfriend who cheated on him with his co-worker and continued to use him as her child’s babysitter. Good luck with that, Peter! Vulture caught up with Pally ahead of his Mindy send-off to discuss whether Lauren is right for Peter, and his aberrant turn guest-hosting The Late Late Show.

The Mindy Project fans have been pretty vocally upset about Peter’s departure. What do you think it is about your character that made him so likable and easy to connect to?
Mindy and the writers really found a character that a lot of people our age have come in contact with — the Ivy League–educated bro. It was really easy for me to connect with the character when I was given the part, so I assume the fans felt similarly.

After she left him for Jeremy, Peter spent the better part of this season pining for Lauren. And he ends up moving to Texas to be with her. In Adam Pally’s opinion, is Lauren right for Peter?
First of all, thank you for this question. I love nothing more than to bullshit about characters while talking about them as real people. I think Lauren may be right, as she is more mature and has her life together. She is different than what he usually dates. Lauren may never feel the same about Peter.

Do you think The Mindy Project gave Peter a fitting send-off?
The Mindy Project was an amazing experience. I appreciated the way they treated me from day one, and the send-off was perfect, I thought.

Where do you see Peter ending up in ten years?
Supporting his wife who is running for Congress while he looks after the kids. Kind of a Todd Palin–type of sitch?

Whenever Peter holds Lauren’s kids on the show, they stop crying. Do you have a similar magic touch at home with your two kids?
No, I do not. My son will flat-out tell you, “Daddy doesn’t change diapers good.” My daughter will tell you, “Daddy’s nuggets are burnt.” I just do the best I can. My wife is an amazing mother — like, top five of all time. It’s early to call, but I’m going to say she’s going to get her jersey retired in the mom game.

You hosted The Late Late Show on Monday night alongside Ben Schwartz, and Vulture described it as a “glorious mess.” How did CBS react?
CBS has not reacted. I honestly don’t even think it’s on their radar. They have to launch two late-night shows in the next two months. But that’s fine; better they didn’t see.

Did you enjoy the experience? 
As far as my experience goes it was a fucking blast. Hard, but a blast. Totally something I’ve always wanted to do, and now I’ve done it and it’s nice not to have to worry about doing it again.

How much of it did you improv?
The improv level was almost at 90 percent. I was supposed to have my buddy Gil Ozeri — Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer, with the most Israeli name ever — with me, too, which would have been nice since the three of us have been performing together at the UCB forever. Unfortunately the snow kept him in L.A. Also, my resources were kind of nil. I had to steal equipment from the news department to shoot my man-on-the-street stuff. But that’s when you just say, “Whatever, I know how to talk to people and I certainly know how to do bits with Ben and at his expense, so it will all work out.”

Would you ever want to host a late-night program regularly?
I don’t know; haven’t thought about it. As much as Howard, Conan, and Letterman are my idols, I always wanted to be Gene Wilder or Steve Martin or Woody Allen — I mean, not all of Woody Allen, but you know, Woody Allen. Also, I have the luxury of no one wanting me to do it again, so it’s not something I have to think about really.

You reportedly have a number of projects in the works for ABC, producing for broadcast, comedy, and streaming services. Can you tell us a bit about any of these?
I can’t really right now because nothing is official, but I wrote a miniseries for myself with Ben Karlin who helped create The Colbert Report and was on Modern Family. I’ve also been working with David Caspe, who created Happy Endings. I don’t really know what I’m gonna do next and that’s scary and fun and dumb, but I guess those are my superpowers. I will have to get a real job eventually because I spend money like an NBA lottery pick.

Adam Pally on The Late Late Show & Leaving Mindy