Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling Talk TV Favorites, Breaking Into the Boys' Club

Mindy Kaling and Zooey Deschanel
Mindy Kaling and Zooey Deschanel
  Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Zooey Deschanel, one of the actresses featured on four covers of Elle’s Women in Television special, was among the TV stars to attend the magazine's Sunset Tower Hotel issue party on Wednesday night.

The New Girl star, who graced the red carpet in a black Dolce & Gabbana dress with white polka dots, told The Hollywood Reporter which show originally inspired her to make the move from film to series work.

“Watching 30 Rock was what made me want to get into TV, because I watched that show and I thought, 'God, that actually looks like fun,' ” said Deschanel. "I watched that show and I just thought how great TV comedy could be at its apex. Now there are so many great shows, it’s amazing."

Fellow cover girl Mindy Kaling, keeping with the night’s trend of wearing black, arrived in a Badgley Mischka dress and dished on some of the actresses she admires. “Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Lupita Nyong’o are sort of my two favorite people right now,” Kaling told THR. “Julia is so funny and so smart. Her acceptance speeches are the best. And Lupita, we're both technically actresses, but what she does is so far away from anything I could ever do. I just admire it so much. She’s so beautiful and fashionable, so I find that very fun to watch.”

Fresh from Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Golden Globe win, Chelsea Peretti found it hard to narrow down her favorite accomplished television actresses without it turning into an endless list that ranged from Lucille Ball and Roseanne to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. She also shared which unexpected show she's been watching lately.

“You know what’s funny is I’ve been watching a lot of Martin lately, and I do love Gina,” Peretti said. “She really was hilarious. Martin [Lawrence] was so funny, but Gina (Tisha Campbell-Martin) really was funny. I think you don’t really think about it, because he was such a star of the show, but she was great.”

There were some gentlemen in attendance as well. Community’s Joel McHale praised his female co-stars, noting that he couldn’t stand when people say that women are not just as funny as men. 

“They (Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown) have some of the funniest moments in the show’s history and that’s not something extraordinary that they’re doing. They’re doing it everyday,” said McHale. “You always hear people wanting to make a distinction between the two, but being a good comedian and saying a joke as truthfully and character-based ... if you’re doing that, you’re good.”

Deschanel agrees. “No one says, 'the men in television night,' right?” she added. “At a certain point, you want it to just be everyone is equal. We’re not totally there yet, but it’s because of nights like this that we’re able to move forward.”

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