Last night, FOX re-aired the “Prince” episode of New Girl in honor of the late artist, who died suddenly last week at age 57. In remembrance, New Girl writer and producer Liz Meriwether wrote an essay for NYmag.com’s Vulture, reminiscing about her time working with Prince for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The heartbreaking piece is filled with gems about the singer’s appearance on the show, so we rounded up some of our favorites below — and obviously, there are spoilers ahead if you have not watched the episode yet:
1. New Girl was one of the few shows Prince watched.
2. The writers originally wanted him to be in a different episode:
“We had originally approached Prince in season two for a cameo in an episode called ‘Virgins.’ He said no. Obviously, in hindsight: The episode was too racy.”
3. Prince wanted the party in the episode to be as close as possible to the parties he really throws.
(Do you think he played his personal party mix playlist?)
4. He almost backed out of the episode:
“I knew exactly what had happened: The network had asked us to end the episode at the loft, the home base of the show, instead of at Prince’s house, and I had changed the story to have Nick and Jess say ‘I love you’ back in their bathroom, away from Prince and his influence.”
5. He improvised the scene with the megaphone:
“Right before the first notes, he pulled out the megaphone and called out: ‘Does anyone want to fall in love tonight?’ Everyone cheered. We hadn’t asked them to. It was just a feeling. You just had to shout out. The megaphone made the song suddenly feel like a movement, like a political rally, like we were all standing there together that night in support of falling in love. It was brilliant.”
6. He had a poem written in the shape of an egg “flown in from Minnesota to hang on the wall of the set”:
“He wanted to choose the name of the non-speaking chef character, the chef’s wardrobe, the paintings on the walls, the linens in the bedroom set, his wardrobe, Zooey’s wardrobe, the music, the pancakes, the hairstyles … he had a piece of art, a poem written out in the shape of an egg, flown from Minnesota to hang on the wall of the set. His vision of the episode was all-encompassing, but I never felt overpowered.”
7. It was Prince’s idea to use a lighter in the bathroom scene:
“I walked up the stairs and followed him into a bathroom. He turned out the lights. For a moment, I was standing in a small, dark bathroom alone with Prince. Then he flicked a lighter on underneath his chin. ‘Isn’t this funnier?’”
8. We knew this already, but he had incredible vision as an artist:
“After a week with Prince, I realized how ridiculous that is. He was an artist down to the bone. It’s not enough to have extraordinary vision; you have to know how to turn that vision into something that exists in the very flawed, complicated world of human beings and money and phone calls.”
The world is already missing Prince so much, but it’s been wonderful hearing about the unforgettable experiences that people had with him while he was still here. Definitely read the entire essay over at Vulture for more about his time on New Girl!