Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Helen Pai

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Spouse(s)  David Rygalski
Name  Helen Pai

Role  Television writer
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Occupation  television writer, director, and producer
Style  Comedy-drama, screwball comedy film
Board member of  Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions

Notable works  Gil Girls, Bunheads

Helen Pai is an American television writer, director, and producer. Member of the Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, Pai is known as a close friend of Amy Sherman-Palladino and coproducer of the television series Gilmore Girls and Bunheads. Gilmore Girls character Lane Kim was modeled by Amy Sherman-Paladino loosely after Helen Pai.


Life and career

Helen Pai is a Korean-American and was raised in an Adventist household. She and Amy Sherman-Palladino have been friends since childhood. The two have worked together on Gilmore Girls and Bunheads. She is married to David (Dave) Rygalski, who is the basis of the character of the same name on Gilmore Girls, although the real Dave Rygalski plays bass. Helen Pai's mother taught Korean to Emily Kuroda who acted as Gilmore Girls character Mrs Kim. Helen Pai often contacted her mother on sections of scripts dealing with Korean language and culture, and has quoted her mother as telling her: "Helen, you have to be very careful, because you're representing the Korean community".

In addition to co-producing the Gilmore Girls from 2001 to 2007, Helen Pai acted as associate producer of Bunheads (2012–2013, 18 episodes) and Grimm (2014, 2 episodes). Pai is also producing Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in 2016/17.

Gilmore Girls

When Gilmore Girls started, Helen Pai was one of the script coordinators: "I type like a madwoman," Pai said in an interview, "My typing speed is insane, and I think Amy was always impressed by that." Through her years working on the show, she was also involved with outside projects, and by the end of the sixth season, Pai had become involved in everything from set design, publicity, DVD special features, and legal clearances, to sound mixing and post-production tasks. Pai was also the coordinator in charge of any scene in Gilmore Girls in which Hep Alien performed on-camera.

Gilmore Girls character Lane Kim was modeled by Amy Sherman-Palladino loosely after Helen Pai. Helen Pai's husband was the model for another Gilmore Girls character, Lane's love interest and Hep Alien guitarist Dave Rygalski. Additionally, the band name of Hep Alien is an anagram of Helen Pai's name. The band's "reunion" occurred on 4 October 2014.


  • Gilmore Girls: The Other Side Of Summer by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Helen Pai (2002, ISBN 0-06-050916-3)
  • Television credits

  • 1991–1995: Married... with Children – production staff (80 episodes)
  • 1999: Veronica's Closet – writer (1 episode)
  • 2001–2007: Gilmore Girls – producer (87 episodes, 2003–2007), co-producer (35 episodes, 2001–2003), script coordinator (15 episodes, 2001)
  • 2012–2013: Bunheads – associate producer (18 episodes)
  • 2014–2016: Grimm – associate producer (24 episodes, 2014–2015), co-producer (8 episodes, 2015–2016)
  • 2016: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – producer (4 episodes, 2016)
  • Film credits

  • 2011: Cowboys & Aliens – post-production coordinator
  • References

    Helen Pai Wikipedia