B.J. Novak: After “Office” hours

October 3rd, 2013

As September came to an end, Homecoming Weekend began. After kicking off the new school year full of work in the classroom and on the field, SUPB wanted to bring in someone that knows how to have some fun in the work setting. His name is B.J. Novak, and he played Ryan on “The Office.”

Novak performed last Thursday, Sept. 26, in JCU’s Kulas Auditorium. Novak, born in Newton, Mass. in 1979, attended Harvard University before making a name for himself in show business.

His acting career began by performing stand-up comedy, where he was discovered for his most famous acting job thus far. Though he is best known for his role in “The Office,” he also has appeared in movies, including “Inglorious Bastards,” “The Smurfs,” “Knocked Up,” “The Internship,” “Reign Over Me,” “Unaccompanied Minors” and most recently, “Saving Mr. Banks.” Aside from being a stand-up comedian and actor, Novak already has an extensive résumé including being a screenwriter and a director.

Anxious and excited tweets throughout the week leading up to Novak’s performance made it clear the audience was hyped up before he even took the stage.

Students at JCU weren’t the only ones reading the tweets on their feed. Novak took particular notice of one fan’s tweets to his Twitter account @bjnovak dating all the way back to Sept. 9. The laughter didn’t stop after he read this fan’s tweets aloud to the entire audience, and there were continuous shout-outs between the two throughout the show. (P.S. to those that attended: did he ever get the chance to buy her that drink?)

Novak definitely knew that it was “after office hours,” and his colorful vocabulary of profanity came out when describing the struggles of using  Google Maps.

One aspect of his performance that made the audience laugh was his hilarious transitions – or rather, lalack there of. But the abundance of laughter from the audience often came after his sexual jokes.

Giving the stand-up jokes a break, Novak read a segment of his new children’s book about a kid named Wikipedia Brown who, just like the actual website, gives random facts that drive people completely off topic.

He continued to bring humor to topics most people in the audience could associate with, such as the show “Full House.” But, it wasn’t before long that the raunchy comedy came back with the topic of the love life of the actor who played Uncle Joey. Leave it to Novak to make even Dave Coulier, the actor that played Uncle Joey, lose his innocence in the audience’s minds.

He decided to give the raunchiness a rest again and bring back relatable topics, by bringing life to common phrases that irk him because they truly do not make sense when taken literally. “Grab a drink,” as if you must fight to reach it; “he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” as though it is common for people to torture insects to a slow and painful death, “say hi for me,” and “give him a hug for me,” as if one would actually transfer a hug from person to person as if it were a letter.

The show ended on a good note with humorous inspiration before the question-and-answer session. Immediately following was a meet and greet line, which lasted for an hour. While taking pictures and signing autographs, Novak was thankful this crowd – unlike his last audience – did not mistake him as Seth Myers of “Saturday Night Live.”