B.J. Novak’s Boston MFA museum prank

Thursday, November 24th, 2011 | 12 comments


UPDATE: longtime OfficeTally readers have known about B.J. Novak’s museum prank since 2007 when he posted about it on his MySpace page. It recently came to light again during B.J.’s appearance at his alma mater Newton South High School.

Check out the news video here.

You can also read more details about the prank at Boston.com, and download the actual recording at iTunes (NSFW).

Tipster: Paul

Original post, June 2, 2007

B.J. Novak posted in his MySpace blog about the prank he played in high school at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston:

Basically, we took tour of this exhibit of Chinese art. They had one of those audio tours where you put on headphones and get a guided tour of the art (“turn to your left… you will see….” etc.). We decided it would be funny to replace the tapes of the tour with our own recording.

The prank recording is available on iTunes. Who knew a proper Chinese art tour included paint sniffing, movie reviews, and celebrity impersonations?

B.J. mentioned this prank during his appearance on Jay Leno back in October 2006. (Besides having a stare-off with Helen Mirren.)


  1. 1. stbernard  

    This may be the most brilliant prank I’ve ever seen or heard.
    I wonder how the “Mumbling Americans” listening to this reacted!

    God Bless BJ.

  2. 2. garbagethrower  

    Yeah that was part of hs stand-up routine at Largo (LA) when he performed along with Mindy a while back. It was a highlight.

  3. 3. Shalu  

    that was brilliant.

  4. 4. Large Tuna  

    I laughed.. scholar boxing, spilled fruit, music from shine, anotomical abnormalites.. forgive me I’m rambling.

  5. 5. le  

    lol what kind of accent is that supposed to be? at times, it’s almost like borat impersonating arnold? i wish they had the security camera tapes to catch the victims’ reactions, i wonder how long it took them to realize that something was off.

  6. 6. God  

    Haha this is on itunes now? That’s funny in a sort of odd way.

    Aww man yeah it really would’ve been great to have seen the people’s faces after hearing this.

    I thought it was funny, but they made it sound so much like a real recording that I felt like I was at a museum listening to one of those annoying things! Very creative nonetheless…

  7. 7. Annie  

    Thanks for posting this! Is there a way to see a larger version of the the article? I want to read how the museum responded.

  8. 8. sabrina  

    the hokey pokey was the best! “turn to your right, turn to your left. then put your right foot in, you put your right foot out…” haha

  9. 9. another sarah  

    the hokey pokey break was totally my favorite part.

    TURN LEFT! TURN RIGHT! PUT YOUR LEFT HAND IN! hahahaha. so funny.

  10. 10. rachel  

    soooo funny. definitely a MUST download

  11. 11. Andrew  

    didn’t he talk about this on leno months ago?

  12. 12. Carla  

    Great reporting (NOT)! He just admitted this? I guess the reporter didn’t do her research. I just hope for BJ’s sake that any applicable statute of limitations has run out. :)

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