B.J. Novak at Cobb’s, San Francisco

B.J. Novak performed at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco this weekend. I attended Saturday’s 8pm show.

Waiting in line: the show started at 8pm. We got there around 6:45pm, and there was already about 20 people in line. They opened the doors at 7pm, though, so we didn’t have to wait in line for long. We got a great table right in front of the microphone, around four rows away.

B.J.’s show

First off, I loved B.J.’s show! His humor is very low key, nerdy, and punny. If you love words, puns, writing, subtle wit, the Internet, and gadgets, you will love his show, too.

His show included funny observations about Google Maps (he said he actually drove up from L.A.), OnStar, iPods, Craigslist (more on that later), pandas, current politics, and fun on airplanes.

He did some of his more well-known bits, such as Wikipedia Brown and virgins who go to heaven.

He also brought out Shy Puppet. One audience member up front pronounced the end of that bit “anticlimactic,” to which B.J. chuckled, “I have the most intelligent hecklers around.”

That was one of the great things about his routine; B.J.really involved the audience, and reacted to their reactions. He was playful and self-deprecating.

At one point he brought out a stack of jokes written on index cards, and tested them on the audience.

I forget which joke it was, but one joked elicited a wistful “awwwww” reaction, to which B.J. responded, “Hmmm, not quite the reaction I was looking for. I’m not writing Jim and Pam material here.” The audience laughed, and then he said something like “I can just see OfficeTally.com blogging about this right now.” Our table went crazy!

That was awesome and completely blew me away. Thanks for the shout-out, B.J. :)

B.J. didn’t mention The Office very much in his show, but was quite amused at some guy in the audience who tried to interject “that’s what she said” at every opportune moment.

Toward the end of the show, B.J. did thank all The Office fans in the audience, to which he received thunderous applause. :)

All in all, a very entertaining show. Highly, highly recommended!

The Craigslist caper

Early in the show, B.J. takes a Craigslist ad out of his pocket. It is a desperate request to buy tickets for B.J.’s show on Sunday. Included with the ad is a rather fetching photo of the interested buyer. B.J. reads the ad out loud and it’s quite amusing.

A Tallyhead actually went so far as to meet this buyer and his account follows on the next page.

I’m sure B.J. will incorporate this caper-in-progress in tonight’s show; if you are there, please post a comment with what happens!

After the show

B.J. was surrounded by fans near the front entrance. He saw me in the back and recognized me!

I wiggled my way to the front and he smiles at me and says “Did you like the shout-out?”

I gave him a hug and thanked him for mentioning OfficeTally.

He had mentioned in his routine that he drove up to SF from L.A., so I asked him, “Did you really drive up?” He did indeed, with his good friend Dan Mintz, who was B.J.’s opening act.

We chatted for a bit more, and then said our goodbyes; he had a big group of admiring fans waiting for photos and autographs, and I didn’t want to hog any more time!

I did get a chance to meet a few Tallyheads, which is always awesome.

It was a really fun night and as I mentioned earlier, if you get a chance to see his show, definitely go!


  1. I was there last night! It was awesome. The openers didn’t do much for me, but B.J. was hilarious! Definitely worth the trip. I just wish I could’ve had time to ask him questions about breaking into the writing industry… Haha.

  2. My husband and I went to the 8 pm show last night. I’ve had the flu and was laying in bed all day, not sure if I had it in me to go. Around 7 pm I decided to suck it up. It seemed like fate because we found the best parking spot and got there right on time. Dan Mintz was great, and BJ was awesome!! I loved his ‘shy puppet’ routine, and the jokes he read off cards and then either kept or trashed. He gave a shout out to Officetally.com too! Thanks for coming up to San Fran BJ! I’m so glad my fever broke and I made it to the show!!!

  3. I had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed last night’s show…even cramped up against the wall at my two seat table it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. BJ was so animated and funny…much more personable than Ryan is. I’d have to say my favorite moments were “Shy Puppet” – gosh, I just wanted him to say SOMETHING!! And the panda joke had me rolling. I completely agree that they are by far the cutest animals ever!

    I loved the shout-out to Office Tally, and the guy who tried to make the “That’s what she said…” joke fit in. BJ’s reaction to it was so cute.

    Hope you and all the other Tallyheads enjoyed it as much as I did!

  4. I’m going to the show tonight! It sounds like it’s going to be really funny, as I do love words, puns, writing, subtle wit, the Internet, and gadgets.

  5. Thanks for the report. I was so upset that I couldn’t make it last night (or tonight). Hopefully he’ll be up here again sometime :)

  6. I saw you! We were the first people to have him autograph/take pictures and such!

    The show was AMAZING!

    [from tanster: you should have come up and said hello! :) ]

  7. Oh, and my friends and I were standing there and I saw him talking to you. LUCKY!

  8. I was there at Sunday’s show. In case anyone else from here was there, I was the one from the table who “earned” one of his joke note cards. I think I’m gonna frame it.

    He was awesome, and I really liked Dan, too.

  9. I was there tonight too! The shy puppet was so adorable. I also liked the joke about the people testing google maps driving time being on meth, driving a mazarati from LA to SF on Christmas morning.
    I couldn’t believe I turned into such a geeky fangirl when I saw him in person. This was the best I could muster for conversation:

    Me: Hi, would you sign something for me?
    Him: Of course.
    (I hand him season 1 DVD): I tested the sharpie to make sure it wouldn’t smear on the plastic.
    Him: Oh, good. Should I sign the front or back? I guess the front, of course.
    Me: Whatever. Diversity Day is still one of my favorite episodes.
    Him: Oh, thank you very much. Thanks for coming.

  10. i was at sunday’s show, it was so much fun. when i met him i didn’t have anything for him to sign (i won the tickets so i didn’t even have a ticket). i had him sign a dollar bill cause it was the only paper i had. he said he had signed much weirder stuff, like birth control pills! he seemed like a cool guy.

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