Katy meets B.J.

b.j. novak Duquesne katy

SPOILER WARNING! Report and subsequent comments will contain spoilers. (Not too spoilery, though.)

OT reader Katy wrote in with an excellent report of B.J. Novak’s appearance at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh last night:

“BJ Novak was appearing at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, last night (3/31/07) to do stand-up for the college crowd. The university’s program council was also hosting an accompanying Casino Night and Diversity Dance (they really know their Office stuff!). The whole evening was to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He was set to be on stage at 8 pm, but when we got there around 7 the ushers said his flight from LA was delayed and he wouldn’t be on stage until roughly 11pm. Bummer! Instead, we hung out and gambled with charity money, and even watched episodes from both seasons 1 & 2 on the big screen until it was time. There were also raffles for various prize packages, some including Office memorabilia (but we didn’t even enter since we already owned that stuff!)

The head of the program committee was introducing him and he peeped around a corner and came out too early before waiting for his official introduction. So cute. He opened by saying that he was on a plane/in an airport for nearly 12 hours and would most likely complain about that a few times. I was pleasantly surprised to see how free of insults his routine was. He made a joke that he became known as the compliment comedian — “Hey, I see you’re wearing jeans … they fit you well. Very casual.” Other things he talked about — how Mapquest is totally unrealistic, awkward things to do at a store and in an airport, and a kid’s mystery story he’s working on with the detective called Wikipedia Brown (my favorite part).

He also did a section using his old jokes on notecards from when he first started stand-up about five years ago when he was 22. He was auctioning them off to benefit CFF. Some of them were hilarious, some were terrible (he didn’t want to read a few but the crowd insisted he did), and a few based on how much we laughed he decided to keep for himself. I won’t spoil any more of his jokes here, and instead hope he comes to do stand-up near you :)

He also took a few questions at the end and, of course, most were about The Office. He said they wrapped Season 3 last night in LA and he was up early this morning to fly out to Pittsburgh. He told the story of why he got casted for the show — Greg Daniels saw him do stand-up and liked his awkward glances and that he was a little arrogant because he knew he was clever. “Basically, Greg casted me because I was a dick.” Also talked a bit about how much actors improvise their lines — Rainn about 10%, Steve 10-15%. He said his favorite episode so far is “The Injury” because it came from a crazy idea in the writing room and just “spun out of control” to this absurd episode where there was no pressure to hype up the Jim/Pam romance, or any other relationship on the show. He said most of his ideas for writing come from school and professors he had (“Diversity Training”) and really just taking the eccentric bits of people he has known.

Regarding the relationships on the show, he said Jim/Pam is the fairy tale, Dwight/Angela is the crazy secret one, and Ryan/Kelly is the worst relationship that every one of us has had at some point. As for the rest of Season 3, he said something big happens but he can’t say it — instead we will see more of the terrible fighting from Ryan & Kelly. Also gave a mini spoiler for Creed (?!) that at some point he will use the women’s bathroom to go #2 and how he goes about getting the use of that bathroom is great. Can’t wait!

After the show, BJ called the raffle winners and stood for pictures/autographs. Super nice guy considering all of the airport troubles he had. I was so excited/nervous waiting in line! When it was finally my turn, I asked him about Weekend at Bernie’s 2 (check out his Letterman clip from a while ago) and he was surprised that anyone remembered that. I thanked him and said the show was great, and then asked about any upcoming projects. He said he plays a “really little” part in the new movie Knocked Up with Katherine Heigl but is really excited about and proud of the movie. Also said he will be on Conan next week and that now he’ll have to think of some new stories to tell because I knew his Bernie’s 2 story :) Clearly the highlight of my night. And for the picture, used a Ryan face. Priceless.

Overall, an incredible night! Like I said before, his routine was truly funny, not over the top like some comedians, but the gem subtle humor that we all know and love from his work on the show. He even made English literature jokes. Total swoon :) And I can’t believe this entire night was just $3 for a ticket. YES!”


  1. Creed dropping a deuce in the woman’s bathroom has a ton of funny potential

  2. and he is kinda short! which increases his appeal even more for a short gal like me :) ha!

    oh! and something I completely forgot to add — he made “that’s what she said” jokes at the end… right after he said something and paused, looked around, and told the audience “don’t EVEN say that’s what she said”… looks like he gave in!

  3. BJ used Jim/Pam with “fairytale”…..hmmm…don’t they usually come with “happily ever after? No, stop it, silly bales! Must NOT get hopes up :-)

  4. I was there, too! That was a great summary of the night… I wanted to buy one of his jokes, but he ran out, so he gave me part of one that he ripped up on stage after it didn’t get any laughs. I asked him how much and he told me, “Just give something to charity at some point in your life… pay it forward.” He was so smart/funny/nice… his Wikipedia Brown story was hilarious… love him!

  5. Maybe the writers should follow that “Injury” idea a little more often. I would love to have just a non-plot related episode once in a while.
    Wikipedia Brown was indeed hilarious. English Lit jokes? I think I love him just for knowing he did that.

  6. It’s nice to read that, thank you for writing it all out, Katy! He is a good actor on The Office b/c I would never have guessed half that stuff about him. He’s also quite attractive, another quality that’s somewhat masked while in “Ryan character.”

  7. Blech, I go to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and not Duquesne. Boo. A two minute walk from BJ and I couldn’t go.

  8. Katy, Thanks for the re-cap!

    Remember — BJ is not short. 5’9″ is average, not short. Even 5’8″ and 3/4″ is average, not short.

  9. Thanks so much for the post. And espcially how well written it was.
    I’m glad you had a great time. I wish we all had a chance!

  10. To comment on some comments (d’oh!)

    -Snow, short(er) than most people I’m around daily… and I’m short, so he was closer to my eye line :)

    -_bale! Yes! I, too, was overanalyzing the “fairytale” comment. It’s crazy how many conflicting opinions we get from cast/writers/etc about the fate of Jim/Pam. What do YOU think?

    -suboken, thank you for using your fabulous Googline skills! I’m at work (ha!) but will check it out when I get home. Can’t wait.

    -Angie — for future reference, just find someone who goes to Duquesne. A friend’s sister is an undergrad there and bought the tickets with her ID and they never asked for one at the door. Whew!

    -Lauren & Paige, I’m SO GLAD you got to enjoy the night!! And go you for buying one of his jokes! I wanted to take the one about the “romantic period”… oh he’s so fabulous. Did either of you get a picture? If so, post it!

  11. I saw B.J. live once at the Hollywood Improv… unfortunately for him it was Collegehumor.com night, and B.J. didn’t deliver the potty/insult/sexual humor people expect on that night, so he wasn’t that well received. He went from loads of applause to crickets. I liked it, though. Of course, I didn’t get the pleasure of meeting him afterwards.

  12. Katy,

    You are a natural at this. You kept me reading ALL the way through! Wish I had the chance to have been there. We LOVE B.J. and The Office ‘up here’. He seems like he’s still pretty real which is cool. B.J. actually looks A LOT like my cousin (same age too) and seems like the same attitude, ie: B.J.’s explanation why Greg Daniels hired B.J. for The Office.

    This was a great read – here’s to you!

Leave a Reply