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!”