B. J. Novak
|B. J. Novak|
Novak at the Los Angeles premiere of The Internship in May 2013
|Born||Benjamin Joseph Manaly Novak
July 31, 1979
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Years active||2001 – present|
Benjamin Joseph Manaly "B. J." Novak (born July 31, 1979) is an American actor, stand-up comedian, screenwriter, and director. He is best known for being a writer and co-executive producer for and playing the role of Ryan Howard on The Office, as well as appearing in Inglourious Basterds.
Novak was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, the son of Linda (née Manaly) and author William Novak. He attended Brown middle school and Newton South High School. Novak's family is Jewish. His father co-edited The Big Book of Jewish Humor, and has ghostwritten memoirs for Nancy Reagan, Lee Iacocca, and others; his parents also established a Jewish matchmaking service. Novak has two younger brothers, Jesse, a composer, and Lev, an undergraduate student at Tufts University. He attended Newton South High School with future Office costar John Krasinski, and they graduated in 1997. Novak attended Harvard University, where he worked for the Harvard Lampoon and majored in English and Spanish literature after writing a thesis on Hollywood responses to Shakespeare. In addition to the Lampoon, he occasionally staged and performed in a variety show called The B.J. Show with fellow Harvard student B. J. Averell. Novak wrote his honors thesis on the films of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Novak graduated from Harvard University in 2001. Afterward he moved to Los Angeles, California and began working in clubs as a comedian. His first live stand-up performance took place on October 10, 2001, at the Hollywood Youth Hostel. He was named one of Variety's "Ten Comedians To Watch" in 2003.
Novak's television acting career began on MTV's Punk'd. He was the lead accomplice to Ashton Kutcher on the show's second season in 2003, and has played pranks on Hilary Duff, Rachael Leigh Cook, Usher, and Mýa.
After hearing Novak's opening joke at a comedy club, executive producer Greg Daniels immediately decided to include Novak in his upcoming project: a U.S. version of the hit British series The Office. Novak was cast as Ryan Howard, becoming the first cast member. On July 21, 2010, news reports indicated Novak had signed a contract to remain with the show for its seventh and eighth seasons; under the new terms, he would be made a full executive producer midway through Season 7 and also direct two episodes of the show, as well as becoming the latest cast member to also have a deal with NBC to develop other shows. In a June 2009 interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Novak spoke about sharing the success of The Office with his Newton South High School classmate John Krasinski:
Sometimes when this feels too good to be true, I think that if this were all a dream, that would be what should have tipped me off. I'd wake up saying, "I was in this incredible TV show and it was a big hit and the star was John Krasinski from high school. Isn't that weird?"
In addition to his television credits, Novak has appeared in the films Unaccompanied Minors, Reign Over Me, Knocked Up and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. He will appear in the upcoming films Saving Mr. Banks and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Novak has a close friendship with Mindy Kaling, whom he met through writing for The Office. The two dated on and off while writing and acting on the show, sometimes mirroring the on-again, off-again nature of the relationship between their characters, Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor. Novak serves as a consulting producer for Kaling's show, The Mindy Project.
|2003||Punk'd||Field Agent||TV series|
|2005–2012, 2013||The Office||Ryan Howard||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2006, 2007)
Nominated: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2008)
Nominated: Prism Award for Best performance in a Comedy Series (2009)
|2006||Unaccompanied Minors||Flight Attendant|
|2007||Reign Over Me||Mr. Fallon|
|Knocked Up||Unnamed Doctor|
|2009||Inglourious Basterds||Pfc. Smithson Utivich||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2011||The Smurfs||Baker Smurf|
|2013||The Mindy Project||Jaime||(3 episodes)|
|2013||"The Internship"||Male Interviewer|
|2013||Saving Mr. Banks||Robert Sherman|
|2014||The Amazing Spider-Man 2||Unknown|
|2001–2002||Raising Dad||2 episodes|
|2005–2012||The Office||Episodes written:
Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy Series (2006)
|2013||The Mindy Project||1 episode|
|2009||The Office – Blackmail webisode series||4 episodes|
|2009||The Office – Scott's Tots||aired 12/03/09|
|2011||The Office - The Seminar||aired 1/27/11|
|The Office - The List||aired 9/22/11|
|2012||The Office – Trivia||aired 01/12/12|
|2013||The Mindy Project – Mindy's Minute||aired 02/19/13|
|2013||"The Mindy Project" - "Santa Fe"||aired 04/09/13|
Awards and nominations
|2005||Writers Guild of America Awards||New Series||No||The Office|
|Episodic Comedy - for episode Diversity Day||No|
|2006||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Yes|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Comedy Series||Yes|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Yes|
|2007||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Yes|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||No|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Episodic Comedy - for episode Local Ad||No|
|2008||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||No|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||No|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Comedy Series||No|
|2009||Prism Awards||Performance in a Comedy Series||No|
- Courtney Hollands (20 December 2007). "Molly Goodson has stars in her eyes - and on her blog". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- Berman, Alyssa R.; Beborah B. Doroshow (2001-05-14). "BJ's Bring a Full House to Sanders". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Novak, William (2006). The Big Book of Jewish Humor. Collins. pp. vii. ISBN 0-06-113813-4.
- Getlin, John (1992-09-17). "Ghost to the Stars - William Novak Is the Invisible Writer Behind Memoirs by Lee Iacocca, Nancy Reagan and--Soon--Magic Johnson". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Uriel Heilman (19 November 2006). "Better than Pork, Isn't it? Jewish Joke Book turns 25". JTA. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- Christopher Muther (6 December 2005). "Class reunion". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- Biography for B. J. Novak at the Internet Movie Database
- "B.J. Novak: Videos, Jokes, Tour Dates, Biography and more". Jokes.com. ComedyCentral. 2009. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- David Hiltbrand, "B.J. Novak gives at 'The Office' and out of it," Philadelphia Inquirer, June 11, 2009.
- Michael Ausiello, "Exclusive: B.J. Novak Takes 'Office' Leave," Entertainment Weekly, November 12, 2008.
- Julie Bosman, "B.J. Novak, Actor and Writer, Signs Two-Book Deal," New York Times, April 11, 2013.
- "B.J. Novak on his 'Mindy Project' arc, being BFF with Mindy Kaling, and returning to 'The Office'," Oh No They Didn't! January 29, 2013.
- Andrew Krukowski, "'Sopranos,' 'The Office' Win SAG Ensemble Awards," TVWeek, January 27, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: B. J. Novak|
|Joey Fatone interviews Novak at the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2008)|
- B. J. Novak at the Internet Movie Database
- B. J. Novak biography at the official NBC website
- "The Office's BJ Novak: Uncut", an NPR interview from May 2008