Actor and comedian Benjamin Joseph Novak, better known as B.J. Novak, was born on July 31, 1979 in Newton, Massachusetts. Involved in performance at an early age, he wrote and appeared in a satirical play during his stay at Newton South High School. It was here where he met and first collaborated with John Krasinski, who would later be his co-star on The Office. He later moved to Harvard University, where he spent time writing for the institution’s humor publication, Harvard Lampoon. He eventually graduated in 2001 with a degree in English and Spanish literature.
Upon graduation, Novak moved to Los Angeles, and began working as a stand-up comedian. From his debut in October 2001 at the Hollywood Youth Hostel, he became a popular figure in the Los Angeles comedy scene, and was listed by trade paper Variety as one of their “Ten Comedians to Watch” in 2003. During the time, he also quickly warmed to the entertainment industry, starting as a writer for the short-lived sitcom Raising Dad.
Novak began appearing on television in 2003, as one of the accomplices for the candid camera program Punk’d. After pulling pranks on celebrities such as Hilary Duff and Usher, he began presenting his comedy to television audiences, with his routines being aired on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. In 2005, he joined the cast of the American version of the hit comedy The Office, appearing as former temp guy (and later corporate manager) Ryan Howard. In addition to acting duties, he worked as a writer for eight episodes, and as a producer for seven.
Novak has also brought his comic expertise to the silver screen, having played small roles in Unaccompanied Minors, Reign Over Me and Knocked Up. He gets a bigger role in the upcoming film Inglorious !$#!#s, which is directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Graduate of Harvard University - degree in English and Spanish literature. He wrote a thesis about the films of Hamlet.
Attended Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts. His high school classmate, John Krasinski, is now a co-star on "The Office" (2005).
2008: Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "The Office". Shared.
2007: Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "The Office". Shared.
2007: Writers Guild of America Awards - Comedy Series for: "The Office". Shared.
2011: The Smurfs - Baker Smurf
2005-2010: The Office (TV series) - Ryan Howard
2010: The Office: The 3rd Floor (TV series) - Ryan Howard
2009: The Office: Subtle Sexuality (TV series) - Ryan Howard
2009: Inglourious Basterds - Pfc. Smithson Utivich
2007: Knocked Up - Young Doctor
2007: Reign Over Me - Mr. Fallon
2006: Unaccompanied Minors - Desk Attendant