Any The Office fan might recall Season 2 Episode 4 of the hit series in which Ryan, played by Newton Native, B.J. Novak, starts an office fire by leaving a cheese pita in the toaster oven for too long. The episode was also written by Novak who wore many hats during his 9 seasons on The Office-from Ryan’s portrayal to acting as an Executive Producer to writing and directing several episodes.
Novak’s high school days primed him for those 8 years working under the direction of prankster and “world’s greatest boss,” Micheal Scott. As a Newton-Wellesley high school student, alongside John Krasinski, Novak was the mastermind behind a highly publicized prank in which he recorded over the MFA’s audio guides to provide his own commentary. B.J. broke down the prank in 2006 while on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:
While touring an art exhibit, B.J. and his friends replaced the guided audio tour narration with their own recording. What was supposed to be an explanation of Chinese art instead turned into an audio of celebrity impersonations, paint sniffing, and movie reviews. Guests listening through their headphones were wildly confused but equally amused.
The MFA will welcome him back (with no hard feelings) to breakdown the prank and share how his time in Mass. sprouted the seedlings for his succsessful career in Hollywood. Today, Novak holds many accolades and has worked on a variety of projects from movies to podcasts, books and more from The Mindy Project to the acclaimed 2002 film Vengeance.
This is a ticket-only event with prices at $40 for MFA members and $50 for non-members. Ticket sales go live on August 1 for the event on September 28.
Find The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Celebrity Lectures with B. J. Novak: Art and Pranks
MFA Auditorium 161
465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Thursday, September 28 from 7 PM to 8 PM