B.J. Novak plays permanently apathetic temp Ryan so well on the hit comedy The Office, that you'd never guess he's actually a producer of the show. The actor and comedian grew up near Boston in the suburb of Newton, and graduated from high school with his Office co-star John Krasinski. He then attended Harvard University, where he earned a degree in English and Spanish Literature, graduating in 2001. Novak worked in standup comedy and joined the show Punk'd in 2002, where he helped pull pranks on celebrities like Hilary Duff and Mya. In 2005, he joined the team of The Office as not only a cast member but also a producer and occasional writer. He also began making appearances in movies like Reign Over Me, Knocked Up, and Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Father is an author who has ghostwritten best-selling autobiographies for Nancy Reagan, Lee Iacocca and Oliver North, among others.
- Went to high school with The Office costar John Krasinski.
- Wrote for the Harvard Lampoon.
- Hired to write for WB sitcom Raising Dad just three days after graduating Harvard.
- Named one of Variety's Ten Comics to Watch in 2003.
- Won the attention of The Office's executive producer Greg Daniels while performing stand-up.