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Arts & Culture

B.J. Novak: Life After 'The Office'

B.J. Novak joined <em>Ask Me Another</em> at Central Park's SummerStage.
B.J. Novak joined <em>Ask Me Another</em> at Central Park's SummerStage.
I lost a game of Scattergories to Michael Jackson, and then he sang 'We Are the Champions.'

Fresh off the ninth and final season of NBC's The Office, B.J. Novak is keeping busy. He is known both for his portrayal of the bratty temp Ryan Howard, as well as writing some of the show's most beloved episodes, such as "Diversity Day" and "The Fire." In his post-Office life, however, he's working on a book of "Woody Allen-esque" short stories and will appear in Saving Mr. Banks, the forthcoming Walt Disney biopic about the making of the film Mary Poppins.

Novak also has an intriguing history with board games, which he revealed to Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg at Central Park's SummerStage. "I lost a game of Scattergories to Michael Jackson," Novak shared. "And then he sang 'We Are the Champions'." True story.

From the King of Pop to the King of Denmark: Thanks to the Internet, we know that the title of Novak's college thesis was "To Be or Not to Be: Hollywood's Answers to Hamlet's Question." And coincidentally, we were just a short walk from the Delacorte Theater, home of the Public Theater's legendary Shakespeare in the Park summer program. So in honor of the Bard, we put Novak up to a game called Hamlet on Rye, about various films that feature the greatest inaction hero, Hamlet. Just think "Hakuna matata," and the rest will be a breeze.

This story originally ran on July 12, 2013.

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