Tuesday, February 19, 2008
BJ Novak: A Personal Encounter
Saturday night was a big one for me. I got to see B.J. Novak perform at Ryan Auditorium at Northwestern with a sell-out crowd of 600 people, then went on to a fraternity event that started terribly but ended fantastically.
Whereas other events I've seen put on by student run production groups, this one went off essentially without a hitch. The opener (Dan Mintz) was great as a deadpan comic, and that was a perfect contrast to Novak's energetic approach. I had my reservations about seeing a man who is great as a TV writer do standup, but in the first five minutes of his act Novak made my waiting outside the Norris box office two hours before opening to get tickets completely worth it.
The meet & greet afterwards was crowded and quick, and I had an event to get to for my fraternity, so I sort of pushed his act out of my mind for the rest of the night, until around 2 in the morning when I ended up at the house of a bunch of seniors, where Novak was partying with some of his siblings.
Having a celebrity visit your campus is one thing. Having that celebrity show up at a house party with a bunch of guys you know is quite another. I heard a story that Mitch Hedberg did something similar a few years back, although I assume he was drinking and using a lot more than Novak.
Novak didn't have to show up that night. The writer's strike was over, he was already back to work, and his performance at NU had been delayed multiple times because of work conflicts, but he came out and performed anyways because of the fervor the campus had been sent into when tickets went on sale. For him to go out and party with students at houses and a bar in Evanston was just the cherry on top. With Girl Talk and B.J. Novak as the last two events on campus, maybe we're finally going to get some more cool events here at NU.