Here's to Ryan, the hottest in The Office.
    We heart you, B.J. Novak. Photo courtesy NBC Entertainment.

    When I found out that B.J. Novak was coming to speak on February 16, I couldn’t stop grinning.

    See, I’m one of those obsessive fans of Novak’s show, The Office. You hate us if you’re not one of us. We yell “that’s what she said” at every moment, drool over Jim and can find a reason to quote Michael or Dwight several times a day.

    Sorry if you find me annoying, but I just can’t help it. I really believe that The Office is one of the best sitcoms out there right now. And it’s not just because the show is set in Scranton, Pa., where both my parents grew up. (Yup, it’s true. My uncle, who still lives there, tells me the building they say is Dunder-Mifflin is actually his dentist’s office.)

    For those of you who, unlike me, don’t have a poster of Dwight Schrute on their wall, let’s recap. The Office is a documentary-style show set in Scranton Pennsylvania. The show follows the workers at Dunder-Mifflin, a dismal, failing paper company which constantly loses clients to big-box retailers like Staples. Regional Manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is an ignorant, naïve, but kind-hearted guy who manages to make every situation painfully awkward. Other characters include hardcore suck-up Dwight (Rainn Wilson), receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer), her new boyfriend Jim (John Krasinski), and my personal favorite, creepy old man Creed. B.J. Novak plays Ryan Howard, who joined the office as a temp but quickly moved up the ladder to the position of Michael’s boss and permanent man-crush. During the sadly shortened fourth season, we saw Ryan grow some stubble and some attitude while trying to teach the Scranton crew how to use Blackberries.

    What’s so great about B.J. Novak is that he’s not just an actor on the show – he’s also a writer. This means that he’s one of the people who finally got Jim and Pam to date, and he’s also one of the people who decided to make Ryan even more douchey than usual. He’s also one of the people who have been on strike since November, which makes his stop at Northwestern timely. And if the strike is still going on in a few weeks (I hope not), I’m sure he’ll have a thing or two to say about the AMPTP. Plus, he got his start doing stand-up, and is pretty awesome at it, so he’s sure to entertain.

    So when you head to the Norris box office on February 1 to pick up your tickets, I’m sure you’ll find a long line of people like me, humming the show’s theme song, and blurting out “Ryan started the fire!” Don’t mind us, and don’t let us deter you from seeing B.J. Novak speak. I’m sure he’ll be insightful and entertaining, even if you’re not in Office withdrawal like me.

    Here’s a nifty collection of B.J. Novak’s best moments as Ryan:


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