BJ Novak says being a Harvard graduate is ‘the worst thing to have’ on a comedy resume, sparking debate

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BJ Novak says being a Harvard graduate is ‘the worst thing to have’ on a comedy resume, sparking debate
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BJ Novak’s latest comments have sparked a discussion online after The Office actor claimed being a Harvard University graduate was “the worst thing” to have on a comedy resume.

Novak stars in the upcoming film Vengeance, due in theaters this Friday, which he also wrote and directed. Ahead of the movie’s release, Novak discussed his Harvard education in an interview with The Boston Globe. And one quote from the interview seems to have raised some eyebrows.

When asked about his alma mater, the 42-year-old actor replied, “I don’t like talking about it. I will, but I don’t like to.”

“It’s the worst thing to have on a comedy resume, the worst,” Novak added. “Comedy is an underdog profession. You’re speaking up for the underdog. You’re saying what isn’t said by the people in charge. But [Harvard] makes people think you’re in a different category. Or that you think you are.”

Novak acknowledged how his Harvard education has given some people a negative impression of him. “I get it,” he said. “I’ve been cast as this guy I don’t feel I am.”

Naturally, his comments received pushback online, with many comedy fans noting that a number of successful comedians have also graduated from Harvard University.

“No disrespect to BJ Novak, whose work I love, but a survey of TV writers’ rooms will tell you that a Harvard degree is pretty much the opposite of ‘the worst thing to have on a comedy resume,’” tweeted Boston Globe journalist Kevin Slane.

Many Twitter users seemed to agree. Some people argued that a number of successful comedians have attended Harvard, such as Conan O’Brien and Colin Jost, who were also writers for the Harvard Lampoon alongside Novak.

Others even pointed out how a handful of Novak’s The Office co-stars – John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, writer Michael Schur, and creator Greg Daniels – attended Ivy League colleges.

“Has he ever heard of The Simpsons,” said one person, acknowledging how more than 30 Harvard alumni have written for The Simpsons.

“Or a little show called The Office?” tweeted Slane in response.

“if underdogs who didn’t go to harvard are in, might i suggest bj novak or anyone hire me to write on their tv show,” said comedian Ashley Ray.

“If Bj Novak thinks there aren’t hundreds of equally talented people who just never got a chance for anyone to see their work because they DIDN’T go to Harvard (and were not white and/or a woman) he’s kidding himself,” said writer Lucy Huber.

BJ Novak stars as Ben Manalowitz in Vengeance, a journalist and podcaster who travels from New York City to West Texas to investigate the death of a girl he was hooking up with. The film – which also stars Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher, and Dove Cameron – is scheduled for theatrical release on 29 July in the US.

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