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True Story: B.J. Novak Played Scattergories with Michael Jackson (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Mar 2nd 2011 4:00AM
B.J. Novak Talks Meeting Michael Jackson on 'Late'When B.J. Novak was in the eighth grade, he was invited to Deepak Chopra's house in Lincoln, Mass., for dinner. Rumor was, Michael Jackson would show up.

"A man just runs in in a red military uniform and a black top hat," recalled 'The Office' actor, writer and producer. "I thought, well, this has to be a Michael Jackson impersonator, because this isn't what Michael Jackson would ever wear on his day off." But no, it really was MJ.

After dinner, they played Scattergories. "He got the double-word score under fictional characters for Nicholas Nickelby, so he's a [Charles] Dickens reader," observed Novak.

And the superstar won! He celebrated by singing an "absolutely gorgeous" a cappella rendition of 'We Are the Champions'. Too bad Novak couldn't really brag about it at school the next day: Who would believe him?

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True story. In the 80's, when Michael was at the height of his fame, my son and I were at an Encino park and he was playing catch with a friend. I was approached by a man who said he was a friend of Tito Jackson. He said that Tito was the coach of his son's Little League team and his son was the pitcher. He told me that they were looking for a second pitcher and my son looked like he had a great pitching arm. He gave me Tito's number and said to call if my son would be interested in playing on his team. After talking it over with my son, I called Tito and, because I was a young struggling single mother, he offered to pay for the registration fee and uniform. He then invited us over that weekend so the kids could practice their pitching. He had hired the pitching coach from Pepperdine College (Malibu) to come work with them. Our kids, who were the same age, became good friends and we visited them almost every weekend. One time when we were there a young Janet Jackson stopped by to visit. Another time, while the kids were playing a game, a limo pulled into the parking lot which faced the outfield. Michael Jackson leaned out the window and waved to his nephew. He stayed in the limo for several innings before finally driving off. The Jackson's were just a normal family who happened to be famous. Only 8 years old at the time, to my son Tito was just "Coach", but now that he's older he realizes just how extraordinary the situation had been. And I'll always remember the famous family who had been so gracious to us.

March 03 2011 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice memory to keep for B.J. Novak. I wish I were there that would have been so funny. Shows Michael Jackson was very intelligent and as stated many times had a great sense of humor.

March 02 2011 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

His name wasn't "BJ" before he met Jackson, I'll bet!

March 02 2011 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and then they played a game HIDE THE GLOVE ..

March 02 2011 at 6:57 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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