Dax Shepard never shies away from an uncomfortable conversation on his podcast Armchair Expert, and his recent episode with The Office star B.J. Novak was no exception. Shepard started out In Hollywood on MTV's Punk'd, and when he exited the show after its first season, Novak took his place. However, despite this shared experience, both men admitted that there was a feeling of dislike between them.
"I'm going to start with love and benevolence and say I think I don't like you," Shepard began the podcast, admitting that those feelings would likely change once they actually had a conversation. "I didn't dislike you, I had it in my head that you didn't like me," the Parenthood star clarified. "I was obsessed with you, competitively, so maybe you knew that," Novak admitted, explaining that he tried to meet Shepard a decade earlier while he was doing a stand-up set at The Improv comedy club in Los Angeles.
"You're so tall, you loomed large," recalled Novak. "You looked very heroic. So to me, and I'm like 5'9", I'm looking up to you. You were always in my head like my big brother that I could never catch up to because of Punk'd. 'I'm talking to Dax, I'm gonna be friends with him,' and you were like looking at the stage and stuff. You looked very god-like to me, you're blonde and 6'3", you don't look like anyone else at The Improv, which is all these misshapen, small guys. You're like a movie star to me and you're like (awkward laughter) and I'm like 'Oh my god, he has no idea.'"
Novak revealed that he had hoped that he would find success similar to Shepard's after following in his footsteps on Punk'd. "I was so jealous because you were on Punk'd and became hugely known for that. And then I was cast on season 2 of Punk'd, and I was the guy who followed you up. And I thought 'here we go, I'm going to be as big as Dax.'" When that didn't happen right away, Novak felt resentment. However, knowing about his Harvard background, Shepard assumed that Novak would think that he was a dumb jock. "I may have assessed that you were cerebral and that you would think I was the dumbest person in class," Shepard joked. Throw in the fact that Novak appeared in Inglorious Basterds, made by Shepard's "hero" Quentin Tarantino, and there was a lot of mutual jealousy. However, both men eventually found success in their own way, and peace was made by the end of the episode.