The best Novafest ever

Raynor Denitzio

For those graduating seniors stressing over entering the job market, take heart. Even the World Champion was once a college student, slacking his way through class.

“I just couldn’t wait to get out,” Judah Friedlander said. “I would sleep through every class all week, wake up at one [in the afternoon], go to lunch for three hours, take a nap, go to dinner for three hours, and that was my week. But every Saturday, I’d wake up at nine [in the morning] and watch ‘Saved by the Bell.’ “

After this humble beginning, Friedlander found himself working in what he describes as a series of “really crappy jobs,” which included passing out flyers for a podiatrist and working in a gym.

Best known for his trade mark trucker hat and thick black-framed glasses, Friedlander got his start in comedy participating in open-mike nights.

During the late ’90s, Friedlander eventually found success in television and film. Most people still recognize him from his appearance in the Dave Mathews’ video, “Everyday.”

Friedlander also had roles in major films, such as “Meet the Parents,” “Wet Hot American Summer” and “Zoolander.” Recently, Friedlander appeared in the comedy spoof “Date Movie” and “Duane Hopwood,” an official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

When he is not rehearsing lines, Friedlander continues to do stand-up and is a regular contributor to VH1’s hit show “Best Week Ever.”

And for those twentysomething-year-olds whose parents tell them that they won’t amount to much because they slacked off in college, they can rest assured. Friedlander, who aside from being a comedian and actor is, according to his website,, a Big Foot Expert, World Champion and Teen Idol.

Following a similarly interesting, although somewhat more conventional, route to comedy is Friedlander’s “Best Week Ever” co-star Mike Britt.

“I wasn’t one of the people that wanted to be a comedian,” Britt, a graduate of nearby Drexel University, admitted. “I wanted to be an engineer.”

Despite his study-intensive industrial engineering major, Britt was no nerd. Like a typical male college student, he spent most of his time drinking and hanging out with friends and advises other college students to do the same.

“Enjoy yourself while you can before you have to go the real world,” Britt said.

Like Friedlander, Britt found himself working odd jobs while trying to find his calling.

“Before comedy I was working in my father’s liquor store,” Britt explained. “I was trying to go on interviews (and) do the corporate thing, and I realized I didn’t want to do that.”

Being funny all his life, the Brooklyn-native was often told he should pursue comedy, but never really thought about it seriously. After a friend’s fiancé told him he had natural talent, Britt decided to check out a comedy workshop. Since then, he has never looked back.

Britt’s natural talent has earned him his own special on Comedy Central, as well as tours with the “Just for Laughs” road show. He has also appeared on “Def Comedy Jam” and late night talk shows, including “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.”

Friedlander and Britt are currently touring various colleges throughout the country with the live version of “Best Week Ever.” One of the major differences between the live show and the taped show is the chance for the audience to get involved.

“There’s a lot of interaction with the students,” Friedlander said. “We bring four students on stage at the end and have a little contest to see who’s having the best week ever.”

“Best Week Ever Live” will highlight Friday’s festivities for Novafest. In addition to Britt and Friedlander, the show will also feature panelists Pete Holmes and Aziz Ansari.