Skip to content

Johnny Novak

Yes, it's my real name

MTV Unplugged: Nirvana

Twenty years ago, Kurt Cobain died at the age of 27. 27 is a legendary number among the music community. A number of (in)famous musicians have all died at the age of 27. They form what is known as “The 27 Club”. There are six main members and thirty-eight secondary members in the 27 club. The main six are Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Even though Jones, Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison all died within twenty-four months of each other, all at the age of 27, the term “27 Club” wasn’t coined until 1994 when Cobain died. Many musicians believe dying at 27 to be a great honour.

What about outside of music? Does dying at 27 in another occupation have the same effect as dying at 27 in music? You be the judge. Here are some of the most well know non-musicians who passed away at 27.


Reggie Lewis


Reggie Lewis was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1987. He would remain with the team until his death in 1993. During the first round of the ’93 NBA Playoffs Lewis would collapse during a game from heart problems. In June of that year during an off-season practice he would suffer a sudden cardiac death on the court. He was 27.

Jonathan Brandis


Jonathan Brandis was a child actor from the late 80s/early 90s. He appeared in shows like Full House, The Wonder Years and the 1992 film Ladybugs. Friends of Brandis said he was depressed about his career and that may have been what lead him to take his own life in 2003. He was 27.


Joseph Merrick



Bet you didn’t think the elephant man would appear on this list. Joseph Merrick (often incorrectly called John) led a very tragic life. A lot of it was portrayed in the 1980 film The Elephant Man. Merrick suffered from unknown condition that caused tumours on his skin and abnormal growth of his bones that gave him an elephant-like appearance. His condition would eventually take his life when the weight of his head dislocated his neck while sleeping. He was 27.


So what makes the 27 club, “The 27 Club”? There must be some connection the number 27 holds, right?

The type 27 vacuum tube, used in many amplifiers, was used by all the musicians on the list. It was also introduced in 1927. “27 in ’27” does that mean anything? Highly unlikely.

Some people think 27 has a satanic connection. There are 27 books in the New Testament. Could that be it? Nope.

There has to be something that links the members of The 27 Club, right? Let’s stick with the main six. Why did Jones, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain and Winehouse all die at 27?


The reason why they all died at 27 was drugs. Don’t do drugs kids, you’ll probably live past 27.




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



Thirty years ago today, the plot to The Breakfast Club happened.(The theatrical release wouldn’t happen until the next year) In the John Hughes film, 5 teenagers from totally different high school cliques are forced to spend a Saturday detention together. Spoiler alert, they find out they are totally the same. The film has gone on to become a classic, often appearing near the top of lists that feature “best 80s” and “best high school” movies.

Here are 3 things about The Breakfast Club you don’t need to know.

1. John Hughes makes a Stan Lee style cameo 

Way before Stan Lee started making split second cameos in his Marvel superhero mega blockbusters, John Hughes did it first in his coming of age cult classics. You may have missed it but Hughes plays Brian’s dad in the film, picking him up after school. Actually, Hughes’ large glasses and mullet make it more of a “Stephen King” style cameo.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 9.19.55 PM


2. The film was shot entirely in sequence.

Filming began on March 28th and ended in May of 1984. You can see this by paying special attention to the exterior scenes at the beginning and ending of the movie. The trees and bushes are bare in the morning  and when they get out at the end of the day, the foliage is already starting to grow. What a long day indeed!

No buds.

No buds.




3. Judd Nelson was 26 at the time of filming. Molly Ringwald was 16.

This scene is now ruined for you.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.37.43 PM


@JohnnyNovak on Twitter.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Connors Comedy Night is Ottawa’s fastest growing comedy show. At the moment, it is Ottawa’s only weekly independent comedy show.  Every Tuesday night you can see a great show hosted by yours truly, featuring some of the city’s best stand-up comedians cutting their teeth on the scene. There’s also food and drink specials including $10 pitchers and best of all, cover is absolutely free. This Tuesday night at 8:30 get a friend or nine, plus your mother and make sure you stop by 313 Bank St. for a good laugh!

For info on who’s performing or if you want to perform, make sure you check out the following:

See you on Tuesday!


Tags: , , ,

Here’s where you can catch me performing this month.

  • Saturday March 15th – Barley Mow 1060 Bank St. Ottawa 9:00PM
  • Monday March 17th – Brass Monkey 250 Greenbank Rd. Ottawa 7:30PM
  • Saturday March 22nd – Ballygiblin’s 151 Bridge St. Carleton Place 8:30PM
  • Wednesday March 26th – Yuk Yuk’s 292 Elgin St. Ottawa 8:30PM



Tags: , , ,

A friend of mine recently finished his university exams. Afterwards, over a few beers at a bar, I asked him how they went. The conversation went like this:


“How were your exams?

A lot easier than I expected, it was a cake walk!

A what?

A cake walk! 

Dude, that makes no sense…”


It makes no sense because you are taking two sayings that mean easy separately, but when you put them together, the task becomes very difficult. The sayings are “It’s a Piece of Cake” and “It’s a Walk in the Park”, let’s break them down.

It’s a piece of cake!

If you’re between the ages of 1 and 105, eating a piece of cake is quite simple. It’s soft, moist and doesn’t require teeth to digest. You probably eat cake at least once a year. The only thing difficult about about eating cake is trying to eat the whole thing. That’s why you’re having a piece.

It’s a walk in the park!

With the exception of Central Park in the late ’70s, a walk in the park is quite simple. Parks are relaxing, parks are a great place to unwind… I can’t make this anymore clear.

Now when you put those two together you get:

It’s a cake walk!

Have you ever tried to move a cake? Add in public transportation and moving a cake becomes a high calorie nightmare! It’s a lot of pastry and icing to handle, and it’s always placed in a very flimsy box. You also can’t let that cake touch the sides! It’s like a game of Operation but with a higher chance of diabetes. What if you drop the cake? You’ve just ruined someone’s birthday, anniversary or maybe even a wedding! That’s a lot of stress for one “simple” activity.

That's not alright, alright, alright!

That’s not alright, alright, alright!

So save yourself some trouble, don’t walk with a cake.

And follow me on Twitter @Johnny Novak

Tags: , , , , , , ,

It was a cold December morning about 11:00 and I was heading downtown to continue my Christmas shopping. I decided to take the bus instead of driving because I knew I would never find a parking spot. Even if I did find a parking spot, it would probably cost me an arm and a leg and I need those to carry gifts. So there I was, standing in a salt-stained glass covered bus shelter.

I live in Ottawa, so waiting 10 to 20 minutes for a bus to arrive is normal. There I was standing in the bus shelter by myself looking down at my iPhone, flipping through my apps to kill time. Facebook-Twitter-Instagram, no updates. I did it again, Facebook-Twitter-Instagram, still no updates on my phone… obviously. This is the part were I regret leaving my headphones at home. I put my phone in my pocket and that’s when I noticed her. She was tall, slender but not skinny. She was probably a model at one point but the McDonalds bag in her left hand suggested that was no longer the case. We made eye contact. She had big brown eyes and thick dark brown hair that flowed past her shoulders. She was wearing a bright tight fitting red parka that (unfortunately) covered her butt and yes, she had yoga pants on.  She had a black Chanel bag draped over her shoulder.


Not Actual Girl

She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I didn’t know if she had a boyfriend but I knew she wasn’t married judging by the lack of ring on her left hand. I had to talk to her, she was gorgeous and I was falling in love with her right in the middle of that salty bus shelter. My first instinct was to tell her that she was beautiful but she’d probably heard that a million times before. I wanted to tell her something different, something educational that would make me look smart, something that would make me stand out from the rest of the guys who have hit on her. I looked her up and then I looked her down. She was beautiful, kind of like Audrey Hepburn but not dead. That’s when I saw it, the Chanel bag. I was going to make a comment about her bag. I was going to tell her something she probably didn’t know. That’s how zombie Audrey Hepburn would remember me.  I opened my mouth and said:

“Hey, did you know Coco Chanel was a Nazi agent during World War II?


She looked at me with a blank face. She then proceeded to put her earbud headphones in and got on a different bus. Needless to say, I will Nazi her ever again…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The popularity of beards has hit an all time high. Men and women have been raving about how great they are but do we know the negative effects of beards? Here are four reasons why beards suck.


1. Beards actually make you COLDER in the winter.

Beards make it easy for the condensation from your breath to freeze on your face and form icicles. A cold face puts your body in an ugly place.


2. Beards make you look POORER than you actually are.

A clean shaven face shows off your natural handsome features. A beard says “I’m too poor to afford razors!”

hobo3. Beards actually make your life shorter.

Am I right guys?






Show your support #TeamBabyface

Tags: , , , , , , ,