Kal Penn quits acting (temporarily) to work at the White House!

Actor Kal Penn joining Obama administration in Valerie Jarrett’s shop.

Penn will be “working with the Asian-American and arts communities” as the associate director in the White House Office of Public Liaison, which is overseen by Valerie Jarrett. He’ll have an office in the old Executive Building across from the White House. I’m so happy for him!

I know him mainly from the Harold and Kumar movies, and the excellent movie (drama) The Namesake. I know he’s been on House but I’ve never seen that. He’s got a couple of movies in the can, a screwball comedy called Under New Management and a drama called Bhopal: Prayer for Rain so we have a couple of things to look forward to before there’s a Kal Penn drought.

Congratulations to Kal!

Ah! The mystery of why he killed himself is SOLVED! Congratulations, Equipoise. You beat Dr House. :slight_smile:

Aw man. They should have had him die of lupus.

I know him ONLY as Kumar, so for me, this is the equivalent of Cheech and Chong being appointed official government positions. But I’m sure he’s a good actor outside of the H&K movies - it takes more skill to pull off good comedy than any other genre, I think.

He played a terrorist on 24 in season 6… ACHMED!

I’m ashamed to say I honestly thought his real name was Kumar until just recently…For the record I’ve never seen the Harold & Kumar movies…

He was also a Henchman in Superman Returns.

Come on over to the current “House” thread ("Simple Explanations). We’ve been discussing this quite a bit there.

Here is also a first-person interview with Kal Penn about his new job and an interview with “House” executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs.

I congratulate Penn on his new position. It’s good to see celebrities looking beyond the world of Hollywood and going to work for the greater good, no matter who it is with.

Of course his real name isn’t Kal Penn exactly either … it’s Kalpen Modi.

I’d be perfectly happy with Cheech Marin having a position in the administration as an envoy to the Hispanic community. He’s a fairly articulate guy. Tommy Chong unfortunately has a felony conviction on his record, so he’d never be considered. Though it would be nice to have a Drug Czar with some actual experience.

See The Namesake. He is excellent in it. And you’re right, comedy is far more difficult than any other area of acting according to most actors.

I’ve seen him interviewed during the campaign, and he’s an intelligent, articulate guy with a through knowledge of the issues he was discussing.

Kal Penn is most famous for being in a movie about White Castle and the TV show House

White House

What’s left out is castle, which is where the leader lives, and also where the Obamas have visited with the queen…

Kal Penn’s real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi. Kal Penn could perhaps be from his first name, but consider you that his education was at UCLA (KALifornia) and at the University of PENNsylvania. Middle names Suresh Modi are an an anagram of U.S. Mid Horse, or…

There’s a code hidden in here somewhere. Obama or perhaps [del]Kumar[/del]Kal is trying to tell us something, but what exactly? (I just hope Neil Patrick Harris is involved.)

Think I’m being paranoid? Consider this-

Kal Penn played a doctor on House. Suresh Modi is an anagram of** I’m Dr. House**, but with a leftover S, and s’s are used to make a plural … but a plural what? What is Kal trying to tell us?
The Harold and Kumar Kode. You read it here first.

(I had no idea he was a graduate student in international security. That’s pretty freaking cool.)

Cheech is a serious art collector. I see no reason why it would be inappropriate to put in him a position having to do with art.

First Bill Ayers, now Achmed. When will the American people wake up?!

That was a good interview of Penn, but it’s largely about him leaving the show. This one’s more about his role at the WH.

Nice interview on the Rachel Maddow show last night. He talks about how policy and his interest in politics. My favorite bit was how his grandparents marched with Gandhi for Indian independence. He also discusses being saddled with Kumar for the rest of his career, but other politicians have have silly films on their resumes. *

  • (No idea why the majority of the silly film people are Republicans)

I think he’s probably more famous for Van Wilder. Most of the people who saw H&K saw VW first, I’d guess.

Was he dead? :smiley:

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

Really? I never saw Van Wilder, which looked repulsive and had reviews that indicated that it was every bit as stupid as it looked. I only saw Harold & Kumar when I saw a really rave review that convinced me that it was far better than I thought it would be.

For those who like Bollywood movies and have netflix or something like that, I’d suggest giving “American Desi” a whirl too. It was an interesting twist when it came out on the whole view, and I recall as a desi loving that film as it was geared more towards a westernize audience (though still firmly in bollywood camp at the same time). Kal Penn had a smaller role on it, I think it may have been his first- that’s what I always thought of him as before House.
Also: Conspiracy theory- on House, there was an episode where the POTUS was a Black Senator running for president. This was on the FIRST SEASON OF HOUSE. DUN DUN DUN!

Kal Penn was also a bad guy on 24, which also featured a black POTUS (two in fact).