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One of these Men is Going to Work for the Obama Administration

Sadly it’s not Neil Patrick Harris


Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame and more recently the Fox show House is headed to Washington. Penn campaigned for Obama during the election. He will be taking a break from acting for the next four to eight years to become an associate director in the White House Office of Public Liaison for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

“I was incredibly honored a couple of months ago to get the opportunity to go work in the White House,” Penn explained. “I got to know the President and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there.”

Penn described the office as the “front door” of the White House, saying he’ll be responsible for doing outreach with the American public:

“They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House,” he said. “It’s similar to what I was doing on the campaign.”

Turns out there is more to Kal Penn than Harold and Kumar and National Lampoon movies. In 2006, Penn was a keynote speaker at University of Pennsylvania ‘s annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Week.Β  In 2008 he taught a pair of classes at the University of Pennsylvania titled “Images of Asian Americans in the Media” and “Contemporary American Teen Films.” The classes were offered by the Asian American Studies department and cross-listed under the School of Arts and Sciences’ Cinema Studies department.

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The truly strange thing about this story for most people isn’t that he is going to work at the White House but how he was written off the show House. His character Dr. Lawrence Kutner committed suicide in last week’s episode. It looks like it’s going to take fans of the show awhile to get over the shock of his death on the show.

If I were wearing a hat, I would tip it to Kal Penn. He got a shot at a once in a lifetime job and he took it. I wish him all the best.

When I first read about this, it seemed like a really odd story. I thought, “Kumar is going to working in the White House? Really?” My first thought on it was that this move is sort of akin to Tommy Chong going to work for the Jimmy Carter administration back in the late 1970s. I can clearly see Carter sitting in the oval office working on the energy crisis and Tommy popping in on him, “Hey man, you got any peanuts in here? I could really go for a snack. Oh, you’re busy, man, that’s cool. Whoa! Dude this room doesn’t have any corners! Far out man. I got to get me a room like this.”


April 14, 2009 - Posted by | Culture Critic, News You May or May Not Use, Politiks | , , , ,


  1. I’m so glad you posted this story. My husband and I watch House and we had NO idea why they killed him off. This is an AWESOME opportunity! Good for him…

    Comment by AdmittedlyAddicted | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. I don’t watch House, but I do think this is pretty cool.

    I am going to take this opportunity to proclaim my love for NPH. I am reminded every week when I watch HIMYM that he is the ONLY reason I watch that show. And is the other chick pregnant (Robin) on that show too? Anyone??

    Good Luck KAL!!

    Comment by payter | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. Ok, payter. I will admit that I don’t know NPH or HIMYM. And I am curious!

    I googled Kal and looked under television shows that he was on, and I got nothing.

    I also googled NPH and it is, among other things, an acronym for a brain disease.

    Please tell me what NPH and HIMYM stand for?

    Comment by queencrone | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. HIMYM has to be How I Met Your Mother
    But I don’t know the other one.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  5. OOH!!
    NPH = Neil Patrick Harris!

    Comment by baby fish mouth | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thank you baby fish mouth!


    Comment by queencrone | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  7. Do you ever have one of those days when you really over think something, and you go down the wrong research path, only to find the answer was right there under your nose the whole time?


    Comment by queencrone | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  8. Sorry for the confusion QC. πŸ™‚

    Comment by payter | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  9. No problem payter, I think confusion is a normal state for me. It’s comforting. πŸ™‚

    Comment by queencrone | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  10. NPH man!

    Dr. Horrible!

    Ah! Has he been a Bale yet?

    Also, Kudos to Kal! His character didn’t have much to do on the show anyway, which always killed me because I thought he was the more interesting character than the ones they focused on. But I’m glad he’s moving on to better things πŸ™‚

    Comment by TheHobo | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  11. if he does make it as Bale, he totally has to be Dr. Horri-Bale!

    I’m such a geek πŸ˜›

    Comment by TheHobo | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  12. Seriously?! Kumar!? Maybe NPH will get nominated to be Surgeon General next.

    Comment by blah | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  13. Also, as an FYI– Kumar’s brother works for PETA (http://www.peta2.com/staff_pulin.asp) They’re all thinkers I guess

    Comment by Chelsea - PETA Protector | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  14. Kal Penn is awesome, and not just because his name is a double synonym for smartness (but not spelling smarts).

    I’ll bet NORML is super-excited to see Kumar in such a high (ahem) profile position in this administration.

    Comment by Stay, see? | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  15. Every time I heard about this, I kept thinking of Super Troopers and my heart shed a little tear. But, then I realised I’ve been mistaken Kal for Jay Chandrasekhar for years now.

    Good for him though!

    Comment by Mae | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  16. they all look the same.

    (couldn’t help it.)

    Comment by DonnaMartin | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  17. ohhh love me some NPH! And yes Robin is preggo too.

    Comment by lava | April 15, 2009 | Reply

  18. Payter, I was wondering that too about the actress who plays Robin. Thanks to lava for the answer.

    I think HIMYM is one of the funniest shows out there now.

    Have any of you seen NPH in Undercover Brother? High-larious!

    Comment by rumour has it | April 15, 2009 | Reply

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