You know when your stoner friend from high school grows up and gets a real job and wears a suit and you giggle every time you see him because he looks like an adult? Yeah, that’s how I feel about this photo.
That’s Kal Penn in the middle. You know….Kumar. He’s now working for the Obama administration as Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement serving as a liason between the White House and Asian-American & Pacific-Islander communities. I love it when people do things that are (pleasantly) unexpected. I was impressed and intrigued last April when I read about Penn’s career shift (although I’d JUST started getting into ‘House’ and was bummed that he was leaving the show).
To be fair, Penn (or Kalpen Modi, his birth name that he’s now using as a non-actor) has played a few notable stoner ROLES. I know nothing about his personal life. However, I’ve spent enough Saturday afternoons watching ‘Harold & Kumar go to White Castle’ to find the irony in the fact that he’s now working for ‘The Man’.
*I’ve never done drugs and I generally don’t find drug humor all that funny…but for some reason, ‘Harold & Kumar go to White Castle’ is one of my favorite movies. I credit Neil Patrick Harris. It probably also helps that John Cho & Kal Penn remind me of half the guys I went to college with. I dunno…it’s weird.*
And, yes, I do feel like he’s an old friend. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because he’s my age and I’ve spent so many years watching him act. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t strike me as a “Hollywood” guy. Maybe it’s that whole “wait, didn’t I go to college with him?” thing. Either way, I enjoy seeing him do big things.