PopCulturalist

My Man Kumar Joins White House Staff (With Tons of Unnecessary Pictures Because I Love Him)

I love Kal Penn.

I love him on “House.” I loved him in the “Harold and Kumar” movies even though they were too … um … testosterone filled for me and kind of gross, yet still funny. I think he’s cute. Sexy even. Hence his inclusion on “The Great Wall of Sexy.”

(Hindis represent! Actually, I think a lot of Hindi and Desi — and, um, large regions of Africa, South America, the West Indies and Asia — men are hot. But then I’m one of those weird women who don’t mind the insane hairiness of everyone from the Lebanese to the Persians to the Desi. Mmmm … Naveen Andrews … but I digress.)

Penn is going to be working under White House Senior Advisor and all around fierce tiny person Valerie Jarrett on Asian-American relations.

Again, damn. That Administration just gets better and better looking.

Click after the jump for more!

From The Chicago Sun-Times:

WASHINGTON–Actor Kal Penn, who stumped around the country for the Obama presidential campaign, is going to leave Hollywood to work in the Obama White House, EW.Com is reporting. The White House confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that Penn is joining the Obama administration.

UPDATE 11:20 p.m. eastern
Penn will be working with the Asian-American and arts communities, said Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman. (Penn’s parents are Indian-America.) His start date is not set. (end update)

Penn told EW: “I’m going to be the associate director in the White House office of public liaison. They do outreach with the American public and with different organizations. They’re basically the front door of the White House. They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House. It’s similar to what I was doing on the campaign.”

Chicagoans run the OPL: Top advisor Valerie Jarrett oversees the operation, run by Tina Tchen, the chief of the Office of Public Liasion.

And from Entertainment Weekly Online:

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

There’s not a lot of financial reward in these jobs. But, obviously, the opportunity to serve in a capacity like this is an incredible honor …

I’ve been thinking about [moving into politics] for a while. I love what I do as an actor. I couldn’t love it more. But probably from the time I was a kid, I really enjoyed that balance between the arts and public service. I went to a performing arts high school, but I still took a bunch of those dorky political science classes. It’s probably because of the value system my grandparents instilled in me. They marched with Gandhi in the Indian independence movement, and that was always in the back of my head. So the past couple of years I thought about it a little more. And in ’06 I started this international studies program at Stanford, where they actually let you do most of the course work online. So it was something I could do while I was acting. And I thought this might be the right time to go off and do something else. The ultimate irony, of course, is that I love being on House. There’s not a smarter group of people that I’ve been surrounded by in television. So I thought about it for a very long time …

And, for no reason at all, here’s another picture of Kal Penn looking like he’s ready to show that “Bobby” Jindal how it’s done. Because Kal Penn’s real name is … Kalpen. Kalpen Suresh Modi, to be correct. Word. Game. Set. Match. Welcome to the Thunderome, Bobby.

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19 thoughts on “My Man Kumar Joins White House Staff (With Tons of Unnecessary Pictures Because I Love Him)

  1. Michele says:

    Yay!And in other news- Gays can now legally marry in Vermont. This is the first state to approve gay marriage by legislative vote.I’m sorry my Aunt Kitty and her ‘Best Friend’ didn’t live to see this… They’d be calling me and asking how to use that computer thing to get plane tickets to Vermont. And I’d be there cheering and getting married too, because my then -longtime boyfriend (now deceased) were waiting for gay marriage to be legal so we wouldn’t feel bad exercising heterosexual privilege by asking people to our wedding.

  2. Danielle Belton says:

    @ MicheleYeah, and Iowa’s supreme court also struck down a law banning same sex marriage. Iowa! Who knew?

  3. Girl, you ain’t never lied about Naveen Andrews! For a while there, "Lost" had the sexiest multicultural cast ever: Naveen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Daniel Dae Kim–the white boys on that show had nothing on them! I’m addicted to the show for the story, but having Naveen Andrews and his perfect hair to look at doesn’t hurt.

  4. TBI says:

    If you’re looking for more stuff to "love" him in, you should check out an independent movie he was in back in 2007 called "The Namesake". I think that it’s a pretty movie.

  5. dukedraven says:

    That’s a nice deal that he can still keep his acting gig. I hope he does better than Jindal. Good luck, Kal!

  6. Erika M says:

    I love Kal Penn as well. It’s interesting and surprising that he’s now going to be apart of the White House staff. When I first read the title of this post I thought, "In what respect will he be joining them?"

  7. Jaddadalos says:

    Yea. So the whole "Kutner killed himself" episode of House last night confused the hell out of me. I was wondering what he was planning to do and if it was outside of acting because I remember him teaching a class at U Penn either last year or year before last. I figured it would be something outside of acting because (in my extremely biased opinion) House is a great gig and to give that up for some of the other stuff they put folks of color in these days… well… House is a nice ride.Good stuff. Must tell everyone. Kutner wasn’t written off all williy nilly. I will sleep easier now.

  8. Karen says:

    I graduated from Penn and worked there until January. Kal Penn taught classes for few semesters …I think about three or four. Yeah, I think most folks of color in hollywood realize they better ‘diversy the brand’ and have irons in the fire as possible. He was really active with the Obama campaign and made a video aimed specifically at the Asian/Asian Pacific Islander community.

  9. moja31 says:

    i was pissed after last night’s house episode, but i’m much less pissed now that i know why he’s gone. i just graduated from penn too and i met him at a upenn for obama thing, and he told this great story about how back in iowa obama would personally call up some of the folks who were donating 10 or 20 dollars (can you imagine the shock of that happening to you). anyhoo i was really loving him on house, but i’ll get over it; he’s adorable and him and valerie combined is too much awesome.

  10. British African Snob says:

    OMG! Kutner is dead? (I live in England and that series hasn’t begun yet but I have been watching it on some websites.. damn!. Now my day is ruined! lol..On another note, I agree with TBI, The Namesake was a great movie, it was at that point that I considered him a great ‘story teller’. The whole cast was brilliant…

  11. British African Snob says:

    OMG! Kutner is dead? (I live in England and that series hasn’t begun yet but I have been watching it on some websites.. damn!. Now my day is ruined! lol..On another note, I agree with TBI, The Namesake was a great movie, it was at that point that I considered him a great ‘story teller’. The whole cast was brilliant…

  12. RL says:

    Re: Kalhurray! get him out of house… I absolutely hated this guy on house and stopped watching it because of him.Horrible actor. He’s more an academic than an actor. good luck!

  13. travlegirl says:

    I am so glad to hear sisters agreeing that there is more to life than worshipping that Black American King.I love men of color!!!!!! Kal is Fine I am glad he is representing in the White House.Thanks Danielle for all of your great updates on topics that are interesting

  14. Sabrina says:

    Danielle, would mind seeing a TJ/Kal/Naveen stalking on your blog. Please throw in Idris for good measure and I’ll be a happy chica!

  15. stayhugefro says:

    Ooooh, I didn’t know he was an academic. He taught at college level???? That’s damn sexy. Kinda too bad for me that I can’t see him on House reruns anymore. Love his beautiful brown eyes….*sigh*

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