Kumar Goes to the White House


Actor Kal Penn — who was introduced to much of America as Ryan Reynolds’s eager assistant in Van Wilder, and then truly won our hearts in the Harold and Kumar stoner franchise — is leaving his current regular gig on the series House to go work at the White House. “I got to know the President and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there, so I’m going to be the associate director in the White House office of public liaison,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello. “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.” Penn, who has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, says he’s wanted to go into politics for a while now. “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,” he said. “And in ‘06 I started this international studies program at Stanford, where they actually let you do most of the course work online.”

It sounds pretty admirable, considering the pay cut he probably faces. But, wait. Barack Obama can’t help his own aunt get asylum to stay in this country, and yet he’s getting Kumar an office job in the building next door? What kind of weed is that guy selling?

’House’ Exclusive! [Ausiello Files/EW]
Related: The White Castle Ceiling: Can Kal Penn, the world’s most famous Indian-American actor, be more than Kumar and a terrorist on ‘24’? [NYM]
Vulture’s Take [Spoiler Alert]