Kumar Goes to the White House

According to the Wall Street Journal (and linked in the headlines), actor Kal Penn–known best as Kumar, a pot-smoking, fun-loving, trouble-seeking character in the profoundly stupid Harold and Kumar series–is leaving Hollywood to work in the Obama administration:

Penn, best known for his roles as Kumar Patel in the “Harold & Kumar” movies and most recently as Dr. Lawrence Kutner on the television series “House” told EW.com that he will be 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,” Penn said. “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.”

The Chicago Sun Times reports that Penn will be working with the Asian-American and arts communities. His start date is unknown. The office is run by senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Penn was among many celebrities backing Barack Obama in his presidential campaign, and he spent a lot of his personal time volunteering for the campaign. The actor acknowledged that he will take a significant pay cut. “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,” he said. (First daughters Malia and Sasha are also reportedly fans.)

Yes, that pay cut will be tough to stomach for Penn, but Malia and Sasha love him! He’s doing it for the children!

Incidentally, for fans of House, Fox has posted absolutely preposterous “memorial” website for Penn’s character in the show, who committed suicide in last night’s episode. It features a photo of the “deceased,” an “obituary,” and a link where fans can bid farewell to the departed “doctor.” How utterly bizarre and macabre.

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