April 2nd, 2010
08:07 PM ET
4 years ago

Report: Actor to leave Obama administration

The White House wouldn't confirm a report Friday that actor Kal Penn is leaving the Obama administration.
The White House wouldn't confirm a report Friday that actor Kal Penn is leaving the Obama administration.

Washington (CNN) – The White House isn't confirming a report that actor Kal Penn is leaving the Obama administration.

Entertainment Weekly reported Friday that Penn, best known for his roles in the "Harold and Kumar" films and on the popular medical drama "House, M.D." is leaving the White House.

Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Modi, has spent much of the past year working in the White House Office of Public Liaison, which is run by Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

EW.com reported that the actor is returning to Hollywood to resume his acting career, starting with a Christmas-themed installation of the "Harold and Kumar" series.

Despite the report, the White House press office isn't saying much about Penn's plans.

"Mr. Modi is honored to serve in this Administration and has no announcements to make about his tenure here at this point," White House spokesman Shin Inouye told CNN.

Penn, a long-time Obama supporter, endorsed Obama's White House bid in late 2007, and was a frequent surrogate on the campaign trail.

Entertainment Weekly shares the same parent company as CNN.

- CNN's Kate Bolduan contributed to this report


Filed under: Extra • Kal Penn • Popular Posts • White House
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. JV

    Heck, he's smarter and a better actor than your D-list actor Reagan!

    April 2, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Shistar

    they are all actors. this 1 was smart & is leaving. good 4 him...............

    April 2, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. DawnL,CA

    Who cares! What did he do at the WH except collect a paycheck.

    April 2, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. PK

    He was supposed to be a liaison to the Indian-American community and he was MIA – never really made much of an impact – won't be missed!

    April 2, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Smart guy!

    Even Dominican mama 4 Obama knows that! Come to think of it, that's about ALL she knows. Come to think of it, she's most likely Rahm Emanuel in drag!

    April 2, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Mary MA

    Good luck, Kal, and thank you for your service. Keep on making a difference.

    April 2, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Roldy

    First of all, Kal Penn only committed to a year.

    Second: Harold and Kumar freakin' rule! Can't wait to see if Freakshow will be in the next one!

    My d**k, so hot it's stolen
    Your d**k, look like Gary Coleman

    April 2, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Biased

    For those saying no news here: From a year ago:
    "Penn won't be accepting any acting jobs during his White House stint, which he expects to last for two years or so. "

    Guess something happened here since he was so gung ho for Obama and leaving Hollywood since he felt this was his real calling.

    April 2, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. inofritzn

    WOOHOO another Harold and Kumar!!!

    April 2, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. What goes around

    Did you people give up civility for Lent? Geez, the guy has worked unsung and unheralded for a year in the White House after campaigning for the Obama in the 2008 election. Why so much venom?

    April 2, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  11. Fake username that makes my opinion matter (let's go with "Hollywood Insider")

    This guy is an all right actor, but another Harold and Kumar?? Ugh.

    April 2, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Chris in Va.

    @Aunt Bea....let 'em spew......while it is sad that someone has so little life that they post the same drivel every day the independents are growing tired of the sniveling from the right. All snivel, no ideas.

    April 2, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Hugo

    Hey Frank,
    I kind of remember the majority of the US Congress being involved in that little thing called Iraq. I think there are a slew of Dumbocrats that went right along with President Bush in waging an ill gotten war....I also believe that when you look at the catalyst for the meltdown in the financial markets, you will see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the center of it all, they had been continually warned about what they were doing by the Bush Administration but hey don't believe me, look it up. I love Peckerwoods!

    April 2, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Busterbobby

    Boy, things must be really dull in hater land today to explain all the venom. Nice guy and funny, young actor takes a job in the White House, works a year, then decides to go back to acting, which he obviously loves or he wouldn't have been doing it in the first place. End of story, and totally unremarkable. Unless you're a hater with nothing worthwhile to talk about, I guess.

    April 2, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. kyphi

    Glad to have him back acting. I always liked him.

    April 2, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    Sad all you hatriots don't get a life and stop following your token celebrities creepy talking points – like "jabba-da-butt" Limbaugh and the Beckler.
    Kal Penn is a good guy who wanted to take time off of his career to see if he could do some good. I'm sure he did.

    April 2, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. AkronSteve

    mmm, let's see, another Indian in the news? Who FLIPPING cares? Go home SlumDog!

    April 2, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. If We Can Defeat Him On Healthcare, It Will Be His Waterloo

    If Obama cured cancer, the Republicans would bemoan the loss of oncology jobs.

    April 2, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Chipster

    Just like Sarah Palin, he quit to make more money. Government jobs have decent benefits but the pay isn't so great and, if you're not the lead dog....well, you know.

    @Sue: Snap! – unlike the Bush Administration – they were mostly former Enron executives! Are you unaware that Reagan was an actor? It's a legal job, so what?

    April 2, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Steve in VA

    What exactly did he do? In the White House I mean?

    April 2, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. ib

    Gosh for a minute I there I thought you were talking about Obama since he is only trying to act like a real president. He doesn't stay in DC long enough to be a real president.

    April 2, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. MikeH

    Seems like a generic human interest story of little weight. Didn't think the movies were all that great (except for all the women at the bottomless party).

    Obama Victim and Willy Brown are probably the same person, an ignant tater-faced white bigot who got their G.E.D. at some religious home school. You want to see who's really victimizing you? Look in a mirror.

    Obama may end up one of the best Presidents ever.

    April 2, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. Ron

    Yeah that's just what we need in Washington more Hollywood morality. They've done so much for California, just think everyone could have a Valley Doll secretary and a cheering entourage.

    April 2, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. whocares

    who is he?
    let the real superstar leave the white house you know the one that is acting like he knows how to be president

    April 2, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  25. b. Mojica

    What? Another actor leaving the White House? Wow, as if none of the other weren't just actors putting on an act until they get elected then lie their way through their term! Give me a break! November Baby, then it will be all over.

    April 2, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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