pop culture + politics | August 28, 2011

On The Late Late Show, Kal Penn Talks About His Political Past (and Future)

Kal Penn, who recently left his post at the White House, hasn't fully shed his Office of Public Engagement skin just yet. In an interview with Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show, Penn talked about the Obama administration and the current economic state of America. “The president kind of saved us from a second Great Recession—a huge economic collapse, but things are still not good enough. The fact that they could have been worse is not something that people can still rally around,” Penn told the late night host, a comment that was picked up by Politico, among others. Later in the interview, Penn suggests that this might not, in fact, be the end of his political days, as the nearing election campaign will likely see him balancing “creative stuff” with Obama campaign work.

Called "the world's most famous Indian actor" by New York magazine, Kal Penn is known for his starring roles in House, 24 and, of course, the Harold and Kumar franchise. But what sets Penn apart is his off-screen eloquence and his passion for the intersection of pop culture, politics and race. From 2009 to 2011, he was the Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement, which focuses on creating a dialogue with students around the country. He is set to star in the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother this fall.

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