politics on tv | September 05, 2011

What's So Funny About Diplomacy? Kal Penn's New Show is Set at the UN

Kal Penn's latest television project will have him playing a role he’s familiar with: an employee of the U.S. government. Penn, who just finished a three-year term as Associate Director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, is slated to star as a “key assistant to the U.S. ambassador” in the yet-to-be-titled comedy. The show is set at the United Nations, and according to Paste magazine, will likely use Penn’s “own experiences as story arcs.”

Set to air on NBC, Penn's new show will be shot in the contemporary single-camera style of the network’s other great comedies, 30 Rock, The Office, and Parks and Recreation (a show that, coincidentally, is also about government employees.) After taking an enormous risk to stop his career and work at the White House—an experience he calls “humbling” and “awe-inspiring”—Penn has returned to Hollywood without missing a beat. He’s also landed a role in the upcoming season of the top-rated How I Met Your Mother. And, of course, Penn is back as a keynote speaker, talking to audiences about the intersection of politics and pop culture.