The Washington Post is reporting that Kal Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Modi, is returning to Hollywood. Penn left the cast of House to join the Obama Administration and fill a position in the White House Office of Public Engagement. After working there for only nine months, Penn is hitting the road to film the next sequel in the Harold and Kumar series — which is supposed to be a Christmas movie.
I was sorry when Penn left House because I liked his character and thought he added a needed dose of humor and humanity to the show. I thought it was awful that the writers had the character commit suicide, and now I am doubly sorry they did so because it would be nice to have him back on the show.
In any case, I’m not surprised he has decided that a political job is not for him. Politics sounds very exciting and interesting when you first hear about it, but staff jobs can be a long, hard slog. You work with a lot of functionaries and career hacks, and after a while you have to decide whether you want to join their ranks. Resurrecting Kumar’s character sounds pretty good when the alternative is becoming a soulless bureaucrat in some government office no one has heard or or really cares about.