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Harold and Kumar go to Penn

By Brian | March 26, 2007 | Share on Facebook

Well, Kumar, anyway:

PHILADELPHIA – Kal Penn [a.k.a. Kalpen Modi], known for his role as Kumar Patel in the 2004 cult classic “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” will be a guest instructor at the University of Pennsylvania during the spring 2008 semester.

Penn, 29, will teach two undergraduate courses, tentatively titled, “Images of Asian Americans in the Media” and “Contemporary American Teen Films,” the school announced Monday.

Grace Kao, director of Penn’s Asian American Studies Program called Modi “one of the leading Asian American actors of his generation.”

I’m sure Mr. Modi is an intelligent man (he’s currently pursuing a graduate degree at Stanford University), and I’m sure that he will have quite a bit to teach Penn students who are interested in these topics. None of this changes the fact that he will absorb endless amounts of ridicule from the student body (heck – I can almost see the Penn Band’s halftime show now – not to mention the Princeton band’s, the Brown band’s, the Yale band’s…)

Also, I think we’ve estabilshed that Grace Kao needs to get out to the movies more often…

Oh, by the way:

[Modi] recently finished shooting “Harold & Kumar 2 with [John] Cho

Maybe he’ll get really lucky and they’ll release it on campus on the first day of classes…

Topics: Movie Talk, University of Pennsylvania | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Harold and Kumar go to Penn”

  1. jason says at March 26th, 2007 at 7:05 pm :
    I probably shouldn’t mention that Harold and Kumar is one of my favorite guilty-pleasure flicks, should I?

    Nah, probably better not…

  2. Chris Bellis says at March 27th, 2007 at 12:16 am :
    Hey Brian, I’m guessing you haven’t seen The Namesake have you? Maybe Grace has and she agrees with Peter Travers that Kal acts with “ferocity and feeling.”

    Or maybe she thinks like The Onion AV Club, that though “Best known for broad comedies (most memorably, the infinitely rewatchable Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle), Penn establishes himself as a dramatic force here.”
    Maybe you should get out to the movies a little more yourself, eh?

  3. Flint says at March 27th, 2007 at 1:11 am :
    I gotta say, I completely agree with Jason…
    Harold and Kumar is an absolutely amazing movie, in fact, I can safely say that there has never, ever been a movie that has connected with my personal life experience ever! as much as Harld and Kumar have. (driving around, stoned, lost, and hoping to find somewhere to eat, just after college ended, lingers as a very familiar moment in my life)..
    and while bellis might be a bit wrong, i really don’t think kumar played this amazing dramatic part. however, i do think he played a great part, and played it well (including his other parts i’ve seen) he is funny, and doesn’t appear dumb!

    so yeah two thumbs up! i’m gonna go eat some white castle

  4. Brian says at March 27th, 2007 at 10:03 pm :

    Chris – you’re right, I haven’t seen any of Penn’s (Modi’s?) work other than Harold and Kumar. And I only rented that because I grew up just off Route 9, where the White Castle they used in the film is located.

    Thing is, I’m guessing that I’m in the large majority of people who have even heard of him. And based on that film, I honestly had no desire to see anything else of his. Your recommendations, of course, change that, but probably not enough to sway me next time I’m in Blockbuster. We’ll see…

    Flint – my reaction to your comment is the same as my reaction to my in-laws (older Jewish couple from Queens) who used to tell me how much they loved Fran Drescher in The Nanny. Don’t you realize that the movie is satirizing people exactly like you? In their case, the answer was a very likely “no.” In your case, I’m thinking you do realize it, and you’re fine with that. In which case, more power to you.

    And I hope that Penn’s transition from stoner to Penn lecturer also mirrors your life to some degree.


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