Kal Penn Sacrifices Meaningful Acting Job For Gov't Work

White House post is a big step down for once-respected actor

Every child in America fantasizes about growing up to be a famous actor, because there is no nobler occupation in the world. That's why it's so tragic to see an actor who, if not famous, is at least sort of recognizable, throwing away this valuable gift in order to pursue a cheap and tawdry dream of government work.

Kal Penn shocked the nation on Monday night when his character on House, a medical drama about people having seizures and vomiting blood before an angry curmudgeon rescues them from certain death, killed himself because -- well, because the actor playing him wanted to go work for President Obama.

He'll be doing some sort of PR/communications work, acting as a liaison to Asian-American groups. Yawn! What fun is liaising when you can be truly affecting people's lives by coming into their homes, via the television, and stimulating their minds and hearts with tales of a team of beautiful young people solving botulism and copper poisoning and restless leg syndrome?

Even President Obama would tell you that change doesn't happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up. Is there no medium more populist, more democratic (with a small "d"!), more appealing to our unwashed and illiterate masses than the television? Of course not, which is why Obama himself won the election with a fancy television show he made himself.

When your actual president is a television actor, there is no reason at all to abandon your very worthy small-screen career for a life of ignoble liaising. Kal Penn needs to rethink his decision.

The television critic and Asian-American liaison Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.

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