Mar 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Actor and former Obama aide Kal Penn to publish memoir

Mike Allen
Cover of Kal Penn memoir
Cover: Gallery Books

Kal Penn, the actor and Obama White House official, will be out Nov. 2 with a memoir, "You Can't Be Serious," which he says is "for anyone who has ever wondered if it’s possible to have more than one calling."

Details: Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, says the book is "about growing up as a skinny kid with a funny name and later helping another skinny kid with a funny name become President of the United States."

  • "Mostly, it’s a story about how your life can have more than one story, and knowing you have many more choices than those presented to you."

The backstory: Penn, represented for the book by Robert Barnett, had been "a stoner in the Harold and Kumar films and a sports medicine doctor on the hit TV show House when his House castmate Olivia Wilde invited him to be her +1 at a campaign event for then-Senator Barack Obama."

  • "Kal began to balance show business with a role on Obama’s presidential campaign; he then took a sabbatical ... to serve as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he was President Obama’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community."
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