Indian American Actor Kal Penn to Host Obama Nomination Meet
Washington: Indian American actor Kal Pen will have a starring role, hosting primetime coverage at the Democratic National Convention Thursday when President Barack Obama accepts the party's nomination for a second White House run.
The invitation to the former White House staffer, born Kalpesh Suresh Modi, to host the coverage went from Obama personally going by a new video released by the Obama campaign in which the president implores the actor to take his job seriously.
The video shows the president making a phone call to someone to remind him of the stakes of his hosting duties Thursday night, when Obama is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Hey, this is Barack," the president says. "Listen, I need to know if you're on board. Okay, good. Because I'm counting on you. Everybody is. We have to get this right. So there's a lot at stake here. Just remember that I'm trusting you on this and I'll see you then."
Obama hangs up and the video pans to a shot of Penn slumped in a couch, watching cartoons, stuffing his face with munchies, and slowly hanging up the phone. Slouched in the sofa next to him is John Cho, the actor who played his stoner companion, Harold, in the "Harold And Kumar" movies.
"Dude, who was that? That sounded intense," says Cho as he shovels cheesepuffs into his mouth.
"The president," Penn says with a blank stare and no enthusiasm. "Sweet," says Cho. Moments later, the two become distracted by a bouncing noise on TV and begin laughing hysterically.
Penn Monday taped an interview with first lady Michelle Obama, who would be the key speaker at the convention Tuesday night. Penn, who campaigned for Obama in 2008, will also speak at the convention Tuesday.
According to the Obama campaign, the Penn-hosted webcast will include interviews with a number of "special guests" - including Marc Anthony, Elizabeth Banks, Aisha Tyler, Olivia Wilde, Fran Drescher, Zach Braff and Alexis Bledel.
Penn joined the Obama administration in 2009 as associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. He left briefly in 2010 to film "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas".
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