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Kal Penn leaving White House job to reprise Kumar role

April 5, 2010 | 10:08 am

Gitmo What's more urgent than serving as an associate director in the White House's Office of Public Liaison? Why, making a "Harold and Kumar" Christmas movie!

OK, maybe it's not more urgent, but for actor Kal Penn we're willing to bet it's more fun, and probably a tad more lucrative -- at any rate, the guy known in real life as Kalpen Modi is dropping his Obama administration gig like a hot rock. Think someone discovered that working as a mid-level bureaucrat in a fluorescent-light-filled office really is as excellent as everyone says it is?

"It’s not like I’m retiring from acting," Penn told E! Online last April. "I certainly intend to come back at some point, but right now I just felt like my calling was in public service, and so we moved forward with that."

So, some callings are satisfied faster than others, we suppose -- but in this economy, spending just nine months on the job before giving notice definitely qualifies for "like a hot rock" status.

One thing's certain: After the new "H&K" flick wraps, Kal won't be back as Dr. Kutner on "House M.D." But maybe he could come back as Kutner's long-lost twin brother. Wouldn't that blow Dr. House's mind.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Kal Penn as Kumar and Danneel Harris as Vanessa in "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay." Credit: Jaimie Trueblood / New Line Cinema.

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