House fans may have been shocked last night when Kal Penn’s character committed suicide—but they might be more so to learn the actor is leaving for the White House. “Kal is a man with broader ambitions than the entertainment industry,” a producer tells Entertainment Weekly. Penn, well-known as stoner Kumar of Harold & Kumar, will be associate director for President Obama’s office of public liaison.
“They do outreach with the American public and with different organizations,” Penn said of his new office. “They’re basically the front door of the White House. They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House.” He did similar work during the campaign, when he expressed interest in working for Obama.