Jeong, Ken Biography

biography of Jeong, Ken

Kendrick Kang-Joh Jeong
1969, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
5' 5 1/2"
Ken Jeong has been blending comedy & medicine all of his life. After graduating from Duke University & attaining his MD at the University of North Carolina, Ken completed his Internal Medicine residency in New Orleans while developing a cult comedy following. While in New Orleans, Ken won the "Big Easy Laff-off". Late NBC president 'Brandon Tartikoff' (qv) and "Improv" founder 'Budd Friedman' (qv) judged the competition and advised Ken to move to Los Angeles. Once residing in LA, Ken began performing regularly at the Improv & Laugh Factory. Soon after he appeared on ABC's _"The View" (1997)_ (qv) and was named "The Funniest Doctor in America". Subsequent appearances on Comedy Central & BET cemented his reputation as a comic who appeals to a wide variety of audiences. Ken's background in theater & improv has led to several television appearances including NBC's _"The Office" (2005)_ (qv), HBO's _"Entourage" (2004)_ (qv) and _"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000)_ (qv), CBS' _"Two and a Half Men" (2003)_ (qv) and _"Worst Week" (2008)_ (qv), ABC's _"Boston Legal" (2004)_ (qv), FX's _"The Shield" (2002)_ (qv) and FOX's _"'Til Death" (2006)_ (qv) and _"American Dad!" (2005)_ (qv) and Starz' _"Party Down" (2009)_ (qv). Ken made his feature film debut in 'Judd Apatow' (qv)'s _Knocked Up (2007)_ (qv). Subsequently, he has appeared in _Pineapple Express (2008)_ (qv), _Role Models (2008)_ (qv), _Step Brothers (2008)_ (qv), _All About Steve (2009)_ (qv), _The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009)_ (qv), _Couples Retreat (2009)_ (qv) and _The Hangover (2009)_ (qv). He recently completed filming Furry Vengeance and The Zookeeper. He is a series regular on NBC's Community.

-   'Tran' (? - present); 2 children

-   Has twin daughters, Alexa and Zooey.

-   Wife Tran is also a doctor.

-   Grew up in Greensboro, NC and graduated from Walter Hines Page High School in 1986.

-   As of June 2010, the Medical Board of California lists his medical license (#65869) as "Renewed & Current" (meaning he meets requirements for the practice of medicine in California) until July 31, 2012. He is licensed to practice medicine under his birth name, Kendrick Kang-Joh Jeong.

-   (2012) TV commercial for Coca Cola

-   (2011) Music video for Enrique Iglesias: "I Like How It Feels"

-   (2011, on landing his role in Transformers 3) Transformers 3 was really a recommendation from Todd Phillips, actually, to Michael Bay. Michael Bay had a role for me in mind and I met with him last spring. I play a co-worker of Shia LaBeouf and it was one of the greatest moments of my career because I saw how the big boys do it. This is sci-fi, this is action, this is fantasy, this is Steven Spielberg producing, and all my scenes were with Shia. And to work with CGI is the hardest form of acting ever, for me personally...I have to create that energy myself and then react off that energy. It's so much harder to do, so much harder mentally. That's why I have the highest respect for Shia, because he does that all the time. Three movies. Michael is a genius at finessing those reactions out and finessing that vision.

-   (2011) I remember I heard an interview on NPR where Terry Gross had asked Denzel Washington, "Do you look for roles that are role models for the community?" And he said, and this is Denzel Washington talking, the icon, "No! If I'm following what other people want me to do, I wouldn't be doing my job as an artist, as an actor. That would be so boring." I'm very inspired by that. I think about that a lot.

-   (2011, On the Hangover cast) I've known Zach (Galifianakis) for a decade, from doing stand-up. And I did a movie with Bradley (Cooper) prior to the first Hangover and a movie with Ed (Helms) prior to the first Hangover. So we're friends and we know each other, and on the second movie we got to be even better friends. Me and Ed went to Cambodia with his friends to go on a bicycle tour of Angkor Wat and the Buddhist temples there. I think people are always surprised to hear how mellow and close-knit we are. It's not like we're in character setting garbage fires in Bangkok in our off time! We're not crazy.

-   (2011, on getting involved in The Hangover Part II) I got an e-mail from Todd saying, "We'll be requiring your services," and then he gave me the script and I was crying laughing. The script, actually, was better than the first one because in the first movie, the script had actually existed before all of us, including Todd, had been attached. So this is the first script that utilizes our voices uniquely. Basically, you're building on the characters the audience has loved and also the characters we kind of formed in the first movie, so it was actually creatively easier for me as an actor this time around. All the hard work had been done in establishing these characters.

-   (2011, on director Todd Phillips) Todd gave me a career, and he's my favorite guy. He's family to me. We're bonded by our love of comedy and mayhem...I just trust everything about Todd Phillips, because all of my fame and success have been due to the first Hangover.

-   [on working as an MD during the day and doing improv at night]: I was the funniest doctor in America who was an Asian, under five-foot-nine and living in Los Angeles.

-   "Parade" (USA), 29 May 2011, pg. 2, by: Walter Scott, "Walter Scott asks...Ken Jeong"

-   "The Boston Globe" (USA), 11 June 2009, by: Chris Lee, "He's a Big Hit in Small Parts"

-   "Variety" (USA), 17 September 2007, Vol. 296, Iss. 54, pg. 5, by: Tatiana Siegel, "MTV gets Strong vibe from vid"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 5 December 2011

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