Indian American actor Kal Penn, best known for his “Harold and Kumar” movies, brought the house down at the Democratic National Convention as he ended his humour filled speech with a four-letter word: “Vote.”
The former White House staffer, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, provided the Democrats’ answer Tuesday to Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood who had panned President Barack Obama at last week’s Republican National Convention with an interview with an empty chair.
Defending Obama’s first-term achievements at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, particularly playing up issues that might appeal to younger voters, Penn said: “I can now legally register you to vote.”
He recounted a variety of experiences that he said showed him that change under Barack Obama had indeed been change he could believe in.
“I ask all of you young people to join me. You don’t even have to put pants on. Go to commit.barackobama.com and register right there. And you know what, the oldies out there, you can do it too,” Penn said.
He juxtaposed gay marriage and the death of Osama bin Laden in the same sentence. He joked about what the Twitter hashtag on his speech would be (his recommendation: “sexyface”).
Besides Penn, who briefly served the Obama administration as Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, the convention also featured Kamala Harris, daughter of a Tamil mother and a Jamaican-American father.
The first female African-American as well as the first ethnic Indian American attorney general, made a presentation as a national co-chair for Obama’s re-election bid.
With her star on the rise, some have hinted she could one day be the first female president of the United States, but Tuesday Harris told ABC she’s not getting carried away with all that presidential talk just yet.
“I am completely focused on what’s right in front of me, for a number of reasons,” Harris was quoted as saying. “One, I think life is too short. You have to really enjoy what you’re doing today.”
“I’m also a little superstitious,” she continued. “You know, you concentrate on that thing out there, and then you’re gonna trip over the thing in front of you.”