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Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong

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Also Known As: Dr. Ken, Kendrick Kang-Joh Jeong Died:
Born: July 13, 1969 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, comedian, physician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A real-life physician-turned-actor, Ken Jeong lit up the Hollywood radar with scene-stealing performances in high-grossing feature comedies like "Knocked Up" (2007) and "The Hangover" (2009). As a medical student in North Carolina, Jeong performed stand-up comedy in local clubs. He continued to hone his act while serving a residency in New Orleans, where in 1995 he won a comedy contest that was judged by former NBC entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff and Improv Comedy Club founder Budd Friedman. Both men encouraged Jeong to move to Hollywood. He did so in 1998, where he worked as a physician while also appearing in small television roles. Jeong's big break came in 2007, when he was cast in a bit role as an uptight but well-meaning obstetrician in Judd Apatow's hit comedy, "Knocked Up." Several roles quickly followed, including over-the-top turns in feature comedies like "Pineapple Express" (2008) and "The Hangover." He also appeared as a regular on the NBC sitcom, "Community" (NBC, 2009-15; Yahoo!, 2015), and in 2010 he appeared in several feature comedies, further demonstrating his ability as a talented comedic actor despite his medical background. Kendrick Kang-Joh Jeong (last name pronounced...

A real-life physician-turned-actor, Ken Jeong lit up the Hollywood radar with scene-stealing performances in high-grossing feature comedies like "Knocked Up" (2007) and "The Hangover" (2009). As a medical student in North Carolina, Jeong performed stand-up comedy in local clubs. He continued to hone his act while serving a residency in New Orleans, where in 1995 he won a comedy contest that was judged by former NBC entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff and Improv Comedy Club founder Budd Friedman. Both men encouraged Jeong to move to Hollywood. He did so in 1998, where he worked as a physician while also appearing in small television roles. Jeong's big break came in 2007, when he was cast in a bit role as an uptight but well-meaning obstetrician in Judd Apatow's hit comedy, "Knocked Up." Several roles quickly followed, including over-the-top turns in feature comedies like "Pineapple Express" (2008) and "The Hangover." He also appeared as a regular on the NBC sitcom, "Community" (NBC, 2009-15; Yahoo!, 2015), and in 2010 he appeared in several feature comedies, further demonstrating his ability as a talented comedic actor despite his medical background.

Kendrick Kang-Joh Jeong (last name pronounced JUNG) was born in North Carolina in 1969 to Korean immigrant parents, father D.K. Jeong, and mother, Young Jeong. The elder Jeong taught economics in college, and his son shared his father's academic aptitude. In high school Jeong focused on getting into a good college; he served on the student council, played violin in the school orchestra, and competed on the High IQ team. In 1986 he graduated from Page High School in Greensboro, NC, at the age of 16, and won Greensboro's Youth of the Year award for his academic success. His first foray into acting did not occur until his sophomore year at Duke University, where he took his first drama class. A pre-med major at the time, he briefly considered double majoring in both pre-med and drama. His father, however, advised him to focus on medicine, and offered Jeong a deal in the process: get into medical school, and he would subsidize his son's acting interests, no matter where that road might lead.

Jeong took his father up on his offer. He was accepted into medical school, and his father paid for him to take a summer theater course at UCLA. While Jeong attended medical school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, he also began performing stand-up comedy in local clubs. He continued doing his late night sets while serving a residency at Ochsner in New Orleans, and in 1995 he won the Big Easy Laff Off comedy contest, which was judged by former NBC entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff and Improv Comedy Club founder Budd Friedman. Tartikoff and Friedman encouraged Jeong to move to Hollywood, so the excited doc made the move to Los Angeles in 1998, where he worked as a physician while performing stand-up and appearing in small roles on television comedies like "MadTV" (Fox, 1995-2009) and "The Office" (NBC, 2005-13), as well as "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-11), "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-15) and "Cedric the Entertainer Presents" (Fox, 2002-03). He also performed his stand-up routine on the Comedy Central and BET networks.

Jeong's big break came in 2007, when he appeared in a bit role in "Knocked Up," which focused on a one-night stand between Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen that results in an unplanned pregnancy. Jeong's performance as an uptight but well-meaning obstetrician got him noticed, and the film was a summer box office hit. During filming, director Judd Apatow gave Jeong a useful piece of advice, noting that Jeong did his funniest work when he was angry. The hilarious outtakes of Jeong's rants showed up on the Internet at the time of the film's release, bringing him attention before most moviegoers had seen the soon-to-be hit. A slew of roles followed, so Jeong stopped practicing medicine and took Apatow's advice to heart. His anger was on full display with his performance as a drug cartel hitman in 2008's "Pineapple Express," and that same year he also appeared in the feature comedies "Step Brothers" and "Role Models," as well as on television sitcoms "Worst Week" (CBS, 2008) and "'Til Death" (Fox, 2006-2010).

Jeong had a breakout performance in 2009 as a mob boss in the monster hit, "The Hangover," the story of a Las Vegas bachelor party gone horribly awry. The box office smash included a memorable scene in which Jeong's character, held hostage by enemies, emerges naked from a car trunk. Known for his improvisational skill, he would later divulge to interviewers that it had been his idea to perform the scene in the nude. He rounded out his banner year with appearances in two more feature comedies: "All About Steve" and "Couples Retreat." That same year he appeared on television as a regular on the junior college sitcom, "Community," playing the role of Señor Chang, a cantankerous Spanish teacher who, at the end of the first season, is discovered to be a fraud. He also provided voiceover work on two episodes of "American Dad!" (Fox, 2005- ), and had small roles in "Party Down" (Starz, 2009-10) and "Men of a Certain Age" (TNT, 2009-11). In 2010 Jeong provided more voiceover work in the animated features "Furry Vengeance" and "Despicable Me," as well as appeared in the feature comedies "Vampires Suck" and "How to Make Love to a Woman." He was also slated to appear in the feature films "Zookeeper" (2011) and "Transformers 3" (2011).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Amusement Park (2019)
2.
 Wonder Park (2019)
3.
 Goosebumps 2 (2018)
4.
5.
 Despicable Me 3 (2017)
6.
7.
 Ride Along 2 (2016)
8.
 Advantageous (2015)
9.
 Duff, The (2015)
10.
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Milestones close milestones

1995:
Had first big break when he won the Big Easy Laff Off
:
Moved to Los Angeles and began performing regularly at the Improv and Laugh Factory comedy clubs
2004:
Appeared on Oxygen's hidden camera show "Girls Behaving Badly: Revenge of the Boys"
2005:
Appeared on an episode of NBC's "The Office"
2006:
Joined fellow comedian Mike O'Connell for "Million Dollar Strong," a spoof rap duo on YouTube
2006:
Released the comedy DVD, "The Kims of Comedy"
2006:
Guest-starred on an episode of HBO's "Entourage"
2007:
Made his feature film debut as Dr. Kuni in Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up"
2008:
Played the villain in "Role Models"
2008:
Appeared in the Judd Apatow produced "Pineapple Express"
2009:
Had breakout role as Asian mobster 'Mr. Chow' in "The Hangover"
2009:
Played a supporting role in the comedy "All About Steve"
2009:
Made debut as series regular Señor Chang on NBC's "Community"
2010:
Co-starred with Brendan Fraser in the family comedy "Furry Vengeance"
2010:
Voiced the Scientist character in the animated film "Despicable Me"
2010:
Cast in the the "Twilight" spoof film, "Vampires Suck"
2011:
Reprised role as 'Mr. Chow' in "The Hangover Part II"
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Education

Walter Hines Page High School: Greensboro , North Carolina -
Duke University: Durham , North Carolina - 1990
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill , North Carolina - 1995

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