Actor Kal Penn speaks during Day One of the Democratic National Convention… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kal Penn cracked a joke at Clint Eastwood’s expense when he addressed the Democratic National Convention, but the actor said Wednesday that he holds Eastwood in the highest esteem.
“Clint Eastwood is an amazing director and actor. I don’t purport to be on the same level as Clint Eastwood at all,” Penn said as he finished breakfast at the Blake Hotel.
On Tuesday night, Penn addressed delegates, telling them that his favorite job was working for President Obama, “a boss who gave the order to take out Bin Laden and who’s cool with all of us getting gay married.”
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“So thank you, invisible man in the chair, for that,” he said sardonically, a not-so-subtle swipe at the roundly mocked empty chair routine that Eastwood delivered on the last night of the GOP convention.
Penn is best known as a costar in the “Harold and Kumar” stoner movies, but he was an early volunteer for Obama and joined the administration for two years. His speech Tuesday, part comedy routine that sent #sexyface trending on Twitter, part serious recital of the president’s accomplishments and a plea for young people to vote, was well received.
“I haven’t had a chance to go through my Twitter yet, but it seemed like everyone had fun,” he said. “I had a lot of fun. I’ve never done a political speech like this before, obviously, so it was new for me.”
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Penn will host a live stream for the campaign Thursday to offer supporters who are watching the proceedings from home and at campaign parties an inside, personal look that will feature First Lady Michelle Obama, among others.
“Really the idea behind that was a lot of the president’s supporters still are not necessarily identifying themselves as Democrats or Republicans, they just strongly believe in the progress we’ve made and we want to make sure they have a direct conversation with the folks at the convention,” he said. “It’s never been done before. I think especially now it’s a great time to include as many folks as possible.”
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