Kal Penn
Cover - You Can't Be Serious_Kal Penn (1)
Join us for an in-person*
Live Talks Los Angeles event:
Thursday, November 4, 2021, 8:00pm 
*Limited capacity event
 
The virtual version of this event airs in Nov 9. Details below.

Kal Penn 
in conversation with Jon Favreau
 
discussing his memoir, 
You Can’t Be Serious

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Aratani Theatre
244 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012
 
*** PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A LIMITED CAPACITY EVENT AND MASKS ARE REQUIRED FOR ENTRY INTO THE VENUE.
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TICKETS
— $50 includes General Admission ticket to the event
and a signed copy of the book.
— $20 includes General Admission ticket to the event.

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*** The virtual version of this event airs on Nov. 9 at 6p PDT/9p EDT.
*** $38 Tickets include a copy of the book with a signed bookplate.

*** You will be able to watch the virtual event for 72 hrs after the event.
Purchase tickets to the virtual event here.

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Kal Penn recounts why he rejected the advice of his aunties and guidance counselors and, instead of becoming a doctor or “something practical,” embarked on a surprising journey that has included acting, writing, working as a farmhand, teaching Ivy League University courses, and smoking fake weed with a fake President of the United States, before serving the country and advising a real one.
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Kal Penn has played leading roles in some of the world’s most-watched television shows, including How I Met Your Mother24Designated SurvivorHouse, and more. He currently stars in the CBS series Clarice, a sequel to Silence of the Lambs, and the Disney Junior animated series Mira, Royal Detective. He was also the cocreator and star of the NBC/Universal comedy Sunnyside, and host, cocreator, and executive producer of a six-episode series in October 2020 for Disney’s Freeform Channel called Kal Penn Approves This Message, aimed at entertaining and informing young voters. On the big screen, Kal has starred in movies that have collectively grossed more than a billion dollars, including the Harold and Kumar franchise, National Lampoon’s Van WilderSuperman ReturnsThe Namesake, and many other critically acclaimed blockbuster titles. He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology and Film Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and in Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Kal has worked at the very highest levels of politics, as an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he was President Obama’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts communities in America. He was born and raised in New Jersey.
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Jon Favreau is co-founder of Pod Save America. He served as Barack Obama’s head speechwriter from 2005-2013, a role that was far more senior and influential than Jon Lovett’s. Since leaving the White House, Favreau has written and spoken about politics and speechwriting to audiences throughout the world. In 2017, he co-founded Crooked Media, where he’s a co-host of Pod Save America and host of The Wilderness. Jon grew up outside of Boston, graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Emily, their son Charlie, and their dog Leo.
 
“It’s crazy to me that a groundbreaking actor like Kal Penn is also so funny, humble, and down-to-earth. His life is fascinating and his book is wonderful.”
– MINDY KALING, New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes)

“Kal Penn’s journey is insightful, funny, and instructive for anyone who’s ever grappled with how they fit into the American dream.”
– RONAN FARROWNew York Times bestselling author of Catch and Kill and War on Peace
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You Can’t Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal’s idiosyncratic life. It’s about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far—and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in a raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie…or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country’s first Black president.
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With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Kal reflects on the most exasperating and rewarding moments from his journey so far. He pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in. And of course, he reveals how, after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as a White House aide.

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Above all, You Can’t Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It’s a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it’s also about how he accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club—because, let’s be honest, that’s the kind of stuff you really want to hear about.