'Harold and Kumar's' Kal Penn visits, stumps for Obama

By Andrew Guyton

Actor Kal Penn, famous for his roles in the comedies “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” and “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder,” visited campus on Tuesday, Feb. 5 in support of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, (D-Ill). Penn ate lunch in Café Mac, where more than 100 students swarmed him. Many students sought autographs and pictures, but others, such as Martha Coe ’11, said she came to hear him speak about political issues.

“I’m a big fan of the work he’s done,” Coe said, “but what makes this even more exciting for me is we both support the same candidate. I’m a big Obama supporter, too.

“He wanted to make sure Obama could count on my vote and to make sure that I knew when and where to go and what I needed to do once I got there.”

Penn was not the only actor who campaigned in St. Paul on Obama’s behalf Tuesday. Actress Scarlett Johansson spoke at the University of St. Thomas, and drew a similarly sized crowd.

“It’s amazing,” an Obama staffer said. “You take someone like Kal or Scarlett, drop them in a space like this and the rest really just takes care of itself. Sure, people are timid at first, but eventually that first person will come over, then the second, then the fifth, and then it just snowballs from there, and you end up needing five people just to get them out of the crowd.