It’s been a long, strange, occasionally nude trip for former practicing physician Ken Jeong. Sharing one anecdote about his long-ago New Orleans residency, the TV, movie, stand-up, and game show star, explained to Jimmy Kimmel that, yes, it is literally possible to “fuck someone’s brains out.” (The actual term is transient global amnesia, and, thankfully, the gentleman in question returned to normal once the afterglow wore off.)
But it’s not all masked singers and making fun of former Community costar and occasional I Can See Your Voice guest judge Joel McHale for the actual expert in internal medicine. Kimmel, as you do these days, took Wednesday’s opportunity to pepper a doctor acquaintance with questions about the latest, potentially disastrous COVID mutation, the appropriately menacingly named Omicron variant. And, well, Jeong had some thoughts.
“We just gotta play common sense, be kind to each other, and not be an asshole,” stated Jeong, which is the sort of blunt talk from a qualified medical professional a lot of people really seem to need at this point in our long international nightmare. And, hey, if American COVID deniers, especially, are so quick to take the word of marginal celebrities concerning a worldwide pandemic, here’s a guy who not only is a doctor, but who played one on TV. Couldn’t hurt.
As to another TV doctor who’s been shooting his mouth off lately, Jeong was equally unsparing in mocking fellow physician Dr. Mehmet Oz (or just Dr. Oz, to those who swear by the Oprah-enabled peddler of sketchy diet claims), who is apparently running for a Pennsylvania Republican Senate seat. “If he enters the Senate race, that means I can start my MMA career,” stated Jeong, citing the similarly nonexistent qualifications of both himself and Oz in those areas. And, while Jeong was honest about his chances in the “skinny-fat flyweight” division inside the octagon, he, at least, hasn’t been advising people to take hydroxychloroquine instead of the free, effective, and readily available COVID vaccine, or suggesting (to Fox News misinformation merchant Sean Hannity) that it’s worth losing two or three percent of the nation’s public school students to COVID for the sake of the economy.
Getting into the actual science (as opposed to Oz’s go-to psychics, homeopaths, faith healers, and anti-vaxxer guests), Jeong told Kimmel all about all the spike proteins, mutations, and other factor which could make Omicron this year’s real holiday ruiner. “There’s worries that it could be more transmissible,” stated Jeong, “We don’t know if it’s going to be more virulent or more dangerous.” Adding a riposte to those stubborn skeptics out there claiming that those pesky infectious disease experts are being over-cautious concerning this newest threat to global health, Jeong offered up a sincere, “You’re welcome.”
Ken Jeong, in addition to his judging duties on The Masked Singer, hosts the singing competition, I Can See Your Voice, whose holiday special airs on December 14 on Fox.