In a particularly infamous 1986 commercial for Vicks Formula 44, one that spawned a deathless catchphrase, actor Peter Bergman boldly declared, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Ken Jeong, star of ABC’s Dr. Ken and real-life licensed physician, might be one of the few people in Hollywood who could legitimately say, “I am a doctor, and I also play one on TV.” Under those circumstances, there are few people more qualified to evaluate a passel of pop culture doctors than Jeong. So that’s just what Vanity Fair has him do in a newly released video. From the set of his eponymous ABC sitcom, Jeong gives his professional and aesthetic views on M*A*S*H, House, ER, Dr. Oz, Star Trek, Young Frankenstein, and much more.
Alan Alda makes the grade, Jeong says, with his many convincing fake sneezes on M*A*S*H. (“That’s just great snackting, which is sneeze acting.”) Jeong also identifies himself as “a big House fan,” but he says that Hugh Laurie’s comments about a female patients breasts are “not appropriate at all” and that his character “could totally lose his license.” Probably the most interesting passage in the video comes when Jeong watches a clip of Dr. talking to Oprah Winfrey. Oz boldly states that “the vagina is a self-cleaning oven.” Jeong isn’t so sure about that, though, openly scoffing at this remark. “I can’t medically defend that,” says the Dr. Ken star. “To my knowledge, there’s no timer in there. You can’t bake a rotisserie in there. I’m calling you out, Mehmet.”
Other doctors get mixed grades. Bones from Star Trek is criticized for slapping a pregnant woman, and the doctors of Grey’s Anatomy are likewise reprimanded for a scene in which they are seen rapping along to Snoop Dogg’s music in the operating room during a surgery. “It doesn’t make any sense,” he says. But Jeong laughs with recognition at a scene from Family Guy in which Dr. Hartman gives Peter Griffin a prostate exam, only to have the latter freak out. “Very real,” Jeong says. “I think that’s why it’s so funny.” By the video’s end, Jeong is evaluating Dr. J, Dr. Dre, and Dr Pepper. Of the last, he says, “Dr Pepper is the healthiest drink of all pepper-based sodas.”