Everybody who decides to get married has their own idea of what constitutes a dream wedding. For Kal Penn, who recently confirmed his engagement to longtime boyfriend Josh, however, it took an actual dream for his subconscious to reveal just which celebrity officiant would make the couple’s big day truly memorable. Appearing on Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote his memoir, You Can’t Be Serious, the erstwhile Kumar and Obama administration official admitted that what first was merely the stuff of literal dreams became potential reality when his post-slumber Twitter goof wound up all but securing Cardi B as his and Josh’s wedding emcee.
Noting that his initial impulse to say hello to the singer when he realized they were on the same cross-county flight was thwarted when he immediately fell asleep, Penn told Kimmel that even a near-miss with Cardi B can get into your head. Telling Kimmel that the resulting dream saw Cardi presiding over a mid-air wedding ceremony for him and Josh (and then walking arm in arm out of LAX), Penn explained how he tweeted about the situation upon waking. Cue Cardi’s answering Twitter response that she is very down to make the couple’s 11-year relationship official, which apparently blew Penn’s mind, since he hadn’t even tagged Cardi, thinking that his dreamtime fantasies weren’t worthy of disturbing a Grammy winner.
Silly Kal, as now he’s on track to having Cardi B officiate what Penn surmises will be a traditional, ten-day Indian wedding ceremony, date to be determined. For Penn, such an indirect and unlikely way of getting what his heart desires from an acclaimed Grammy winner isn’t new, apparently, as the Clarice actor told Kimmel that it took a chance meeting (and a pushy manager) to get his dream job in the Obama administration’s Public Engagement Office. Penn had been with the future President’s campaign since Obama was just Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), and 30 points down in the polls, but his quest to turn volunteerism into a paying gig saw him merely filling out an online application, and then waiting for a call that never came.
Luckily (or perhaps due to the universe apparently looking out for Kal Penn), the actor was asked to speak at now President Obama’s inaugural concert, where, in the greeting line to shake hands with the new First Family, his manager butted in to complain that his client had never even gotten a response to his note-in-a-bottle application. Penn, recalling how his initial reaction was a horrified, “Yo, this is not the time,” yet found himself greeted by the raised eyebrows of Michelle Obama, who called her husband over to join in the amusement at Penn’s obvious discomfort.
After ascertaining that their famous volunteer was, indeed, serious, Penn, noting Mrs. Obama’s famously “low threshold for BS,” found himself duly evaluated, and ultimately hired, to run point on the incoming administration’s outreach to Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to the young people. Speaking of the role most of those young people associate with the actor (who worked, under his birth name Kalpen Modi for nearly the entirety of Obama’s two terms), Penn did admit to some trepidation about answering the “have you ever smoked marijuana” question on his FBI background check. After all, the actor did take a leave of absence to film his contractually obligated A Very Harold And Kumar 3D Christmas, after all, ultimately returning to his government job once the smoke had cleared.