Everyone’s favorite doctor and comedian is back. Tonight, The Hangover’s Ken Jeong will lend his talents to Fox’s A Christmas Story Live! where he’ll be playing not one, but two characters.
That’s right– Jeong will portray a Christmas tree salesman tonight. His role was originally played by Les Carlson. Jeong will also be playing the owner of a restaurant.
Jeong has made a name for himself in Hollywood since booking his first handful of roles in the early 2000s.
The comedian was born and raised in North Carolina, and went on to attend Duke University for undergrad. He obtained his MD from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1995. While completing his internal medicine residency in New Orleans, Jeong dabbled in comedy. In 1995, he won the Big Easy Laff-Off, and was recommended by NBC president Brandon Tartikoff and The Improv’s Budd Friedman to move to LA.
For his first few years in LA, Jeong worked as a physician at a hospital. In 2003, he booked the role of Asian Thunder in Cedric the Entertainer Presents. In 2004, he booked roles on a number of TV shows: Crossing Jordan, Grounded for Life, Two and a Half Men. In 2005, Jeong was cast as Bill in The Office. One year later, he was cast as a Coffee Shop Manager in Entourage.
Few may be aware of Jeong’s extensive acting resume. Apart from the aforementioned credits, he’s acted in Mind of Mencia, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Knocked Up, Boston Legal, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, Hold Up, Party Down, All About Steve, Couples Retreat, Off Duty, Despicable Me, Vampires Suck, American Dad!, Love Bites, Zookeeper, Burning Love, Maron, Turbo, Good Morning Today, BoJack Horseman, The DUFF, Glee, and Robot Chicken, among others.
In a 2015 interview with Slate, Jeong opened up about ABC’s Dr. Ken, which he created, wrote, and executively produced. Asked by Slate how he navigates making a comedy with sensitive cultural issues, he said, “Well, it takes a band of brothers to do a show. Our showrunner, Mike Sikowitz, has taught me a lot about going with your gut, about being quick and decisive about what you think is right and wrong. Because it’s okay if some of your decisions are wrong—and you know, half of them will be. That’s television. Hell, .500 is a pretty damn good batting average.”
Asked if there was any doubt by people that he’d be able to pull this off, Jeong said, “Everyone knows me for the Hangover trilogy, but I’ve been in plenty of other movies, including kids’ movies. I was in Despicable Me 2, I was in Zookeeper. What [frustrates] me with critics in general is that they always forget that I’ve done a lot of other stuff.”
Tonight, he’ll be sharing the stage with accomplished actors like Matthew Broderick, Maya Rudolph, and Jane Krakowski.