Like you, we are irrationally psyched for the Hangover Part II. And while that has a lot to do with Misters Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis (as well as Miss Jamie Chung), we’ll always have a soft spot in our hearts for one of the best things about the original, Ken Jeong. He crushed it as the host of Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, he’s the funniest Asian Spanish teacher we know in Community, and Mr. Chow’s got a helluva back story, too. Here are seven fascinating facts to annoy your buddies with on the way to the theater…
1. He’s a licensed medical doctor. Years before he was tapped by Judd Apatow to play the cranky delivery room doc in Knocked Up, Jeong graduated high school at 16, did his undergrad work at Duke and earned his medical degree at North Carolina, which is like being a Red Sox fan for four years, then switching to the Yankees. He then completed an Internal Medicine residency in New Orleans. Yes, this is the same man who, naked, jumped on Bradley Cooper and beat him with a crowbar.
2. He saved the life of Ed Helms’ best friend. By phone. From Thailand. During The Hangover Part II filming, one of Helms’ friends became dehydrated due to food poisoning and needed medical advice. Jeong, who had been in full Mr. Chow Mode, finished his lines, took the phone, spouted some medical words of wisdom, then jumped right back into character.
3. He was named “The Funniest Doctor in America” after appearing on The View in 1997. You know how you laugh at your doctor’s bad jokes because it helps to ease the awkwardness caused by the fact that he’s about to touch you all over or stick a needle in you? With Jeong, you don’t have to fake it.
4. He has a small penis but hasn’t let that stop him. During an interview with his Hangover castmates, Jeong said: “I don’t mind having the penis that I have. I got kids out of it.” That said, he also claims that in his famous nude scene in The Hangover (which was his idea, by the way), his flag was only flying at half-mast. Well played, sir.
5. He’d been working on his comedy act during his medical training. Even though he went to both Duke and UNC, Jeong’s allegiance lies with the Blue Devils. During a basketball game between the two rivals, he got the entire stadium of 8,000 people to chant in unison a joke that he created about UNC point guard King Rice. When he got the ball, every fan in the building let out a sarcastic “Oh no, it’s Rice.”
6. He’s trying to fight Asian stereotypes. Ever see a movie where an Asian character goes “Tark-a rooke-a dis! Oh, herro today!”? At first glance, it might seem Jeong has done the same thing with Mr. Chow. But by making the character as ridiculous and outlandish as possible, Jeong says he’s actually mocking the stereotypes that have been perpetuated about Asians. Clever dude.
7. He’s planning a Hangover-themed party for his twin daughters. For their fourth birthday, Jeong wants to throw Alexa and Zooey the greatest kids’ bash ever. Think about what a Hangover party would entail. Tasers, crazy strippers, gambling and…Mike Tyson! Appropriate for 4-year-olds? Who cares, we just wanna go.
Andrew Meola is a reporter for Main Street Connect, an online newspaper that launches June 1.