One of the most personable celebrities I’ve encountered is Ken Jeong. While recently speaking to him about his role in the upcoming film Fool’s Paradise — written and directed by Charlie Day — I had to ask a question about the upcoming Community movie.
For those who don’t know, junkets are akin to speed dating. You get a limited number of minutes to ask a celebrity questions about their latest project. The bigger the name, the fewer minutes you have. Despite this, it appears that Jeong and I have become good pals.
“You’re a best friend, salt of the earth. I’m glad you’re doing well. How are your books by the way, behind you?” said Jeong after I facetiously said that we’ve become friends over the past two minutes. “Just tell your books I said hello.”
This led to the question about the upcoming Community film, which recently got delayed due to the WGA strike. In hopes of getting some sort of update on the film, perhaps just about Jeong’s character, he began seriously when saying, “You know what’s satisfying is that the family’s gonna be back, man. The crew’s gonna be back.”
He would continue by taking joking shots at Community lead Joel McHale: “The only bad news I heard [is that] Joel McHale is gonna be back and that does upset me because I think he was just a guest star on the show — I believe we were all the romantic leads on the show,” Jeong said.
Ken Jeong and McHale have a long history of friendship, but Jeong doubled down on his shots, saying, “I heard Joel McHale’s coming back and look, there are some rumors that we may or may not be best friends in real life just because I gave him a bunch of mercy bookings on all my other shows like The Masked Singer, I Can See Your Voice — so many shows that I have — and, you know, I’m just trying to give the kid a break and now I heard rumor has it [that] he’s gonna be in the reunion. I really don’t know why. I don’t think the show was written [from] his point of view. I don’t think it was. And I’m sure Joel McHale is gonna talk to you and I’m sure he’s gonna gimme a receipt.”
Now, it appeared that McHale has overtaken me of all people in the ranks of Jeong’s friend group, but The Hangover actor reassured me that this wasn’t the case.
“No! You’re a better friend. I only know you for four minutes [and] you’re a much better friend than Joel McHale, and I’ve known him for 14 years.”
He continued by offering to give me McHale’s cell number so that I can tell him myself. Someday, the time will come and we’ll see who really is Jeong’s best friend.
Community was a popular sitcom on NBC that ran from 2009 until 2015. The show starred Jeong, McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Allison Brie, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, and Jim Rash. The long-awaited film follow-up is inevitable, but it still could be a while. In the meantime, you can catch Jeong in the hilarious Fool’s Paradise.
Fool’s Paradise will be released on May 12.
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