S4.BE2 – We Approve Kal Penn’s Message

Happy to see more brown people on screen? Pumped to see a surge in South Asian representation in Hollywood? Are you amazed at how much representation little brown kids have now in the shows they watch and the movies they love, how much more belonging they feel now that their stories are being heard? One of a handful of people you can thank?

Kal Penn.

Join the Jilted Indians as we stan the elder statesman of the Indian Illuminati, Kalpen Suresh Modi. We talk about his career and his contributions to society, as well as his latest show, Kal Penn Approves This Message.

Listen to Season 4, Bonus Episode 2:

Season 4 is on Spotify

Show Notes

We begin this episode talking about our favorite Kal Penn projects (Puja: “American Desi” and Anju & Miranda: “The Namesake”). Next, for the uninitiated we briefly go over his biodata (little Desi humor here), past credits, accomplishments (including this gem from his public trouncing of a Nazi troll), and talk about his appearance on PBS’s Finding Your Roots.

Since this episode is focused on Kal Penn’s newest project (news and interview show packaged in that familiar informatinment structure) aimed at young, civic-minded voters, we thought we would start out by looking at other South Asians who have hosted (or featured) on talk/news shows for American networks:

Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show with John Stewart) – The first South Asian contributor to a late night show (no we do not count what David Letterman and Babu did). Listen to Aasif talk about Islamaphobia on NPR’s Code Switch.

Hasan Minaj (Patriot Act) – which was canceled in 2020, but not before Hasan broke down systemic racism for the community:

Lilly Singh (A Little Late with Lily Singh) – which was canceled in 2021, but we cannot forget her iconic opening skit:

Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code + International Bestselling Author. You should definitely visit the girls who code website to learn more about this foundation. Reshma also hosted the “Brave not Perfect” podcast.

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