- Kendrick Kang-Joh “Ken” Jeong
July 13, 1969 (age 52)
- Actor, Comedian, Physician
- Tran Jeong
- Young Jeong, D.K. Jeong
Kendrick Kang-Joh "Ken" Jeong, M.D. (born July 13, 1969) is an American actor, comedian and physician. He is best known for his roles as Ben Chang on the critically acclaimed NBC comedy series Community and Asian gangster Leslie Chow in The Hangover trilogy.
Jeong was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of South Korean immigrants Young and Dong-Kuen Jeong, who was a professor at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Jeong was raised in Greensboro and attended Walter Hines Page High School, where he took part in the High IQ team, played violin in the orchestra, and was elected to student council. He graduated at 16 and his achievements earned him Greensboro's Youth of the Year award. Jeong completed his undergraduate studies at Duke University in 1990 and obtained his M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995.
Jeong completed his internal medicine residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans while developing his stand-up comedy. Jeong is licensed as a physician in the state of California.
Jeong won the Big Easy Laff-Off, of which NBC president Brandon Tartikoff and The Improv founder Budd Friedman were judges, and they both urged Jeong to move to Los Angeles. Jeong began performing regularly at the Improv and Laugh Factory comedy clubs. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he initially practiced medicine for several years as a general practitioner at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Woodland Hills.
Jeong's background in theater and improv has led to several television appearances, including NBC's The Office, HBO's Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Ken made his feature film debut as Dr. Kuni in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up which proved to be his breakout performance; from that point forward he was able to transition from medicine into a full-time career in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, he has appeared in Pineapple Express; Role Models as King Argotron; All About Steve; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Couples Retreat; and as Mr. Chow in The Hangover and The Hangover Part II. He co-starred in Zookeeper and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released in summer 2011.
Jeong's wife, Tran Ho, is Vietnamese American, a family physician and a breast cancer survivor. They have twin daughters, Alexa and Zooey, and live in Southern California. Jeong became engaged to Ho around 2003 or 2004.
Jeong was encouraged to quit his job as an internist and pursue acting full-time; Jeong states that "I had just finished filming Knocked Up, and it was life-changing. But I didn't have the courage to go for it until she persuaded me. Medicine is a hard-won skill, and acting can be a fickle profession, so I tried to be realistic. Now, I'm a spoiled actor. I get weekends off and hiatus weeks — time I never got as a doctor".