Name: Kendrick Kang-Joh Jeong
Nickname: Dr. Ken
Birth Date: July 13, 1969,
Occupation: A Professional Korean-American actor, comedian and physician.
Net-Worth: $14 Million
Spouse: Tran Jeong
Children: Zooey Jeong & Alexa Jeong
Zodiac Sign: Cancer (The Crab)
Today, Success Titan presents you with the man who played Senor Chang in Community and the notorious Mr. Chow in The Hangover. He was known and referred to as Dr. Jeong by his numerous patients. He is a certified physician in the California state of the United States of America. Later, Ken decided to pursue his curiosity in comedy while concluding his internal medicine in New Orleans.
He partnered one of his friends and actor, Jamie Foxx, while the two of them agreed to perform in any film(s) written and produced by each other. Ken produced and starred in his own sitcom and earned his nickname Dr. Ken since. He is happily married to a Vietnamese American, Tran Ho, and the union is blessed with two beautiful twin daughters (Zooey and Alexa). Dr. Ken has taken an active part in the making of several films and TV shows since arriving at Los Angeles in 1998.
Born on July 13, 1969, in Detroit, Michigan, to South Korean parents (immigrants), Ken attended Walter Hines Page High School, where he took part in the regional Quiz Bowl, subsequently chosen as a member of the student council. He was known for playing the violin in the school orchestra. Ken graduated at the age of 16 years in 1986.
His achievements won him the Greensboro’s Youth Award of the Year. He momentarily reflected about going into full-time drama, while still taking part in the pre-med coursework. Ken Jeong completed his undergraduate career at Duke and obtained his medical degree at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1995. The medical doctor turned actor took theatre classes at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Career & Hustle
As earlier affirmed, Ken began the journey to live as an actor while he was still a medical student in North Carolina. In fact, he became a regular at the famous open mic nights in the Raleigh-Durham circuit, acting at Charlie Goodnights in Raleigh and Tootie’s Durham Comedy Club.
The Comedy Sports programming series produced by Kendrick Jahng (Ken Friend) on Duke University campus between 1992 and 1993 was emceed by him. Later, Ken finished his residency in internal medicine at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1995, he won the Big Easy Laff-Off during his residency. Immediately after the show, he was advised by the judges (Budd Friedman, the Improv founder, and Brandon Tartikoff, NBC president) to take a step further and go to Los Angeles.
Three years later (1998), he followed the advice and moved to Los Angeles but to practice medicine. Ken joined the services of Kaiser Permanente hospital in Woodland Hills to practice medicine for years, and as a certified physician of internal medicine. He started acting on a regular basis at the Improv and Laugh Factory comedy clubs.
Consequently, his excellent work has helped to make many television appearances in which HBO’s Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and NBC’s The Office are few of them. This could be said to be the catalyst that made him land a spot on Comedy Central’s Comic Groove. His first-ever appearance in any film was in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, where he was referred to as Dr. Kuni.
The Turning Points
The turning point of his career was in 1998 when he decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue his career before eventually gave up the practice of internal medicine for a full-time career in the entertainment industry in 2006. In 2002, he landed a very vital role in Comedy Central’s Comic Groove.
After he acted as Dr. Kuni in his film debut (in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up), it proved to be Ken’s breakout performance in his entire career. This gave him the courage and assurance that he could transit from medicine to a full-time career in the entertainment industry. He has appeared in Role Models and Pineapple Express as King Argotron.
He won the Streamy Award in 2013 as Best Guest Appearance. The same year, Ken Jeong appeared in Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, and as Johnny Wu, a motivational speaker. Still talking about 2013 turning points, The Hangover Part 111 saw him returned in an important expanded role as Mr. Chow.
Success Knocks on Ken Jeong’s Door
Having seen prospects in the entertainment industry, Ken now prefers to be a full-time entertainer than spending his entire time on internal medicine, thanks to the advice he was given by the duo of Budd Friedman, the Improv founder and Brandon Tartikoff, NBC president to take a step further and go to Los Angeles.
Ken’s appearance in the series ‘Entourage’ and hit sitcom ‘Two and a Half Men’ gave more fame in the entertainment industry. His acting career didn’t start well until the 2000s; he has achieved lower-key acclaim in the comedy scene throughout the 1990s. Five years later, he won the Big Easy Laff-Off competition with two fantastic judges in attendance.
3 Lessons We Can Learn from Ken Jeong’s Story
Lesson #1: Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
Ken has gotten all that he needed to succeed as a certified medical doctor. In addition to being adequately qualified, he also has a place known to him from infancy. However, the advice he was given pushed him to an unknown place where he now becomes a superstar. The momentary uncomfortable period he went through has truly helped him to be who he is currently.
Lesson #2: Waiting For Others Validation Takes Away Your Personal Power
Had Ken waited for all his family members to debate and pass verdicts on whether he should adhere to the earlier advice to change his location and move to Los Angeles. Perhaps, everyone could have agreed that he stays in Michigan (his birthplace). This decision is a big lesson for everyone as his destiny pushed him to where he would succeed.
Lesson #3: Confidence is Not Being Well-Dressed But Expressing Who You Truly Are
If one is to talk of confidence in the context of Ken’s career, one would not think twice before saying that he has more than the needed confidence to practice internal medicine across the globe. Little could anyone have thought of an industry that does not have any inclination with medical sciences. Consequently, Ken didn’t allow the dressing style, the prestige, and respect that an average doctor receives and commands, he took it upon himself and practically expressed and demonstrated who he is by joining the entertainment industry.
5 Success Tips from Ken Jeong
- Success Tip 1: Do What You Love
Ken has never pretended not to have a passion for entertainment, even while in school. He showed this openly and was able to win laurels for himself. According to him, most people believe that the lifetime of a medical doctor is characterized by prestige, honor, and dignity.
- Success Tip 2: Rekindle Your Adour
The background of Ken could not stop him from becoming what he aimed to. The effort he put into his role in the Knocked Up, and his succeeding work in The Hangover remains his first incursion into comedy. Though he is a physician, he was determined to attempt one thing completely different.
- Success Tip 3: Be Prepared to Make Difficult Choices
Had Ken decided to stay in Michigan and practice internal medicine, he could not have become who he is today. So, leaving his ancestral base was a very difficult decision in his life and eventually yielded good results in his career.
- Success Tip 4: Laugh At Yourself
Ken ensured that he incorporated humorousness into his new means of life. This might be due to what he aimed to become through his decision to join the entertainment industry with full force. Doing this has really helped him succeed very well, even beyond the so-called professional entertainers.
- Success Tip 5: Allow Kids to find their own Paths
According to Ken, compelling children to do what they do not interest in poses a threat to their future success. He said that he became successful because he was able to do what he likes. The same, he said is happening to his two daughters. One (Zooey) loves acting, and the other (Alexa) loves gymnastics. He encouraged people to be unique in their own endeavors.
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Ken Jeong
- While in school, Ken failed his examinations thrice. This, he says, is one of the challenges he faced while in university.
- Ken attended and graduated from Duke University in 1990. He obtained his M.D. at the University of North Carolina in 1995.
- Ken was ranked as the 1612th most popular individual ever, 1075th most famous American, 245th most famous actor, 1st born on July 13, 26th born in 1969, and the 7th born in Detroit, Michigan, United States.
- Ken graduated at the age of 16 years and won Greensboro’s Youth of the Month award through his achievements.
- He performed in The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, The Hangover Part III, Pineapple Express, Sell Hard, Couples Retreat, The Goods, Live Hard, All About Steve, and lots.
- Ken appeared first as an entertainer in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up as Dr. Kuni and has never looked back since then.
- He is married to Tran Ho, a Vietnamese American, and a family physician, and the marriage is blessed with beautiful twin girls.
10 Quotes From Ken Jeong
- “You can have all the tools in the world, but if you don’t genuinely believe in yourself, it’s useless.”
- “I have a very simple approach in career: You work with the people you love.”
- “You got something to say to me now, blue-eyes? No more silent treatment?”
- “I believe I can fly…. I love cocaine!”
- “Hartman, for the love of god stop tanning, you look like a cheese nip, you look like an orange with lips, you look like a wrinkled peach.”
- “I always just loved to laugh. I always just loved it as a kid.”
- “What’s the matter, you never blow before? Sometimes your heart stops, it starts up again. Read a book.”
- “It is not about money, it is about principle.”
- “I am an international criminal. It always ends like this. I met my wife at one of these things.”
- “It’s like a little kid gets a puppy for the first time, just hugs it so much, snaps its neck. It’s puppy cradle death syndrome. All that love is gonna snap that puppy.”
Your Take-Away for Today
Now that you know how Ken Jeong made it, what can you apply in your life from what he has done?
The story of Dr. Ken has really given me hope of another dimension. The saying that anything worth doing is worth doing well is a testimony that is summarized by the transition of Ken from a certified medical doctor to an actor. I now know and believe that success is not achieved by a modicum of effort, but by dint of hard work and determination.
I have also learned that the inability of any person to make a conclusive decision on the choice of his career is a pointer to failure of that person. Ken decided at once and left Michigan for Los Angeles, and it really brought the turning point in his life. Hence, I shall from now on, not hesitate to take vital decisions in my life career again.
Additionally, Ken did not once allow the obstacles he met along his path to discourage him from achieving his destination. This means that every success has a ‘black’ trace. Hence, regardless of my present status and the challenges at present, I shall be determined to continue on the path I loved most.
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