Comedian Ken Jeong will be the keynote speaker at Tulane’s 2022 Commencement.
One of today’s most sought after and popular comedians will return to New Orleans on May 21 to address Tulane University graduates Early 2022.
Ken Jeong, who honed his skills in New Orleans comedy clubs while doing research at Tulane’s School of Medicine in the 1990s, will be the keynote speaker at Tulane’s Commencement, which takes place at 9 a.m. at Yulman Stadium. The ceremony will be the first Tulane launch that all graduates have attended together, in person, since the pandemic began.
“There is often a debate about beginning speakers in college. For example, should the person chosen for this role be accomplished in one of the academic disciplines or should they be a well-known and beloved celebrity? In choosing the keynote speaker for Commencement 2022, we decided the answer was both. The fact that our pick also had a deep connection to New Orleans was a definite plus,” said Tulane President Michael Fitts.
Legions of fans know Jeong as Mr. Chow from The hangover franchise, Señor Chang from the critically acclaimed TV show “Community”, Wye Mun Goh from the hit film Crazy Rich Asians, and his own Netflix stand-up special “You Complete Me, Ho”, which earned him a nomination. at People’s Choice. For the past six seasons, Jeong has entertained millions of viewers as a judge on Emmy-nominated “The Masked Singer” and is host and executive producer of the popular “I Can See Your Voice.” He will also soon star in the highly anticipated Netflix series “The Pentaverate” by Mike Myers. Additionally, Jeong recently appeared in Will Arnett’s Netflix improv comedy series “Murderville.” He also appeared in Role models, Roll Along 2, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Half brothers, Pineapple Express, couple retreat, my spy and Tom and Jerry. Jeong also lent his voice to the Oscar nominee above the moonas well as Scooband My little Pony.
When not busy with another film or TV project, Jeong spends his free time volunteering with Standing 2 Cancer, a cause close to his heart. He was also outspoken about the rise in racism and hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Prior to his success in Hollywood, Jeong earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University (from which he also received an honorary degree in Humane Letters) and his MD from the University of North Carolina. He also did research in gastroenterology at Tulane University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Ochsner Medical Center, while also performing in local clubs. In 1995 he won the city’s Big Easy Laff Off. Encouraged by former NBC president Brandon Tartikoff and Improv founder Budd Friedman, who judged the contest, he traveled to Los Angeles.
While practicing medicine in Los Angeles, Jeong began performing regularly at the Improv and Laugh Factory and appeared on a number of television shows, including “The Office”, “Entourage” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. When he was cast as cantankerous Dr. Kuni in Judd Apatow’s knocked up, he solidified himself as a feature film actor. Later, art would imitate life as he created, wrote, produced and starred in ABC’s “Dr. Ken.”
“This year’s Tulane Commencement will be somewhat of a homecoming for our speaker,” Fitts said. “In addition to enjoying live jazz and all the other shows in New Orleans and the fun built into our unique celebration, I think Tulane’s cross-disciplinary educational approach will also appeal to Dr. Ken. The experiences of our students, who often double and even triple their majors in subjects as broad as neuroscience and dance or music and math, seem close to her “multidisciplinary” career path.