By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — His face is a familiar one on television — once on the medical series “House” and more recently the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

But Kal Penn is better known — especially to younger fans — as “Kumar” in the popular “Harold and Kumar” movie series.

But as KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano learned in a recent sit-down interview, Penn is not exactly the typical Hollywood actor.

“I think it’s because I’m a huge dork,” Penn says.

That’s debatable. Like many Hollywood types, Penn has a political interest, but unlike most actors, he actually took a leave of absence to work for President Obama at the White House.

“If there’s an opportunity to serve your country, I couldn’t imagine saying no.”

No surprise, Penn’s role was outreach to young Americans, where he had the chance to “work on things like health care reform, student aid and student loans, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, bringing our friends home from Iraq, and it was just an incredible two years that I loved very much.”

He’s now back on TV and film — and on the campaign trail — in Pittsburgh and other must-win states.

“The focus is really to engage young voters — explain what the stakes are in the election.”

Penn hopes young people will see the contrast between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney — knowing it’s nothing like his famous movie scene smoking weed at Camp David with President Bush.

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