Visit from Garvey renders Jeong speechless
Comedian meets Dodgers legend during appearance on "Express Written Consent"
Ken Jeong starred in arguably the bro-manc-iest of all bromance movies as the antihero in the "Hangover" trilogy, so it's probably only fitting that he was part of some serious man love during his recent foray into the wacky world of "Express Written Consent."
Hanging in the Klondike suite at Dodger Stadium with MLB.com's Jeremy Brisiel, Jeong -- also known as, for "Hangover" fans, Mr. Chow -- was happily chirping along about his background as a lifelong Dodgers fan when suddenly, without warning, he was left speechless.
As soon as he told J.B., "I grew up a Dodgers fan. I'm talking a Steve Garvey, [Tommy] Lasorda Dodgers fan. A Dodgers I-choose-Garvey-over-Reggie-Jackson Dodgers fan," he noticed someone had taken the seat right next to him.
Steve Garvey. Yes, that Steve Garvey.
Patting Jeong's head with an orange cloth napkin of some sort, Garvey told the comedian to "snap out of it" when Jeong declared that this awestruck moment had caused him to totally be taken out of his comedic element.
"This is the man," Jeong said. "I can't ... You can't ... I've got to be humble. He's the man. Honestly, this is a life highlight for me. I'm serious."
It's hard to envision any situation that would leave Jeong at a loss. After all, this is a guy who made a name for himself by playing a loud, rude, flamboyant, nutty international criminal who jumped out of trunks in various stages of dress -- and by "various stages" we mean naked -- while swinging a crowbar. (Side note: he told US Magazine that his wife approved of the scene, saying, "This will be the feel-good movie of the year. Every guy will go home feeling good about himself.")
But as fearless as Jeong comes off, he has his limitations, too, and a visit from Garvey, apparently, is where the threshold ends.
"I can't believe this is actually happening," Jeong said.
"If we win tonight, you have to come back tomorrow," Garvey answered.
Jeong's love for the Dodgers is somewhat random. He was born in Detroit but grew up in North Carolina, and without a local Major League Baseball team to root for, he had to pick a team located elsewhere.
"You're either going to gravitate toward East or West," Jeong said. "For some reason I just always kind of grew up loving L.A. sports. I can't even pinpoint why. It just happened."
Whether Jeong's love for L.A. sports led to possibly the most drastic career change in the history of career changes is not known, but he has to be pleased that his decision to chuck being a doctor and take on the unstable world of standup comedy led him to Hollywood, the hometown of his beloved Dodgers.
Jeong attended Duke University, and after graduating in 1990, received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina five years later. He finished his residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, where he began to develop himself as a comic.
He's a licensed physician in California, but it's highly unlikely he'll turn back to practicing medicine. Not when he can make people laugh as a risk-taking actor without much of a filter.
"I thought I'd first be a doctor and save some lives," he said, "and I'll get naked and jump out of a trunk or two and do some movies."
Now back to Garvey. Jeong watched with rapt attention as the Dodgers legend signed a new Dodgers jersey for him, which Jeong put on over the Dodgers jersey he was already wearing.
After Garvey left the suite, Jeong gathered himself a bit.
"I know I've been joking all night, but this kid is crying on the inside," he said. "Tears of joy. I can't believe that just happened. It's impossible to be cynical in this world when this just happened.
"That's what baseball is all about. That's why this is America's pastime. It is a field of dreams. It really is."