When people think about Harold and Kumar coming to life, they probably think about smoking tons of weed and meeting Neil Patrick Harris. But Kal Penn, who played Kumar in the stoner comedy series, saw his Kumar persona mistaken for reality by a very high (up) person — the Russian Ambassador to the UK. Using a still from Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay — in which Penn’s Kumar is pictured as a terrorist mocking an older female airline passenger — the diplomat attempted to illustrate a point about American involvement in the battle against the Islamic State. "U.S. threatens to stop helping Iraq against ISIL if Baghdad asks Russia for help. The terrorists must be rejoicing," the ambassador wrote in his tweet. (ISIL is less-used acronym for the Islamic State, which is commonly known as ISIS.)
Penn — who served as Barack Obama's Associate Director of Public Engagement after he became was a stoner icon — responded to the ambassador’s case of foot-in-mouth disease with humor. "The Russian Federation ambassador to the UK tweeted this Harold & Kumar pic with seriousness. I can't stop laughing," he tweeted, after retweeting the original. The Russians went on the defensive, saying that it was hard to find a picture of a terrorist laughing. Penn responded with a picture of Rocky IV villain Ivan Drago.
Who won? Probably all of us, spectating from a safe distance. But realistically, the Russians violated the cardinal rule of Hollywood hostage movies. They let the terrorists win.