With some actors, you can’t imagine them doing anything else. But with Ken Jeong it’s fairly easy. In Jeong’s first credited screen role in 1997, he played a doctor. When he got his first major movie part a decade later (in 2007’s Knocked Up), he also played a doctor.
If Jeong seemed convincing in the part, you shouldn’t be surprised. He went to medical school at UNC and was a practicing physician before he became a full-time actor. In fact, one of the reasons he went over the top in The Hangover (2009) was because Jeong didn’t want to be typecast in doctor parts.
“I’d rather be typecast as a crazy guy,” he said about his role in the raucous trilogy from Todd Phillips. Some 10 years after he caused a sensation in those Hangover movies, Jeong is a fixture as a comedian and actor in film comedies.
And he’s gotten to the point where he can bounce from his own show (Dr. Ken) to blockbuster films like Crazy Rich Asians and appearances on The Masked Singer.
From $5 million for ‘Hangover 3’ to Jeong’s own ABC show
Though he got his first big break in Knocked Up, Jeong’s performance in The Hangover was without the game-changer in his career. “From the moment I jumped out naked from that trunk,” says Jeong, “everything just changed.”
Though he’d been struggling as a stand-up comedian only a few years earlier, landing the role of Leslie Chow spelled high-paying film roles in his future. For Hangover 3, (2013) Jeong hit his career high to that point with a $5 million payday.
But by then he’d already been a regular on NBC’s Community (2009-15) and appeared in Transformers: Dark of the Moon movie by the time the third Hangover made it to theaters. And Jeong hasn’t slowed down since. Dr. Ken, the series he created and starred in for ABC, ran two seasons (2015-17).
If that weren’t enough work, Jeong has steady done voice work in projects such as Despicable Me 2 and Bob’s Burgers.
Jeong’s net worth estimated at $15-25 million
In 2019, Jeong’s had one of his busiest years to date. Besides appearing in the big-budget Avengers: Endgame, he’s also completed several films slated for a 2020 release. That comes in addition to his work in commercials and current celebrity-judge gig on The Masked Singer.
When Celebrity Net Worth crunched the numbers on Jeong about five years ago, the outlet pegged his fortune at $14 million. Since then, Jeong’s blockbuster film work, ABC show, and Netflix special (and a few dozen other credits) among likely pushed that figure much, much higher.
Heading into 2020, Jeong’s net worth almost certainly exceeds $20 million. Given the steady stream of work and Jeong’s seemingly boundless energy, there’s little chance his career will hit a rough patch anytime soon. And if it does, he could always fall back on that doctor career.
Also see: How Mike Tyson Ended Up in ‘The Hangover’ Movies
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