Ken Jeong has spoken about the “surreal” moment he helped an ill woman at one of his shows.
The comedy star, who is also a licensed physician, came to the aid of an audience member who suffered a seizure while he was onstage performing a gig in Phoenix, Arizona in May (18).
While Ken no longer practices medicine, he recalled during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which aired in the U.S. on Thursday (10Oct18), how useful his medical training was that night.
“At the beginning of my set, I do some crowd work like an Asian Don Rickles. Someone in the third row was like, ‘Mr. Chow, Mr. Chow’ and I’m like, ‘Calm down, I’ll insult you later, I’ll get to you,'” he said, referring to his The Hangover movie character Leslie Chow. “And she was like, ‘No someone passed out.’ I literally dropped the microphone, jumped off the stage and went to help the patient. It was so surreal, yet 550 people in Phoenix being quiet and helping out this one lady.”
Ken went on to explain that the woman was unconscious and had an absence seizure, also known as a “petit mal”, which causes people to lose awareness of their surroundings for a short time. At first, the star thought he may have to perform CPR, but a paramedic arrived quickly and the woman was “totally fine”.
“I’m thinking to myself as a physician, I may have to do CPR… You don’t have to do mouth to mouth anymore. You do it to the beat of (Bee Gees disco song) Stayin’ Alive. That’s a fact. 100 beats per minute. And I was thinking, am I going to have to Bee Gee this girl,” the 49-year-old commented.
During the chat, Ken spoke about what it was like to get back into the stand-up scene after a 10-year break and his upcoming Netflix comedy special, tentatively titled Ken Jeong: Full Circle. The show will reflect on how he went from being a doctor to a comedy superstar, and will open up about how his wife’s battle with breast cancer led to him to a role in 2009’s The Hangover.
“It was initially very scary, I started virtually from scratch. I had maybe five or 10 minutes and then over the course of eight months I just really grinded it out,” he said of his preparation. “I did a lot of clubs, a lot of improv… casinos, dinner theatres, backyards. I would do everything to try and get ready for it and by the time I shot it I was actually ready for it. It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.”