Bobby Lee is a comedian, actor, and writer of Korean heritage. He and his wife Khalyla Kunh host TigerBelly, a weekly podcast that dives into Asian American issues and the Lee’s experiences in Hollywood.
Bobby Lee’s acting career began when the coffee shop he worked for closed. On a whim, he decided to find work next door at The Comedy Story, a LA comedy club. Lee worked amateur nights to hone his craft. He discovered that his talents were better suited to the stage than to his family business. Eventually, Lee landed gigs opening for both Carlos Mencia and Pauly Shore.
Bobby Lee is considered a legend in comedy and television. Lee is famous for his work as MadTV’s only Asian cast member (2001-2009). Initially, Lee’s family was unsupportive of his comedy career; however, they later appeared in several MadTV episodes alongside him. Besides MadTV, Lee is known for his roles as Kenneth Park in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) and as Mr. Lao in Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator (2012). More recently, Lee co-starred with Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson in Emily Kapnek’s Splitting Up Together (2018-2019) on ABC, which was cancelled after its second season.
As a teenager, Lee struggled with substance abuse. After achieving sobriety, he later had a relapse following an argument with a MadTV producer which resulted in Lee’s termination from the show. During this difficult time, Lee was supported by co-executive producer and writer Lauren Dombrowski, who advocated for Lee when he was fired.
Currently, Lee hosts the TigerBelly video podcast with his wife, Khalyla Kunh. In this podcast series, Lee shares his experiences as an Asian American working in comedy and Hollywood. In a controversial episode, Margaret Cho shared a story about an exchange between herself Tilda Swinton regarding Swinton’s upcoming role as The Ancient One, a Tibetan character from Doctor Strange. To discuss these issues, Lee and Kunh are joined by producer George Kimmel, producer for Maker Studios, and audio technician, Gilbert Galon, who often weigh in on screen. In a segment known as Unhelpful Advice, the cast answer questions submitted by listeners. On occasion, Lee tops off an episode with an MMA minute, in which he catches fans up on the UFC.
Lee is featured in countless podcasts. Some of his notable appearances were on the Comedy Store Podcast (2017) and Brady Bogen’s Chewing the Fat with Brady (2019). He previously guest starred on The Jay Leno Show (2002) and later on the Joe Rogan Experience (2011).