Danny Leiner, director of 'Harold & Kumar,' dies at 57

Danny Leiner


Stoner-comedy legend Danny Leiner passed on Friday due to a lifelong illness. He was 57 years old.

Leiner is best known for directing Dude, Where’s My Car? in 2000, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle in 2004, The Great New Wonderful in 2005 and Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach in 2009.

He also directed numerous TV episodes for shows such as The Office, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested DevelopmentHow to Make It in America, The Sopranos, Backwash and many, many more.

John Cho and Kal Penn, the two leads of Harold & Kumar, took to Twitter to praise Leiner for all that he had done for their careers.

“I am so saddened to hear about the passing of Danny Leiner, who became my friend when he directed Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle,” Cho wrote. “Danny was so sharp, so funny, and a great dinner companion. To his friends and family, my deepest condolences.”

“Very sad to learn that our friend Danny Leiner passed away,” Penn added. “We initially got to know each other when he directed Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. Sending my love to his family & friends. He was such a funny, thoughtful, encouraging person.”

Leiner’s longtime producer Ross Putman also expressed his condolences through Facebook.

“He refused to let us settle for anything less than our best,” he said. “He pushed us to do what he knew we were capable of. Danny the person was sardonic, sharp and savvy, with a love for culture and comedy of all kinds. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but the world has lost a good one.”

Today I found out that my friend and collaborator Danny Leiner passed away after a long illness. Danny was one of the...

Posted by Ross Putman on Friday, October 19, 2018

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle eventually wound up spawning two sequels. Danny Leiner’s last credited work as an episode of ABC’s Selfie, which saw him reunite with Cho.


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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.

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