In this article, Channel-Korea will explain all about Korean entertainers who are expert variety show hosts, so stay tuned!

Kim Shin-young

Kim Shin-young debuted in 2003 as a comedienne on SBS’ GAG Concert. She gained attention from her comedy corner, called Brother, with another comedian, Park Tae-hyeon, in SBS’s People Looking For Laughter. Her funny combination with Park tae-hyeon earned them appearances in other TV shows. Her first debut in a Korea movie was as Cha Tae-hyun’s sister in the 2005 romantic movie My Girl and I. In 2007, she landed her first role as a host for MBC’s Infinite Girls, a female version of the popular show Infinite Challenge. Other than variety shows, she is actively working as a radio Dj and promoting the comedienne girl group Celeb Five. In early 2020, she’s hosting two music programs, tvN’s Music Conference (Good Festival) and KBS World’s We KPOP. In variety shows, she usually makes attacking comments to other cast members and makes fun of them. Her comments are reckless, leaving the person embarrassed but not humiliated. She is smart, and is the first to comment and to respond in various situations, which is very important in variety shows. She is also able to imitate famous people and make fun of them. Recently, she has become famous for her slimmer figure. She said that she followed a strict diet program and lost 30 kg. Her diet program became one of the most-searched topics in Korean search engines.

Yoo Jae-suk

Yoo Jae-suk is one of the most popular Korean TV personalities, if not the most popular TV host. His face is everywhere, and his name itself is a brand of success. Called by Koreans as the National MC, he’s hosted longtime popular TV shows. Yoo Jae-suk became only the second person to receive three awards from three major TV network. Currently, he is hosting Two Yoo Project Sugarman 3, Running Man, Happy Together, Busted!, How Do You Play, and Yoo Quiz on the Block. His is known for his wit, quick thinking, and down to earth character. In one of his programs, the urban variety show Running Man, he faced muscular singer Kim Jong-kok without any hesitation. Though he prefers to use his brain to overcome competitors, he never hesitates to be physical with larger people. When hosting TV programs, he also delivers the programs smoothly and fluidly. He makes jokes with guests or breaks the ice with funny comments. Probably his best asset in hosting TV programs is his knowledge of current events and popular subjects. When he hosts programs, he studies the entire guest list and memorized their names, so that he can catch the meaning of their answers and respond to their comments. Throughout his long career, Yoo Jae-suk has never gotten into trouble and never been involved in a scandal. Yoo Jae-suk debuted in 1991 at KBS’s University Gag Festival. He spent nine years as a mediocre comedian until he made his breakthrough. He was recommended by the late actress Choi Jin-sil to host Live and Enjoy Together. Yoo Jae-suk started gained popularity after co-hosting The Crash of MCs. His breakthrough arrived when he hosted the then-popular variety program, SBS’ X-Man.

Kang Ho-dong

  Kang Ho-dong started his career as a Korean traditional wrestler. He lost many matches during his early professional competitions. In 1989, he did a truly remarkable feat, which was defeating the legendary wrestler Lee Man-ki and winning the competition. He went on to win numerous traditional wrestling competitions. Kang Ho-dong retired from wrestling and debuted as a comedian and TV host in 1993. His mentor was senior TV host, Lee Kyung-kyu. Later, he became famous and hosted popular variety shows like X-Man and Love Letter. He became the first person to collect three major awards from three major TV stations in the same year. He went through difficult times in his career after a tax evasion scandal, though, he was cleared of charges due to insufficient evidence. His main character traits are competitiveness, charisma, and a masculine appearance. His way of delivering a show is rough, and he prefers activity-related variety shows. Kang Ho-dong is the most energetic person on set and performs as a big brother and boss. He is best suited to high-tension and full-action programs. In January 2020, Kang ho-dong hosts variety programs such as: Eye Contact, We Play, Voice Queen, and Lucky Man. His new variety show, Ho-dong and the Sea is scheduled to air on January 28th, 2020.

Shin Dong-yup

  Shin Dong-yup is a comedian and popular TV variety show host. He debuted in 1991 as a theater actor and debuted also as a comedian. He created his own greetings that became a popular catch phrase. At the peak of his popularity, in late 1999, he faced criminal charges for smoking and possessing marijuana, and was sentenced to a prison term. He returned to the entertainment industry in less than two years, though some Koreans thought that his reflection time was too short. Shin Dong-yup’s main characteristics are that he always comes up with sex-related responses or comments when interviewing his guests. He is the only variety show host that is associated with adult or sex-related topics. When he talks about normal things, his comments are thought to be connected with adult topics because of his naughty-pervert image. He appeared in the popular comedy show Saturday Night Live Korea, and his characters were always be normal guys with pervert looks or pervert guys with super-pervert looks. In another program, Hello Counselor, he shows his wisdom and thoughtful mind by giving suggestion or advice to solve family problems. Shin Dong-yup is among the busiest TV hosts, and he hosts many variety shows, each with completely different topics and themes, from animals, culinary, family, adult talks, and comedy. Most of his TV programs are long-running talk shows. In total, he’s hosted more than 100 variety shows throughout his career. He is considered as a pioneer in hosting the earliest variety shows. Among his currently airing programs are: SBS’ Animal Farm, KBS’ Hello Counselor, SBS’ My Ugly Duckling, and tvN’s Doremi Market. His upcoming TV programs are jTBC’s 7.7 Billion Love and tvN’s Finger Game.

Yoo Hui-yeol

  Yoo Hui-yeol is a variety show host whose work is mostly related with music. He graduated from Seoul National University, College of Music. He usually participated in composing and producing music for Korean singers. Other than music, he’s published his own books and worked as radio DJ. He participated in the idol survival show, K POP Star as member of the panel of judges. Currently he is hosting KBS2’s Yoo Hui-yeol’s Sketchbook, and jTBC’s Two Yoo’s Project Sugarman 3. His characteristics are that he is smart and calm. When singers appear and sing on his show, he sometimes accompanies them by playing an acoustic piano. Many times he was caught up in the moment and immersed in the guest singer’s performance. In the early days of IU’s debut as a singer, she appeared on Yoo Hui-yeol’s music program and sang while playing an acoustic guitar. Yoo Hui-yeol was visibly amazed by her performance, and couldn’t take his eyes of her. He didn’t realize that the camera had captured his amazed face.

Kim Byeong-man

  Kim Byeong-man grew up in a poor family. He helped gather money to support his family during his younger days by doing various physical labors. He debuted as a comedian on KBS’ Gag Concert in 2002. His most favorite corner in Gag Concert was 10 Second Master, in which he was challenged to complete a physical task within 10 minutes. He completed all the tasks without any difficulties, and amazed the viewers with his jack-of all-trades skills He hosts several outdoor-physical variety shows. The most famous program is the survival-documentary-outdoor program Law of the Jungle. In each episode, Kim Byeong-man and a group of celebrities travels to remote areas and lives there for a short period of time. They must find and catch their own food in order to survive, and build shacks to sleep in during their stay. As the leader, Kim Byeong-man almost singlehandedly does all the work, and he kindly teaches other participants the methods to survive in nature. Though he debuted as a comedian, Kim Byeong-man had cast off that image almost entirely. In recent days, he is more famous as an adventurer and survival master. He had hosted Law of the Jungle for almost a decade, and started his own adventure-themed YouTube channel.

Lee Soo-geun

  Lee Soo-geun started his career as a comedian for Gag Concert in 1999. He was cast as a comedian after performing an instant comedy corner with his comedian best friend, Kim Byeong-man. The producer was satisfied with their comedy corner and handed them a contract. Before debuting as a comedian, he worked as an instructor in a training center. Though he was contracted, Lee Soo-geun performed only in minor roles for several years. He found his breakthrough after performing as an awful singer in GAG Concert. Lee Soo-geun appeared in Happy Together, which marked his first appearance in a variety show. Lee Soo-geun gained attention after participating in the hit variety show 1 Day 2 Nights. In the past, he endured difficult times and was absent from TV programs for almost two years, due to a gambling scandal. Lee Soo Geun was famous as the hardest-working person in the entertainment industry. Just like his best friend, Kim Byeong-man, he has the skill and talent in physical activity. He speaks Chinese well and is accustomed in driving trucks and driving in right-steering wheel countries. Lee Soo-geun usually co-hosted TV programs with Kang Ho-dong. They appeared in various variety programs together, and became a favorite host duo. He became a viewer favorite due to his funny comments. In variety shows, it is important to understand the other host’s intention and respond with funny comments. Lee Soo-geun is the ace of popular programs like jTBC’s Knowing Bros.

Park Myung-soo

  Park Myung-soo dreamed of becoming a comedian since his childhood days. He was discovered as a comedian by participating in MBC public comedian audition. He gained attention as soon as he debuted by appearing in many variety shows. In his early career, his comedy style was mainly political satire. He gained popularity after appearing in the hit variety show Infinite Challenge. After his appearances in variety shows, he started working on other projects, in singing and becoming a DJ. Park Myung-soo’s hosting style is a bit outdated compared to current trends. He has limitations, in that he is incapable of leading and directing the flow of a TV program. Often times, he became distracted by making himself the center of attention with his jokes, and forgot about the main topic. He is deemed unsuitable in becoming leading host or becoming a one-man host. His TV show programs were usually cancelled or terminated after a few episodes. Park Myung-soo shines, however, if he is paired with Yoo Jae-suk or becomes the second host or supporting host in variety shows. He usually comes up with sarcastic comments and blunt remarks to guests. Viewers could easily mistake him for being rude person. Park Myung-soo is currently hosting South Korean Foreigners, Mister Trot, Rewind, and Wife’s Taste.

Lee Young-ja

Lee Young-ja is a comedienne and TV host. She debuted in 1991 after appearing in MBC’s Gag Concert. She was a popular program host for night performances before debuting as a comedian. Lee Young-ja was often called the Poop Lady for her hair unique hair style that resembles poop. Due to her famous hosting skill, she was often called MBC’s ace and best comedian. However, she always said that Shin Dong-yup was the best, while she is only the second best. At the peak of her popularity, she took a short hiatus and reappeared with a much slimmer body. She said that she went on a diet and she promoted the diet method for profit. However, a plastic surgeon revealed that she went through liposuction instead of a normal diet to reduce her weight. Due to the scandal, she was blocked from appearing in TV programs. Her program hosting style is blunt, reckless but charismatic, and interactive with audiences. She never hesitated to quarrel with audiences that ignored her. According to rumors, during her hosting job, she shouted at a drunken man who was 20 years older than her. She said “Little brother, can you see older sister is working? Pay attention”. Intimidated by her charisma, the drunken old man looked at her and acted as if nothing was happening. Currently, she is co-hosting the long-running variety show Hello Counselor with Shin Dong-yup. Other active programs are Omniscient Interfering View and Fun Restaurant.

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