Monday, March 25, 2013

Popular Variety Shows in South Korea

South Korea have a lot of variety shows that people, either local or internationally, can watch. Comedy is the genre that is most popular in South Korea. That's one of the reasons why including overseas viewers are interested in watching the country's variety shows. Here is the list of the top variety shows in South Korea:

*Note: The list is not arranged in any particular order.*

1. Running Man

Genre: Urban action variety, Comedy

Channel: SBS 

MCs:  Yu Jae-suk, Gary, Haha, Ji Suk Jin, Kim Jong Kook, Lee Kwang Su, Song Ji Hyo

Running Man  is a part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup. The MCs and guests complete missions in a landmark to win the race. The show includes weekly guest appearances including actors, actresses, idols and so on. It airs at 5pm KST. It's known for its amazing lineup of MCs and guests that will surely have the viewers watch it with excitement. The show has also garnered a number of awards and achievements.

Must See Episodes
  • Episode 33 where both teams race to track Oh Ji Ho throughout the city before he tries to leave the country via Incheon Airport.
  • Episode 39 where Girls' Generation fans should check out and witness how fierce their beloved Sunny and Yoona can be.

TRIVIA: Yoo Jae Suk is known as the "Nation's MC".

2.  Star King

Genre: Reality television, Comedy

Channel: SBS

MCs: Kang Ho Dong, Boom


This variety show is one of the longest running variety program that started in 2007.  On the official website, people put up surprising videos and stories. Also, in the television studio, people and animals with amazing talents come on. Then, the audiences vote for each person, video, and story. In the end, prize (money) is given to the one who have the most votes. Super Junior's Leeteuk was one of the MCs but due to military services, he left the show temporarily.

TRIVIA: Kang Ho Dong is one of the top MCs in South Korea.

3. Strong Heart

Genre: Variety, talk show, Comedy

Channel: SBS

MCs: Boom, Eunhyuk


About twenty guest stars tell emotional (strong) stories to make people cry or laugh. The best storyteller wins the show. Strong Heart gives viewers and fans a chance to look into the lives of stars by listening to their stories. Many stars come on the show and share stories about their hardships in debuting, strange experiences or some other funny situations that have occurred in their lives. Celebrities have also used their time on the show to try to clear up rumors. From time to time there are also less famous stars invited so that they can have a chance to share their stories. This is important as most of the time when these stories are told on Strong Heart, it is the first time they have ever been told.

TRIVIA: In 2011, the producer cast the ten active members of Super Junior, the first time an entire group was featured on the show. The two parts of the program were broadcast on August 16 and 30. Part one achieved a rating of 13.3%, an increase of 0.7% from the previous episode and the highest in the month

4. Hello Baby 

SHINee's Hello Baby Poster

Genre: Variety, Reality, Comedy

Channel: KBS

Hello Baby is a korean variety show that showcases celebrities acting as parents to children 5 years old and below. One of the show's purpose is to let celebrities know all about parenthood. The show have 7 seasons already. Girls' Generation, SHINee, T-Ara, Sistar & Leeteuk, MBLAQ, B1A4, and Boyfriend were the idol groups who were featured for each season in the show.

5.  We Got Married

Genre: Variety, Reality

Channel: MBC

We Got Married has 4 seasons in all. It shows the marriage life of assigned newlywed couples who are celebrities. The show is aired every Saturdays. The couples are given tasks and they are also interviewed to know how they feel as married individuals. One of the most popular couples in the show is the Khuntoria Couple (2PM's Nichkhun and f(x)'s Victoria). We Got Married fans usually combines the couples name just like the example stated. The show have regulations too that celebrities who auditions for the show are single and so on to prevent any conflict and controversies.

6. Shinhwa Broadcast

Genre: Variety, Comedy

Channel: jTBC (Cable)

Starring: Shinhwa Members (Eric, Minwoo, Hyesung, Andy, Junjin, Dongwan)

The show is hosted by Shinhwa members themselves and is aired weekly. For the time being, the show is on hiatus and will be back in April of 2013 with a new format. Shinhwa Broadcast is also a comeback for the group as one after they have all finished their mandatory military services.

TRIVIA: Shinhwa is the longest-running Korean boy band in existence. Shinhwa is still holding the record as they have not yet disbanded. In addition to becoming the longest-running boy band in South Korea, Shinhwa also holds the record for the only boy band to stay together for a decade and not lose members along the way nor add another one in. Just as well, Shinhwa is also the only group to ever has all its member branch out to do solo activities with the group still together. (AMAZING!)

7. Happy Together 

Genre: Variety, Comedy

Channel: KBS

MCs: Yu Jae-suk, Park Myung-su, Shin Bong-sun, Park Mi-Sun


 Happy Together is placed as one of the most popular variety show. It is also the longest running variety show which started in 2001. Up to date, the show had already 3 seasons.Boys wear blue and girls wear pink, possibly the only show that takes place in the locker room of a sauna. In this intimate and relaxed setting, your favorite Kpop idols engage in banter and games with Korea's top comedic MCs.

Must See Episode:
  • Episode 184 with f(x), TVXQ and SHINee's Onew in which Onew gives the host a run for their money.

8. Infinity Challenge

Genre: Comedy, Variety, Reality

Channel: MBC

MCs: Park Myeong-su, Jeong Jun-ha, No Hongchul, Jeong Hyeong-don, Ha Dong-hoon, Gil Seong-joon


"Try anything once" is this reality-variety show's thrust which pits a powerhouse of top MCs against weekly challenges. Funny skits pepper the show with the hosts' diverse style of comedy.

As of January 2013, it still has the largest market share for its timeslot; roughly between 13 to 17 percent of Korean television viewers watch Muhan Dojeon at 6:30 PM every Saturday night. This makes it the top free-to-air television program on Saturday evening, and also the most viewed non-drama program in South Korea every week (excluding special sporting events, since November 2006, with the exception of January 2009, April and May 2010

Must See Episode:
  • Episode 197 - Kara's Seungyeon is fearless.

*Running Man, We Got Married and others can be watched at kshownow *

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