[OP-ED] Danny Oppa's Top 5 - Funniest non-comedians on variety shows

Danny Cho, July 12, 2016, 6 p.m.

Korean variety shows are usually hosted by comedians. Yoo Jae Suk, Kang Ho Dong, Kim Jun Ho, and Shin Dong Yup are all MCs on various variety shows, but there are plenty non-comedians that have been some of the funniest people on these programs. Here is my list of funniest non-comedians in Korean variety shows:

Lee Kwang Soo

Lee Kwang Soo is probably the funniest person on ‘Running Man’. Seriously, he will make you laugh on every episode. Sure, Yoo Jae Suk is definitely the ring leader of the bunch, but no one has consistently made me laugh on variety shows more than Lee Kwang Soo. Even when the episode is a dud, this dude always comes through with the funny. Here is the first time, Lee Kwang Soo made me laugh:

He started out as a model in 2007 and debuted as an actor in 2008. However, he really didn’t become a super star until he become a cast member of  ‘Running Man’ in 2010. Now he is loved all over the world and even earned the nickname “the Prince of Asia”. Now, he is doing it all, from movies to dramas, to even commercials. And even though I’m a hater, Lee Kwang Soo deserves all the popularity he is getting because that dude really is one funny dude.

Kim Hee Chul

Everyone knows Kim Hee Chul as the eclectic and free-spirited member of Super Junior. Personally, I never paid attention to him because I just don’t listen to KPOP like that. However, I started to pay attention to him because of his work on ‘Knowing Bros’. Yes, I am aware that he has been on variety show as far back as the ‘X-Man’ days but the current version of Kim Hee Chul is a character you haven’t seen on Korean variety shows. He has completely zero regard for the hierarchy that is set in place in Korean society. Typically, the younger members of any group should treat the elders with respect. Kim Hee Chul doesn’t seem to care about those matters. The way he trashes everyone on the show as well as guests is a sight to see. Kim Hee Chul is one of my new favorite characters. Who knows maybe I’ll become of fan of Super Junior.


Jessi has been on a ton of variety shows over the last years. At first, I wasn’t a fan. I was like, “Who does this girl think she is? You ain’t the bad bitch you claim to be.” That’s my knee-jerk reaction to anyone that seems to be putting on a façade. However, she has definitely grown on me. She seems like she has found her niche as the tough girl who has almost no filter. And after seeing her on ‘Real Men’ where she went through some military training, you get to see a bit more of who she is.

Currently, she is an integral part of the ‘Sisters, Slam Dunk’ crew.  She gels well with every one of the cast members, and her last appearance on ‘Knowing Bros’ actually made me spit out the Gatorade I was drinking. She aint just a tough chick rapper. She can be silly, girly, and overall a three dimensional character on these variety shows. The more she finds herself on these variety shows, the more popular she will become. She has come a long way from the Jessica H.O days in 2003. I hope to see her in a lot of variety shows, and this way she can push out more of her music as well.


HAHA is a veteran when it comes to Korean variety shows. A lot of people think he is a comedian, but he officially debuted in the entertainment business as a musician. His music career didn’t take off as he wanted but thankfully, he caught the attention of viewers on ‘X-Man’ in 2005. For all Korean variety show newbies, ‘X-Man’ is probably one of the most legendary shows of its time. From there, HAHA became an integral part of ‘Infinite Challenge’ and later ‘Running Man’. These shows are arguably the 2 biggest variety shows airing right now.

HAHA has mastered playing the childish character. He’s also known to backstab his cast mates on both ‘Running Man’ and ‘Infinite Challenge’. He even got Jung Joon Ha to audition for this year’s ‘Show Me the Money’. Using his short height to his advantage, he is one of the best at being an immature old man. He fits in seamlessly in every show that he is on. His childish bickering with Yoo Jae Suk on both ‘Running Man’ and ‘Infinite Challenge’ can be over-done at times, but he is involved in a handful of story lines on all the shows that he is on. He is highly underrated, but mark my words: He is a legend in this business.

Jun Hyun Moo

Jun Hyun Moo started his career as a news anchor. Traditionally, news anchors are known for being well-behaved and proper on screen, but I guess Jun Hyun Moo wasn’t too pleased with that role, so he quit his anchor position. Currently, Jun Hyun Moo is the MC on over 7 shows. He works so much that people on shows tell him to stop working so hard.

But for a dude to get this much work means that he is good at what he does. And Jun Hyun Moo is a solid host known for his cheeky character and his subtle jabs at people. Overall, he has this smart-ass character that you can’t help but love. He was one of the first anchors to leave the news field in Korea, and he has become one of the most sought-after hosts on Korean variety shows!

Which of these non-comedian variety show stars is your favorite?

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