[OP-ED] He's Back and Better Than Ever!
Danny Cho, July 26, 2016, 6 p.m.
Lee Soo Geun has been back on TV for a handful of months now and he is starting hit his stride. Lee Soo Geun took a 2 year (2013-2015) break after being charged with sports gambling online. He was under investigation with out Korean stars like Tak Jae Hoon, Tony Ahn, Andy Lee, and Boom.
Before his hiatus from variety shows, Lee Soo Geun was already one of the most popular comedians in Korea, especially with his work on ‘1 Night 2 Days.’ He was one of the masters of slapstick at the time. However, he was always in the supporting role backing up Kang Ho Dong on a multitude of these variety shows. He was slowly becoming one of the most sought after comedians on variety shows. Unfortunately, all that came to a crashing halt after his involvement in the gambling.
I was a bit worried when, I saw him come back briefly on ‘New Journey to the West’ on TVN. But he was being reunited with Kang Ho Dong, Eun Ji Won, and Lee Seung Gi, his old ‘1 Night 2 Days’, comrades. You can see on the show that Lee Su Geun was a bit rusty and just wasn’t the Lee Soo Geun of old.
When I heard that he will be one of the cast members for ‘Knowing Bros’, I was initially skeptical because scandals like the one he dealt with can definitely destroy a career. Fortunately, from the first episode, you see Lee Su Geun trying to incorporate his world class improvisation skills, but more importantly, he seems to be the one leading the the show. This is definitely an upgrade from his roles during his pre-gambling days. Even with Kang Ho Dong, sitting as the official leader of the group, you can tell that all the comedy is being run through Lee Soo Geun. He is the one that keeps the show going. But not just going, he is one of the main reasons, Knowing Bros is slowly becoming one of the most popular Korean Variety Shows.
Obviously, other factors come to play like the emergence of Kim Hee Chul and Min Kyung Hoon as true Korean Variety Show characters but I point to Lee Soo Geun for all the success of the show. If you look closely at the last few episodes, you can see that he is working hard not just to steer the show but also just the sheer amount of improv he adds to the show. There are moments when he can just clearly just take it easy but you can always count on Lee Soo Geun to make a nothing situation into the funniest part of the show.
To my knowledge, there aren’t any entertainment awards for cable stations but if there where, he would definitely win the grand prize for the year. It’s real good to see him back on TV making people laugh, but its amazing to see him strive. I can’t wait to see him team up with Tak Jae Hoon, in the next episode of ‘Knowing Bros’.