Running Man is an SBS Korean variety show airing every Sunday afternoon. Its first episode aired in 2010 and it is now the longest-running variety program in South Korea. It has gained popularity all across the Asian region and even beyond Asia. Singaporeans also pick Running Man as their number one favorite Korean program. Last 2014, five of the regular cast (Kim Jong-kook, Song Ji Hyo, Lee Kwang-soo, Haha, and Ji Suk-jin) visited Singapore as the last of their Asian leg in the Race Start Season 2 where they held fan meetings and press conferences. Get to know the reasons why Running Man attained tremendous popularity and remains to be the best:
The hilarious cast
It’s magic when you’re able to put all the right people into one group. The 6 Running Man members (Jae Suk, Kim Jong-kook, Song Ji Hyo, Kang Gary, Lee Kwang-soo, Haha, and Ji Suk-jin) are able to portray different personalities – looks like their real personalities, too – that complements each other and makes one hilarious group. It’s fun to watch the distinctness of their personalities and how they react to one another. It’s amusing when they throw banters and tease other members. It’s also heartwarming to see that the members have grown comfortable and close camaraderie with each other.
The scary commander Kim Jong-kook
As already mentioned, all the Running Man members have their own distinct personalities. That makes it easy for viewers to relate to at least one of the cast members. But there’s this one member who has stood out since the show’s first season. It’s Kim Jong-kook, fondly called as the Commander because of his physical prowess and sharp intellect. He’s also tagged as Mr. Capable because you can bet he’ll succeed in almost all challenges no matter the level of difficulty. But just like the biblical Samson, his weakness is pretty girls. It’s funny how everyone is scared of him. It’s also hilarious whenever the caption Sparta comes on every time he comes on screen during a chase.
The variety show is comprised of different challenges or games. Popular celebrities are often invited to the show. But the show can still be interesting without any guests. What’s so great about having guests, though, is the fact that the show gets to reveal a side in their celebrity guests that we often don’t see in them as celebrities, idols or Hallyu stars. Another cool thing is that the Running Man members are so competitive they play to win even against these popular guests.
The Monday couple Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary
A lot of viewers are crazy about the Monday couple Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary. They gave it this name because they shoot the program every Monday. The Running Man members only get to meet every Monday. They jokingly say that Song Ji Hyo and Kang Gary are only a couple on Mondays until the clock strikes twelve ushering in the next day. Obviously, the Monday couple has good chemistry. Fans want to believe they’re a real item even during the previous years when Song Ji Hyo had a boyfriend. They’re still fun to watch even when it’s only make-believe.