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Saturday, April 11, 2015

[K-Variety Show Review] An Introduction to Gag Concert (GagCon 101)



I know it is too late to introduce the show that has been existed since sixteen years ago, but for my love for the show and for all of you who had not known about the show, I recommend you to immediately watch this, because Gag Concert is definitely the show you can’t miss.


As I googled, Gag Concert is KBS comedy show that began airing in September 1999 and the oldest comedy program in South Korea. The program concept is basically the same with Saturday Night Life (in US) or Sketsa (in Indonesia). It consists of 10 to 15 comedy sketches, or what they usually call as skit, per episode. The skit was played by a number of KBS comedians, which also recognized as Gagman and Gagwoman oro Gag Concert cast. These comedians have to pass a strict test before allow to perform on the show. From what I know, KBS every year open an audition or casting or test to search for the best comedian talent. Therefore, the comedians were divided into a number of classes. The recent class is the class of 2014 (29th class).

Loads of popular MCs or comedians were born in Gag Concert, the most prominent one is probably Korean National MC Yoo Jae Suk. Mr. Grasshopper started his early career as a member of 7th class (1991) gagman in KBS. His brilliant skills and perseverance have led him to the amazing stardom he has now. If you happen to watch one or two reality shows with Yoo Jae Suk and his fellow comedian as his partner or guest for the show, you probably wonder (like I was) the reason behind their close relationship, the reason was likely because they used to be colleague in Gag Concert as well as senior and junior in KBS comedian class.
 
To be honest, the comedian test was wowed me. It stressed that Korean always serious in everything they do. They even have the test for someone who wants to become a comedian, so being one is not easy. Some of them even have to take the test twice because they didn’t pass the first test.

Anyway, Gag Concert was nothing like too segmented joke or not universal comedy. As a foreigner, I understand the skit well and often laugh out loud when hearing out their comedy punch line or catchphrases, even though sometimes I find it hard to understand one or two storyline, but it rarely happened. Plus, I feel like my knowledge about Korean culture has been increasing after watching this show.

THE CURRENT SKITS (taken from Wikipedia):

Let It Be (2014.6.1 ~ present)
(Starring: Song Pilgeun, Park Eunyeong, Lee Dongyun, Noh Ujin)
Musical comedy; office workers sing about work and their concerns to the tune of The Beatles' Let It Be.

 Chicken High School (2014.6.29 ~ present)
(Starring: Song Jungeun, Lee Sangho, Lee Sangmin, Im Uil, Kim Junho, An Somi)
Playful comedy corner about forgetful chickens who are attending Half marinated, half fried class in Chicken High School. The corner starts with Cherry Filter's Flying Duck. Song Jungeun plays the homeroom teacher, Teacher Ticktock, and Kim Junho plays the school principal, Principal Cock-a-doodle-do. The students are Lee Sangho and Lee Sangmin the Two Chickens and Im Uil the Fire Chicken.

 Secretly Dating (2014.9.21 ~ present)
(Starring: Yang Sunil, Kim Kiyul, Park Bomi, Im Jonghyeok, Seo Taehun)
The title of the skit is a parody of 2013 action comedy movie Secretly, Greatly. The corner is about two detectives in violent crimes division who are secretly dating.

 10 Years Later (2014.10.5 ~ present)
(Starring: Heo Anna, Jeong Yunho, Oh Gihwan, Kim Hyeongi, Kwon Jaekwan)
A loan shark tries to bully the proprietress of a small business into paying back a loan, after turning up at her store every day for ten years, he becomes part of her and her son's lives.

 Crazy Love (2014.11.9 ~ present)
(Starring: Seo Taehun, Park Sungkwang, Park Jisun, Kim Nahee)
About crazy couple, Paul Anka's Crazy Love as signature song.

 Atomic Pride (2014.11.23 ~ present)
(Starring: Kim Kiyul, Yang Sunil, Jang Kiyoung, Hong Hwon, Lee Sanghun, Kim Huiwon, Jeong Haecheol)
About men's pride which women hate.

No Big Difference (2014.11.30 ~ present)
(Starring: Park Seongho, Lee Jonghun, Ryu Geunil, Kwak Beom, Kim Byeongseon)
Musical comedy, two things are compared, to which the conclusion is that there is no big difference between them, for instance, a politician speaking and a dog barking.

Comedians' World (2014.12.7 ~ present)
(Starring: Jeong Beomgyun, Ryu Geunji, Park Sora, Song Yeonggil, Kim Minkyung, Kim Jaewook, Heo Min)
Three skits within a skit, with the same material performed first by attractive comedians, then by big comedians, and finally by ambiguous comedians who try very hard to be funny.

I'm the King (2015.1.11 ~ present)
(Starring: Lee Munjae, Lee Sanghun, Jeong Seunghwan, Kim Seunghye, Park Sora)
A corner featuring scenes from Joseon dynasty, a king and his people.

First Timers (2015.1.18 ~ present)
(Starring: Yu Inseok, Kim Wonhyo, Song Jungeun, Hong Sunmok, Jang Hyoin)
About nervous employees running business for the first time and keep mixing up the words and getting them wrong. Yu Inseok as first timer waiter. Kim Wonhyo as a first timer chef. Song Jungeun as a first timer of owning a restaurant. Hong Sunmok as a first timer manager. Jang Hyoin as the customer.

R-Point (2015.1.18 ~ present)
(Starring: Lee Dongyun, Lee Sejin, Kim Janggun, Jeong Myeonghun, Lee Suji, Yoon Hanmin)
Parody of the famous Korean horror movie R-Point. About a platoon which is starting to go crazy after 134 days of isolation. Lee Dongyun and Lee Sejin as the only normal soldiers. Kim Janggun as a soldier who has going crazy. Jeong Myeonghun as an elite medical crew who can't remember things. Yoon Hanmin as a colonel who easily gives up. Lee Suji as a suspicious woman.

Stubborn (2015.1.25 ~ present)
(Starring: Song Pilgeun, Im Uil, Kim Kiri, Kim Taewon, Park Seongho, Lee Seongdong, Park Yeongjin)
About a tenant struggling from a stubborn building's security guard and the old men living around.

Last Health Boy (2015.2.1 ~ present)
(Starring: Lee Seungyun, Bok Hyungyu, Kim Suyeong, Lee Jonghun, Lee Changho)
The goal of this skit “project” is to help Kim Suyeong loss weight and reach a two digit weight by losing 70kg, and help Lee Changho gain weight and bulk up to 70kg. If this project failed Lee Seungyun will quit Gag Concert for a month.

I'm a Killer (2015.2.15 ~ present)
(Starring: Yu Minsang, Song Byeongcheol, Bok Hyungyu, Kim Jimin, Song Wangho, Namgung Gyeongho, Kwak Beom, Shin Yunseung)
About 7 killers who always fail in their mission.

Owls (2015.1.11 ~ 2015.3.15)
(Starring: Lee Sanggu, Lee Hyeseok, Jang Yunseok, Song Junseok, Kim Nahee)
Stories from the forest.

The Secret Life of Lee Chan (2015.3.8 ~ 2015.3.15)
(Starring: Lee Chan, Im Uil, Kim Yeonghui, Oh Nami, Park Jisun)
About Lee Chan, an employee that uses his imagination to revenge the arrogant Im Uil.


I'm So Sad (2014.11.2 ~ 2015.3.1)
(Starring: Kim Jiho, Kim Minkyung, Song Byeongcheol, Jeong Taeho)
Jeong Taeho who plays Sukja, Kim Jiho's aunt, tries to seduce her nephew's tutor, Song Byeongcheol.

REVIEW:

As much as I like the show, I often discover one or two skit I didn’t like, partly because the joke was not as funny as the other or there is no comedian I like in the skit. During my Gag Concert-watching-time I’ve idolized some of the comedians and try to never skip any of their skits.

My current favorite skits are Atomic Pride, I’m The King, Chicken High School, I’m a Killer, Comedian’s World, Secretly Dating, Stubborn and No Big Difference.


Atomic Pride
Lee Sanghun is killing me with his “One and two and three and four” catchphrase while Kim Kiyul is killing me with his gorgeous smile and overconfidence. I also love the guy with the atomic pride Yang Sunil. His catchphrase used to be about flying kick, but now he changed into the guy who will show up with crazy outfit.

I’m The King
Lee Sanghun (once again) is killing me in this skit. His role as the king’s guard Slippy always makes me laugh. His name is Slippy because his body was full of oil and what makes it funny is the way he said he is only 14 years old and has a baby face (by looking at his face you knew that he’s not a 14 year old boy). His catchphrase is also my favorite “Hmph! Tch~~”

Chicken High School
I love everything about this skit. The principal Kim Jun Ho is indeed a true comedian. He let his junior making fun of him every time in this skit.

I’m a Killer
This recent skit is also very funny. Love Yu Minsang’s expression when the killers was failed to kill him as well as Song Byungchul’s straight face when Minsang asks if someone was trying to kill him.

Comedian’s World
My favorite comedian couple in this skit is Ryu Genji and Park So Ra. Their exaggerate expression was very funny and sometime it is nice to see them doing some romantic scene.


Secretly Dating
The way Im Jeonghyeok laugh is killing me. He is indeed a one annoying colleague. But the office will be dull without his presence.

Stubborn
I’ve already fell for this skit since its first appearance. The angel of deaths is the one that killing me as well as Kim Giri harabuchi constant meddling.

No Big Difference
Even though I don’t really like Park Seongho, I still like this skit. Mostly because he done something like Kim Jun Ho in Chicken High School, which is letting his junior making fun of him.

My previous favorite skits are Madam Jeong, Legends of Legends, Forever Alone, Late Love, The King of Ratings, Strongest Mentality, God of Hip Hop, and Dumb & Dumber Show. Kind of sad when those skits were ended.


REASONS TO WATCH GAGCON:

The show has a number of wow factors. The number one wow factor is definitely the creative concept and fresh idea of each skit which successfully entertain its viewers at home as well as at studio. The second factor is the surprise celebrity guest. As the viewers of Gag Concert I often find myself surprised with the sudden appearance of Korean and International celebrities. Among them are 2PM and Miranda Kerr. The celebrities will involve and take a surprise role in one skit.


Aside from getting a laugh treatment, you can also get an eye treatment by watching Gag Concert. Few of Gagmen are good looking, while some of the Gagwomen are pretty as well. My current favorite Gagmen are Lee Sanghun, the twins Lee Sangmin & Lee Sangho, Kim Sungwon, Song Byungchul, Yoo Minsang, Park Sungkwang, Jeong Taeho, Ryu Genji, Kim Daesung, Kim Giri, Kim Kiyul and Kim Junho. Meanwhile my current favorite Gagwomen are Kim Younghee, Park So Ra, and Kim Minkyung.

On the gossip side, there are some Gagmen and Gagwomen who develop feelings for each other. Some of them even got married. The recent Gagmen-Gagwomen couple is comedian from Class of 2010 (25th class) Kim Giri and Shin Bora. This couple gains a lot of popularity and interest because people used to think that Kim Giri will develop feeling for his sunbae Kim Ji Min, in which he paired with in one of GagCon's skits. But (from what I saw in Happy Together), Kim Giri seemed to like Bora more. His way of showing his love for Bora was uniquely sweet. He like to hold Bora’s hands when she passed her ~ ahh the lucky Shin Pulip (Bora’s name in Legends of Legends skit).
 
Last but not least, the reason to watch GagCon is certainly to wave goodbye to your stressful life and laugh your trouble away. If you’re working right now, the Let It Be skit is probably the best skit to watch. As an employee, I always watch this skit to receive a fighting-spirit.


You can also stroll along this tumblr >> http://gagconcert.tumblr.com/ << to read recent update on Gag Concert, Gagmen and Gagwomen.

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