Last year, the family’s cable provider asked us to upgrade to a digital set top box. Because it was for free (and because we were having trouble accessing channels such as sports), opted for the free digibox upgrade. Now, I was kinda excited since when I checked the channel list, we had KBS World, MBC, SBS, and tVN on the lineup. Little did I know that I had to pay an additional fee to be able to access those channels. After much thought, I decided to subscribe to the Korean Pack which our cable provider had, which included KBS World, tVN (now Channel M), MBN, and CTS, for only an additional Php 199/month. Decided on that pack since SBS and MBC did not have subtitles while KBS World and tVN do, plus I get access to MCountdown and Music Bank! I also got to watch Invincible Youth Season 2 (well at least the part of the season when they made it into Invincible Bed & Breakfast) and Gag Concert on Friday nights at 10:20 PM (Philippine time).
Now, my first exposure to Gag Concert was through YouTube when I wanted to look at parodies of KPop girl group songs, since they had a lot of those such as Girl’s Day’s ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ that was made into trot and Girls’ Generation’s ‘Gee’ to the tune of soldiers chanting (which apparently sounds like most fanboys fanchanting to Gee. Gee gee gee gee baby baby baby). But since I now had access to full episodes every week, I decided to give it a try.
Gag Concert is one of the longest running sketch comedy shows in South Korea. They’ve had over 700 episodes since they started broadcasting in September 1999. Now, i’ve noticed that unlike other sketch comedy TV shows such as NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ and our very own ‘Bubble Gang’, Gag Concert’s ‘corners’ or sketches do not change. What only changes are the situations in the sketch. Also, there would be times that they would be making references (such as riddles or sayings) that only Koreans would understand so it’s best to try to make context clues when these happen haha. For purposes of this blog post, I will be listing down my favorite sketches and provide a quick run-down of them.
Note: videos are not mine.
Discoveries of Life
Featured Players: Shin Bora, Song Jung Geun , Kim Gi Ri
Now, this is why I started watching Gag Concert because idols were a frequent part of this corner (as Shin Bora ‘ranted’ in Brave Guys, idols usually use the corner for promoting their new album/drama/variety show). The corner always starts off with Shin Bora and Song Jung Geun meeting in a restaurant, and after a few seconds of small talk, one of them asks to break up with the other. The third party arrives, with either Jung Geun or Bora (depending on who breaks up with whom) starts throwing off put downs to the guest. The guest usually plugs in his/her song or a famous catchphrase in his/her new show, Kim Gi Ri always telling the diners that they cannot do what they’re doing in the restaurant, hilarity ensues, then the corner always ends with Kim Jun Hyun coming out dressed as a friend of the guest.
What I like about this corner is that, yes, we get to see our idols strut their comedy stuff and how they stand up to the putdowns of Bora and Jung Geun. Shin Bora is an delight to watch in this segment.
Featured players: Hwang Hyeon Hui, Kim Gi Ri, Kim Ji Min, Park Jiseon
In this corner, Hwang Hyeon Hui plays a host that seeks to expose ‘uncomfortable truths’ from what we see everyday, most notably Korean Dramas and conversations with friends or mothers. Kim Ji Min and Kim Gi Ri will usually act out a scene usually found in KDramas and Hyeon Hui will present a more realistic (and funnier) version of that scene. After the KDrama Uncomfortable Truth, Hwang Hyeon Hui would move to the conversations with mothers, with Park Jiseon playing the ahjumma.
I really love this corner because if you’re like me who watches too much KDramas, Kim Gi Ri and Kim Ji Min are spot on in their acting! The situations, whether a presidential candidate falls in love with his aide, a younger man falling in love with his noona, or a pop star falling in love with a writer, are really what one could expect in a drama so it’s also funny to see the ‘realistic’ side of things!
Real Modern Dictionary
Featured Players: Lee Huigyeong, Park Yeongjin, Jeong Beomgyun, Yang Sangguk, Song Wangho
Now, Real Modern Dictionary is a new segment (appeared in at least 8 episodes or so), but it I had the biggest laughs because of it. In this corner, Lee Huigyeong and Park Yeongjin give a man and woman’s ‘real’ meaning of a word found in the dictionary such as ‘Christmas’, ‘Valentine’s Day’, or a ‘smartphone’. Yang Sangguk and Song Wangho then come out in the middle of the segment (while dancing), giving the ‘bad boy’ meaning of the word. Oh, and there are usual references to Park Jiseon and Oh Nami. Haha!
I absolutely love this segment. Whether you’re Filipino or Korean, you’d understand for example, how a single man interprets Valentine’s Day (which is coming up soon dammit).
The Female Comedians
Featured Players: Jeong Kyeongmi, Park Jiseon, Kim Yeonghui
The Female Comedians starts off as a press conference of three of the female comedians of Korea. They called a press conference to announce that they’ll be suing somebody, and goes on to recount why they’re suing that person, in the vein of stand up comedians. Before, it was Lee Huigyeong who was MC-ing the press conference, but after Jeong Kyeongmi got engaged (and had no more reason to ‘sue’ her boyfriend), she now does the MC-ing. Kim Yeonghui usually starts her tirade by saying that she’s not an ahjumma, but a beautiful 29 year old woman, and Park Jiseon starts hers off by saying that she does not think that she’s ugly. Recently, they began having guests take over the spot that Jeong Kyeongmi left (which she says is very lucky and other comedians who take the spot might be as lucky as her!)
Dignity of a Beggar
Featured Players: Heo Gyeonghwan, Kim Ji Min, Kim Yeonghui
The corner starts off with Kim Ji Min as a ‘straight man’ in the sketch manages to insult Kim Yeonghui’s beggar character by throwing a piece of garbage that Yeonghui has a use for (ex. rubber gloves as foot warmers). Heo Gyeonghwan’s ‘flowery beggar’ arrives to shoo Yeonghui off, then messes up whatever Ji Min has in plan when he tries to help. My take on this corner? If you’re curious, 500 won! Haha!