Yoo Jae-suk

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Yoo Jae-suk
20170819 haepitugedeo culgeungil(yujaeseog,eomhyeongyeong,igigwang (2).jpg
Yoo for Happy Together Season 3
Born (1972-08-14) August 14, 1972 (age 47)
Seoul, South Korea
Medium Stand-up, television
Nationality South Korean
Years active1991–present
Genres Observational, sketch, wit, parody, slapstick
Na Kyung-eun (announcer)(m. 2008)
Website www.fncent.com/YuJaeSeok/b/introduce/10867
Korean name
Revised Romanization Yu Jae-seok
McCune–Reischauer Yu Chae-sŏk

Yoo Jae-suk (Korean : 유재석; Hanja : 劉在錫; Korean pronunciation:  [jud͡ʑεsʌk̚] or [ju] [t͡ɕεsʌk̚] ; born on August 14, 1972), is a South Korean comedian, host and television personality currently signed to FNC Entertainment. He has hosted several variety television shows in South Korea, including Infinite Challenge , Running Man , and Happy Together . Known for his quick wit and appeal across a wide range of demographics, Yoo has established himself as one of Korea's top comedians and TV personalities. [1] [2]

Korean language Language spoken in Korea

The Korean language is an East Asian language spoken by about 77 million people. It is a member of the Koreanic language family and is the official and national language of both Koreas: North Korea and South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each country. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Jilin province, China. It is also spoken in parts of Sakhalin, Ukraine, and Central Asia.

Hanja Korean language characters of Chinese origin

Hanja is the Korean name for Chinese characters. More specifically, it refers to the Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation. Hanja-mal or Hanja-eo refers to words that can be written with Hanja, and hanmun refers to Classical Chinese writing, although "Hanja" is sometimes used loosely to encompass these other concepts. Because Hanja never underwent major reform, they are almost entirely identical to traditional Chinese and kyūjitai characters, though the stroke orders for some characters are slightly different. For example, the characters and are written as 敎 and 硏. Only a small number of Hanja characters are modified or unique to Korean. By contrast, many of the Chinese characters currently in use in Japan and Mainland China have been simplified, and contain fewer strokes than the corresponding Hanja characters.

Koreans people based in the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria

Koreans are an East Asian ethnic group native to Korea and southwestern Manchuria.


Early life and education

Born on August 14, 1972 in Seoul, South Korea, Yoo is the eldest of three siblings. He attended Seoul Institute of the Arts, but was unable to graduate due to his busy schedule as an up-and-coming comedian.

Seoul Special city in Seoul Capital Area, South Korea

Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Its capital, Seoul, is a major global city and half of South Korea's over 51 million people live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world.

Seoul Institute of the Arts South Korean arts university

Seoul Institute of the Arts (SeoulArts) is a South Korean arts university founded by Yoo Chi-Jin in 1962. The Ansan Campus was completed in February 2001 and is the designated centre of arts education, whilst the Namsan Campus is the center of art experience. SIA has 2400 students in 13 departments. It offers a three-year associate degree program as well as a four-year program for a bachelor's degree. The incumbent president of the university is Yoo Duk-Hyung.



Yoo's television debut was on the KBS Comedian Festival (for college students) in 1991, where he performed a parody of a commercial with Choi Seung-gyung. His dancing to a cover of the song "Step by Step" by New Kids on the Block was another early memorable moment. [1] In 2002, after nine years as a relatively unknown comedian, thanks to a recommendation by Choi Jin-sil, he hosted the program Live and Enjoy Together. [3] He then rose to prominence when he co-hosted a program called The Crash of MCs with Kang Ho-dong, Lee Hwi-jae, and Kim Han-seok.

Korean Broadcasting System South Korean public service broadcaster

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is the national public broadcaster of South Korea. It was founded in 1927, and operates radio, television, and online services, being one of the biggest South Korean television networks.

Step by Step (New Kids on the Block song) 1990 New Kids on the Block song

"Step by Step" is the biggest-selling hit single from New Kids on the Block. The lead vocals were sung by Jordan Knight. Danny Wood sang "Step 1", Donnie Wahlberg sang "Step 2", Jordan Knight sang "Step 3", Joey McIntyre sang "Step 4", and Jonathan Knight sang "Step 5."

New Kids on the Block American boy band

New Kids on the Block is an American boy band from Dorchester, Massachusetts. The band currently consists of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. New Kids on the Block enjoyed success in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have sold more than 80 million records worldwide. They won two American Music Awards in 1990 for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. The group disbanded in 1994, and reunited in 2007.

His first Grand Prize award was for the talk show Happy Together Friends . [4]

Mainstream recognition as "Nation's MC"


Yoo later hosted the show X-Man , which soon grew to be one of the most popular and highest rated shows in South Korea. During that time, Yoo became increasingly popular and many programs began to nickname him "the nation's MC". He went on to host various shows, including New X-Man, Old TV, and Haja! Go! (Let's Do It) for SBS, but these were all soon canceled due to low ratings on Sunday evenings. However, X-Man has found success in international syndication, and Yoo gained popularity among Korean Wave fans. [5]

<i>X-Man</i> (TV series) television program

X-man (Korean: X맨) was a popular South Korean game show which ran from November 8, 2003 to April 8, 2007 on SBS. Its popularity peaked from 2004 to 2006. It was hosted by Yoo Jae-suk, Kang Ho-dong, Kim Je-dong, with Kim being successively replaced by Gong Hyung-jin, Park Kyung-lim, and Lee Hyuk-jae; only the first two were on the program since its inception.

Seoul Broadcasting System South Korean television and radio network

Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) is a national South Korean television and radio network company. In March 2000, the company legally became known as SBS, changing its corporate name from Seoul Broadcasting System (서울방송). It has provided terrestrial digital TV service in the ATSC format since 2001, and T-DMB service since 2005. Its flagship terrestrial television station is Channel 6 for Digital and Cable.

The Korean Wave is the increase in global popularity of South Korean culture since the 1990s. First driven by the spread of K-dramas and K-pop across East, South and Southeast Asia during its initial stages, the Korean Wave evolved from a regional development into a global phenomenon, carried by the Internet and social media and the proliferation of K-pop music videos on YouTube. The term Hallyu was first used by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in South Korea in 1999, when the ministry produced a music CD titled in Chinese "Hallyu—Song From Korea". The term was adopted by Chinese media to refer to the success of South Korean popular culture in China. The term was reintroduced in Japan as hanryu or kanryu by the Asahi Shimbun in 2001.

Infinite Challenge

Yoo was a part of the cast of the top-rated comedy variety program Infinite Challenge . He had been the host-in-chief since 2005 and was one of the program's founding members.

<i>Infinite Challenge</i> Korean television entertainment program

Infinite Challenge is a South Korean television entertainment program, distributed and syndicated by MBC.

Despite low ratings during its premiere, the show went on to become one of the most popular and influential variety programs in Korea. Dubbed the "national variety show" in Korea, [6] Infinite Challenge became the forerunner of many programs that used a similar format. [7] Since December 2, 2006, the program has received the highest ratings of prime-time lineups for Saturday evening. [8]

Yoo revealed his love for the program during 1-on-1 talk with fellow co-host, Jeong Hyeong-don, on a "Pause" special (S04E300) that aired on October 20, 2012. He said, "I think my life on television and variety shows will be tied to the fate of Infinite Challenge... When will we ever get to do another program like this? No matter how hard you try, it's going to be impossible to do another show like this." [9]

Talk shows

Yoo also co-hosts Come to Play with Kim Won-hee [10] and Happy Together Season 3 . In particular, Happy Together is one of the longest running talk shows in Korea and has consistently earned high ratings. [11]

Good Sunday Variety Programs: Family Outing and Running Man

Yoo became the main host of Family Outing as part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup. Together with Lee Hyori, Yoon Jong-shin, Kim Su-ro, Lee Chun-hee, Kang Dae-sung, Park Ye-jin, and Kim Jong-kook (since episode 19), they made up the "family" (cast members) of the show. Family Outing became one of the top-rated shows in Korea, consistently achieving the highest ratings for the Sunday mid-afternoon time-slot, and it gained popularity among Hallyu fans. [12]

Since July 11, 2010, Yoo has hosted the urban action variety Running Man together with fellow Infinite Challenge member Haha, fellow Family Outing member Kim Jong-kook, other entertainers such as Ji Suk-jin, Leessang's Gary (who left since episode 324 to focus on his music career), Song Ji-hyo, Lee Kwang-soo, Song Joong-ki (who left since episode 41 to focus on his acting career), Lizzy of After School (who left for unknown reasons), Jeon So-min and Yang Se-chan (both joined since episode 346). Although the program did not have a good start in ratings, it later became very popular and has held a consistent international fanbase to this day. [13]

Other notable programs: Sugar Man and Busted!

From 2015 to 2016, Yoo hosted the program Two Yoo Project Sugar Man together with You Hee-yeol. The program focuses on current popular artists remaking hit songs from singers who have disappeared from the public eye. [14] The show returned again for a second season in 2018 with Yoo co-hosting alongside Yoo Hee-yeol, Joy (Red Velvet), and Park Na-rae. [15]

Yoo was scheduled to host Netflix's upcoming variety show, Busted! , which started airing on May 4, 2018. [16] [17]

Guest appearances and collaborations

In 2012, Yoo appeared in the music video for Psy's hit single "Gangnam Style". In the video, he reprises the retro disco dancing character he created for the mock-band "Sagging Snail" in Infinite Challenge's West Coast Highway Music Festival special, in which Psy also appeared. Following his appearance, Yoo became known worldwide as the "yellow suit guy". [18] He also appeared in Psy's follow-up single, "Gentleman". [19] In 2015, Yoo collaborated with JYP in 'Infinite Challenge. On July 15, 2015, Yoo signed an exclusive contract with FNC Entertainment after having been without an agency for about five years. [20]

In 2016, Yoo collaborated with EXO for the SM Station single "Dancing King", which was also a collaboration for Infinite Challenge. [21] He performed with them at EXO's EXO Planet #3 - EXO'rDIUM concert in Bangkok. [22]

In the media

Yoo has been dubbed "the nation's MC" for his broad appeal and popularity with a wide demographic of viewers. [1] He has consistently ranked as the top comedian in Korea, [23] topping the Gallup poll in 2009, and for six consecutive years since 2012. [24] [25] [26] [27] He is one of the highest paid television personalities in Korea, [28] [29] and one of the most in-demand endorsers. [30]

Known for his exemplary image, Yoo has consistently been picked as a role model by fellow entertainers, as well as the citizens of Korea. [31] He makes donations regularly to several causes, and has participated in philanthropic acts. [32] [33] [34]

Yoo is the first television host to have his own wax figure, currently displayed at the Grevin Seoul Museum. [35]

Personal life

On July 6, 2008, Yoo married MBC announcer, Na Kyung-eun, who worked with him on the show Infinite Challenge. [36] [37] Yoo and his wife welcomed their first child, a son, Yoo Ji-ho, on May 1, 2010. [38] [39] Their second child, a daughter, Yoo Na-eun was born on October 19, 2018. [40]


Television host

List of present programs
2010–present Running Man SBS Since 2010.07.11
2018–present Happy Together (Season 4) KBS2 Since 2018.10.11 [41]
2019–present You Quiz on the Block (Season 2) tvN Since 2019.4.16
Busted! (Season 2) Netflix
Hangout with Yoo MBC Since 2019.7.27 [42] [43]
Laborhood On HiretvNSince 2019.8.24 [44]
List of former programs
2000–2002 Achievable Saturday - Star Survival Donggeodongrak  [ ko ] MBC
2002 Joyful Super Sunday TV - MC Standby Cue  [ ko ] KBS2
! Exclamation Mark MBC
2002–2003Dangerous Invitation KBS
2003–2007 X-Man SBS
2004 Waving the Korean Flag
Healthy Men and Women
Yoo Jae-suk and Fullness of the Heart
2004–2012 Yoo Jae-suk and Kim Won-hee's Come to Play  [ ko ] MBC
2004–2018 Happy Together (Season 1-3) KBS2
2005–2007Yoo Jae-suk's Truth Game SBS
2005–2018 Infinite Challenge (Season 1-4) MBC
2007 Haja Go! (Let's Do It!) SBS
Old TV
2007–2008 Mission Impossible
2008–2010 Family Outing (Season 1)
2014 I Am a Man [45] KBS2
2015–2016 Same Bed, Different Dreams (Season 1) [46] SBS
2015–2018 Two Yoo Project Sugar Man (Season 1, 2) JTBC
2018 Busted! (Season 1) Netflix
You Quiz on the Block (Season 1) [47] tvN
2018–2019 Village Survival, the Eight (Season 1, 2) [48] SBS
Cool Kids [49] [50] JTBC


Yoo Jae-suk

Television drama

2000–2001Great Friends KBS
2005 Banjun Drama SBS
2008 Yi San Cameo MBC [51]
2009 Queen of Housewives Cameo
2015 The Girl Who Sees Smells Cameo with Running Man members SBS
My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol Cameo MBC [52] [53]


1989Young-gu and DaengchiliCameo [54]
1994Tyranno's Toenail
2007- 2008 Kimchi Cheese Smile Cameo
2008 Bee Movie (Korean dubbing as Barry B. Benson) [55]
2009 White Tuft, the Little Beaver (Korean dubbing as narrator & Owl) [56]

Music video appearances

YearSong TitleArtist
2004"Cause' You're Pretty" (이쁘니까)Shinnago
2005"Look Out the Window" Kang Ho-dong
2009"Let's Dance"Future Liger (with Tiger JK, Tasha)
2012"Room Nallari" (방구석 날라리)Sagging Snail (with Lee Juck)
"Gangnam Style" (강남스타일) Psy
2013 "Gentleman"
2014"Beep" Park Ji-yoon
2015"Tell Me One More Time" Jinusean
2016"Dancing King" EXO


2006"All You Need Is Love"with Infinite Challenge members
2007"If I Do It or Not" (하나마나송)with Noh Hong-chul
"Fascination of Samba" (삼바의 매력)SoloInfinite Challenge Song Festival
2009"The Family's Day" (패밀리의 하루)with Family Outing members
"Let's Dance"with Tiger JK, Tasha Infinite Challenge Olympic Road Duet Song Festival
2011"Apgujeong Nallari" (압구정 날라리)with Lee Juck Infinite Challenge West Coast Highway Music Festival
"As I Say" (말하는 대로)
2012"Room Nallari" (방구석 날라리) [57]
"Heat Stroked Seagull" (더위 먹은 갈매기)with Song Eun-yi, Kim Sook
2013"Please Don't Go My Girl"with You Hee-yeol, Kim Jo-hanInfinite Challenge Free Highway Music Festival
"Dance King" (댄스왕) [58] feat. You Hee-yeol
"Here We Are"with Infinite Challenge members
2015"I'm So Sexy"with Park Jin-young Infinite Challenge Yeongdong Expressway Music Festival
2016"Dancing King"with EXO SM Station
"Like" (처럼)with Dok2 feat. Lee Hi Infinite Challenge History × Hiphop special


1991Inaugural KBS College Student Gag CompetitionHonorable Award
2000 MBC Drama Awards Special Award in Television MC
Gyeongin Broadcasting and EntertainmentPopular Comedian Award
2002Book Publishing Promotion Book ReadingSpecial Award
20032nd KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in Television MC
3rd MBC Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in Show/Variety
2004 SBS Drama Awards Special Award in Television MC
20054th KBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)1st
200618th Korean Broadcasting Producer AwardsBest Television MC
42nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Male TV Personality
Blue MediaSpeech Award
6th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)2nd
20077th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) (with Infinite Challenge members)3rd
8th Korea Video CompetitionPhotogenic Award
Mobile Entertainment AwardsBest Television MC
20082nd Mnet 20's Choice Awards Variety Star of the Year
2nd SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)4th
1st Nickelodeon Korea Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Comedian
200921st Korean Broadcasting Producer AwardsBest Television MC
9th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)5th [59]
PD Award
3rd SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) (with Lee Hyori)6th [60]
Best Teamwork Award (for Family Outing )
2nd Nickelodeon Korea Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Comedian
20109th KBS Entertainment Awards Best Teamwork Award (for Happy Together 3 )
10th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)7th [61]
Korean Guardian Tree Award
4th SBS Entertainment Awards Best 10 Entertainers
3rd Nickelodeon Korea Kids' Choice AwardsFavourite Comedian
201111th MBC Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in a Variety Show
5th SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)8th [62]
4th Nickelodeon Korea Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Comedian
53rd National Rowing Championships 2000m NoviceEight Special Award (with Infinite Challenge members)
201212th MBC Entertainment Awards PD Award [10]
6th SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)9th [63]
Viewers' Favorite TV Personality
3rd Korean Popular Culture and Arts Award Prime Minister Award
5th Nickelodeon Korea Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Comedian [64]
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) for TV10th [65]
6th Nickelodeon Korea Kids Choice AwardsFavorite Comedian
12th KBS Entertainment Awards Eating Broadcast Award (for Happy Together 3 )
7th SBS Entertainment Awards Viewer's Choice Most Popular Entertainer Award
Viewer's Most Popular Award (with Running Man members)
201413th KBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)11th [66]
14th MBC Entertainment Awards 12th [67]
8th SBS Entertainment Awards Viewer's Choice Most Popular Entertainer Award
201515th MBC Entertainment Awards Achievement Award (with Infinite Challenge members)
9th SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) (with Kim Byung-man)13th [68]
Viewers' Favorite TV Personality
201615th KBS Entertainment Awards Best Teamwork Award (for Happy Together 3 )
16th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)14th [69]
InStyle KoreaEntertainer Star Icon (Male category)
20189th Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards Presidential Commendation [70]

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