(Photo : SME/BigHit/JYPE)
Korean variety shows are a form of television entertainment in South Korea. Variety shows were developed in 19th century Europe and the United States and adapted from stage to television in the 20th century. In the late 20th and 21st centuries, variety shows decreased in popularity in Europe and the US.
The variety show format was exported to Asia from Europe and the United States and became popular in South Korea. Variety shows are currently a major part of television entertainment in South Korea. They are usually composed of various stunts, performances, skits, quizzes, comedy acts, etc. Popular celebrities and K-Pop idols also feature on Korean variety shows.
Korean television has broadcast music-oriented programs and performances since the creation of broadcast stations in the early 1960s. These music programs involve singing, dancing, playing instruments, and other forms of artistry, usually as part of a competition or talent show. One such program is KBS1’s National Singing Contest, which has aired since 1980, making it Korea’s longest-running television program.
In the early and mid-2010s, styles of variety show favored “love variety” and “audition” formats. Unlike the aggressive and scripted style of previous shows, many programs invoked human elements and emotions, although there were controversies over the legitimacy of the supposedly unscripted events.
This type of Korean variety show gained popularity because “it strikes chords in both human instinct and happiness and is not just a simple ‘entertainer personal show,’ which is considered to be the limit of existing confrontation entertainment, by adding various fun factors centering on the psychological changes of entertainers and ordinary people.”
Over time, idols have appeared more and more on variety shows, and many shows have been formatted based solely on these idols such as Weekly Idol, Knowing Brothers, and more.
Here are some idols that are considered some of the most fun and entertaining guests to have on shows.
1. SEVENTEEN SEUNGKWAN
Seungkwan’s personality is bright and friendly, and he is an overall extrovert, which helps him brighten up any crowd, especially in variety shows. He’s often referred to as one of the funniest idols to go on variety shows.
2. SUPER JUNIOR HEECHUL
Heechul is already a variety superstar, and that’s because he’s such a delight to have as a guest on any show whatsoever. No matter who he’s with or what he’s talking about, he can liven up the room and make it entertaining.
3. Got7 JACKSON
Jackson has a great sense of various content, and his magical friendly aura makes everyone warm up to him. As a result, he’s able to help other shy idols and guests open up as well, making the experience that much better for all involved.
4. HENRY LAO
This violin maestro has been a variety staple for years now, and that is all thanks to his witty and humble nature. Anyone would love to be around him, and he can include everyone, making them comfortable. This makes him a great addition to variety shows.
5. BTS JIN
Jin is super entertaining even when he’s alone doing his V-Lives. That energy and humor are only escalated when he’s surrounded by people. He’s very well known for exaggerating his personality to make others feel comfortable and open up. Even during interviews with BTS, Jin tries to ease up space for others to talk openly and without shyness. Having Jin on a variety show is simply a blessing and an absolute treat to watch.
6. EXO BAEKHYUN
Baekhyun has appeared on several variety shows over the years, and fans have unanimously agreed that he’s one of the funniest guests to have around. His witty remarks and presence of mind make for a new experience every time, and it can never get boring.
Besides these idols, TWICE’s Dahyun, EXID’s Hani, SHINee’s Key, and MONSTA X’s Jooheon are also incredibly entertaining, and fans love it whenever they appear on variety shows.
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