Annyeong Oppa Feature Variety Show

[UPDATED] 9 Must watch Korean Variety Shows for Starters

Watching Korean variety shows can be your good source of laughter especially if you want to take a break from watching K-Dramas or if you just want to escape from real-life dramas.

If you are having a rough day because you have finished all the K-Dramas you plan to watch and you want to explore more Korean TV shows, then you have come to the right place. I will introduce you to the world of Korean Variety shows!

The tears you’ve spent watching painful Korean drama episodes? Let’s replace it with non-stop laughter and giggling from hilarious segments and pranks these variety shows can offer!

Ease the pain with Korean Variety!

If you still cannot move on from your latest K-drama series, or you just want something to cheer you up, got you bes! Refer to these variety programs that you can watch at your own convenience!

1. New Journey to The West (TVN)

New Journey to the West 8 (2020)|Korean Variety

The show set-up: The members usally travel abroad and are given with ‘missions’ or ‘games’ that can help them earn a ‘dragon ball’. The ‘dragon ball’ can grant wishes for those who can collect them once the show is done. If one of the members failed with their mission, the show will be cut-off and the whole season is finished.

Cast: Kang Ho-dong, SECHKIES’ Eun Ji-won, Lee Soo-geun, Ahn Jae-hyun, WINNER’s Song Mino, and BLOCK B.’s P.O

Former Cast: Lee Seung-gi, Ahn Jae Hyun

Episode count: 52 (combined episodes since Season 1-8)

The hilarious whisper challenge between Mino and P.O belongs to this show. You can also watch it below:

2. Knowing Brothers / Men On A Mission (JTBC)

Knowing Brothers' to have a 3-week special for the 'Mister Trot' top 7 |  allkpop

The show set-up: Special guests (most of the time Kpop idols or actors) are invited on the show’s classroom set up where the hosts act as investigators who determine whether the guests are accepted in the class or not. On the first part, the guests introduce themselves and usually tell funny anecdotes for the hosts to guess. While the second part of the show is a short skit or drama skit for the episode’s storyline.

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Current Cast: Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, Kim Young-cheul, Seo Jang-hoon, Super Junior’s Kim Heechul, Buzz’s Min Kyung-hoon, and Roo’ra’s Lee Sang-min

Former: Hwang Chi-yeul and Kim Se-hwang

Episode Count: 162 and ongoing

Check out this clip where IU visited the classroom with Lee Joon Gi:

3. The Return of Superman (KBS)

show poster from aminoapps

The show set-up: Celebrity fathers get to spend 48 hours alone with their kids while their wives can enjoy their personal alone time. Fathers usually have a checklist or plan on what they would do for the next two days without their partners. In this show, we can see on how celebrity dads teach their adorable children as they grow up!

Current Casts: Park Joo-ho with Naeun, Gunhoo, and Jinwoo; Yoon Sang-hyun with Nagyeom, Naeon, and Heesung; and Sayuri Fujita with son Zen

Former: There are too many to mention and here are some of the well-loved children: Lee Hwijae’s twins – Seoeon and Seojun; Song Il-gook’s triplets — Daehan, Minguk, and Manse; Epik High Tablo’s daughter – Haru; and Choo Sung-hoon’s daughter Sarang, Lee Dong-gook with two sets of twins — Jaesi, Jaea, Seola, Sua and Sian; Ko Jiyong with son, Sungjae; The most recent family to leave the show were Kang Gary and son Ha O; announcer Do Kyung Kwan and children Yeonwoo and Hayoung; and Sam Hammington with sons William and Bentley.

Episode Count: 360 and ongoing

Here is a little throwback preview when EXO’s Kai and Chanyeol visited Naeun and Gunhoo for a Christmas episode back in 2018:

4. The Great Escape (TVN)

The show set-up: The cast are trapped inside an escape room and they have to find the way out. They will get to uncover different stories and shocking twists with the different clues, riddles, and games they encounter.

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Current Cast: Kang Ho-dong, Kim Jong-min, Yoo Byung-jae, Super Junior’s Shindong, Kim Dong-Hyun and BLOCK B’s P.O

Episode Count: 3 Seasons, 39 episodes combined, 1 special

Meanwhile you can look at this video when MMA fighter Kim Dong-hyun was surprised to see something in one of their escape rooms!

5. I Live Alone / Home Alone (MBC)

I Live Alone Korean Variety

The show set-up: The celebrity hosts show to everyone a peek on what usually happens in their everyday lives from handling schedules, doing fan meetings, and hanging out with a fellow celebrity friend. It shows the lives of Korean celebrities who are living on their own.

Current Cast: Kian84, Park Narae, Sung Hoon, Hwasa, SHINEE’s Key, Jung Hyun Moo

Take a look when MAMAMOO’s Hwasa had a mukbang battle with Sung Hoon:

6. 2 Days & 1 Night (KBS)

3 Things To Watch For As “2 Days & 1 Night” Returns With Season 4 | Soompi

The show set-up: A group of Korean male stars explores and promotes different places in Korea. They are faced with different missions to be able to eat and sleep indoors. Every game missions has a twist as well as to whoever will have to sleep uncomfortable outside!

Casts: Yeon Jung Hoon, VIXX’s Ravi, Din Din, Moon Se Yoon, and Kim Jong Min

Former: The show has continuously changed its casting per season changes, here are some of the former members: Cha Tae Hyun, Deffcon, Yoon Shi Yoon, Kim Jun Ho, Lee Seung Gi, Kang Ho Dong, Eun Ji Won, and Kim Seon Ho

Episode Count: 631-ongoing (combined episodes since Season 1)

Check out one of the most hilarious game for Season 4, as everyone should not sleep!

7. Busted! (Netflix)

Busted!' Season 2 Coming to Netflix in November 2019 - What's on Netflix

The show set-up: The casts are high-skilled detectives wherein they meet new clients to help them solve cases. Various cases appears and sometimes, some of the cases are connected with each other. The detectives are faced with different thief or offender to catch and is on a quest to apprehend the people who did something bad. Different missions as well as surprises also awaits the detectives.

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Casts: Yoo Jae Suk, Kim Jong Min, Lee Kwang Soo, Lee Seung Gi, Park Min Young, EXO’s Sehun, and Kim Se Jeong

Former: Ahn Jae Hyuk

Episode Count: 28 (combined episodes from season 1-3)

Watch Season’s 3 Trailer here:

8. All the Butlers / Master in the House (SBS)

Korean Variety Master in the House

The show set-up: The casts (butlers) will be visiting a master through the help or hint of the master’s friend. Masters are often showed as popular figures in various field in the Korean industry. Afterwards, the butlers will stay for a day or two with the master with a hope of learning something new from them.

Casts: Lee Seung Gi, Yang Se Hyun, Kim Do Hyun, and Yoo Su Bin

Former: Lee Sang Yoon, Yook Sung Jae, Shin Sung Rok, and Cha Eun Woo

Episode Count: 162-ongoing

9. Running Man (SBS)

Korean  Variety Running  Man

The show set-up: Running man is one of the oldest running variety show program in Korea and it has been running for more than 10 years. The show is always a race against each member. In some cases, members are paired with each other or with their celebrity guest(s) to finish a mission. The losing team or member gets punishment, and even the celebrity guests are not spared!

Current Cast: Yoo Jae-Suk, Ji Seok-jin, Kim Jong-kook, Haha, Song Ji-hyo, Yang Se-chan and Jeon Seo-min

Former: Kang Gary, Song Joong-ki, and Lee Kwang Soo

Episode Count: 500-ongoing

Running Man recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary. For their 9th anniversary, they held a fan-meeting in Korea here’s a sneak peek for their dance performance:

Wondering where you can watch them? We got you bes! You can visit some of the streaming sites where you can watch them for free!

Updated: 03/6/2021

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