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ANNYEONG OPPA FEATURE KSHOW

Knowing the Brothers: A Guide to the Cast Members of “Knowing Brothers”

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Currently enjoying an average weekly viewership rating of 5 – 6 %, considered high for a cable channel, 아는 형님 internationally known as “Men on a Mission” or ” Ask us Anything” was able to save itself from shutting down and being a total failure. The show managed to soar with popularity not only locally but also in the international variety scene and is currently at the forefront of variety programs in South Korea.

The show has become a major stopover for idol groups making a comeback and celebrities promoting their new dramas and movies so many might have stumbled upon an episode clip of one of their favorite artists guesting on the show and found the show entertaining so they decided to watch more.

For the newbie fans of the show, you can start watching its Top 10 Highest Rated Episode to Date and discover why it is currently loved by many.

The current success of the show can be mainly attributed to their successful unique format and the perfect chemistry of its current cast members. On this feature, let us focus on these cast members and discover their roles in the show and know why each one of them makes the program a great variety show.

Kang Hodong

Kang Hodong is a veteran television host and comedian in South Korea that rivals Yoo Jaesuk with the “National MC” title. He hosted many legendary variety shows such as X-Man, Star King, Strong Heart, New Kids on the Block and many more. He became the first comedian to win a Daesang in the Television category of Baeksang Arts Awards.

In 2011, he decided to take a temporary retirement from public television because of his rumors of tax evasion that later turned out to be untrue. The next year, he announced his comeback to the industry under SM C&C but it was not as easy as he had expected. His programs after his comeback didn’t became successful and in 2015, Knowing Brothers almost suffered the same fate.

It is safe to assume that Knowing Brothers became Hodong’s rebirth in the entertainment industry. As soon as the program took off, Hodong’s new shows followed. This includes New Journey to the West, Let’s Eat Dinner Together, Kang’s Kitchen. Currently, he has re-established himself as a “National MC” candidate.

On his role on the show, he is considered as the show’s “Center”. In every episode he serves as the anchor for the casts and the guests. His character development since the first episode is also evident as he had learned to push and pull as an MC. The other casts jokingly claims that the show started to succeed as soon as Hodong stopped controlling the show.

Being a respected senior in the entertainment industry, his past shows and “personality” became an inside joke within the show and a constant source of laughter. It became quite amusing how every guest could retell an “encounter” between Hodong and themselves.

Lee Sugeun

Lee Sugeun is considered as the show’s Ace member. With his hilarious antics and skit improvisations, he had been making the audience laugh since episode 1.

Before the show, Sugeun is already a well known high-caliber comedian on KBS Gag Concert. He also appeared on various reality-variety shows together with Kang Hodong such as 1 Night 2 Days.

In 2013, Sugeun together with other korean celebrities were involved in an online gambling scandal. This led him to a two-year self-reflection period. So Knowing Brothers, that started in 2015, is considered to be as his “comeback” in the industry.

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On his role in the show, he is recognized as Hodong’s “Right-hand Man” a.k.a. Hodong’s number 1 supporter. He is the one assigned to read the guests’ “Entrance Form” in every episode.

His perpetual teasing on Janghoon also became as a constant source of laughter in every episode. With his great ability to produce hilarious skits and adlibs in the show, he is now recognized by the public as a comedy genius. Moreover, his combo with Heechul’s wittiness is a sure way to make you laugh your hearts out.

Kim Youngchul

Kim Youngchul is also a veteran comedian in South Korea that started his career in lates 90’s to early 00’s. He specializes in slapstick comedy and skits like Sugeun and also made his debut in Gag Concert.

In the show, he plays a very vital role in making the show entertaining. People call it the “Sandbag” role. This role is not everyone can easily pull off. Basically it is the role that receives all the jokes and teasing.

His character on the show was built and developed by all the casts members. He is the very talkative, “not-funny” guy who tells boring jokes, frequently talks in English and always gets pushed over by the casts and guests.

When the show was still not doing well, the casts had this “ratings pledge” that they will do once they reach the 3% viewership ratings mark. Confident that they’ll have a hard time achieving the goal, Youngchul promised to leave the show when it achieves the 3% rating.

Surprisingly, they managed to hit the mark and fulfilled their pledges in an episode special. To go around his earlier promise, Youngchul then revised his pledge and said that aside from leaving the show he will also retire from all his other shows if they ever achieve the 5% viewership ratings. After some episodes, he was again faced with the same dilemna after the show finally took off ang hit the 5% ratings mark.

This funny promise ended up with an episode of him being “absent” from school and her real sister coming in his place. But he never left the show as his words proved to be a jinx and lucky charm to the show’s success.

Seo Janghoon

Seo Janghoon was a well-laureled professional basketball player in South Korea before he formally retired in 2013. He then signed a contract with Mystic Entertainment and started his entertainment career.

As a rookie entertainer, he appeared on several popular variety shows such as Infinite Challenge but it was only after he was casted in Knowing Brothers when his career actually took off.

On the show, he appears as the grumpy character who always sees the negative side of things. His tactless personality was also evident as well as his intelligence in solving the questions given by the guests.

It was also a regular scene of the show when the other casts tease him of his “riches and wealth” by being a landlord of multiple buildings and land in Gangnam. He was also known as a neat-freak who is borderline Mysophobic.

He also became an “Icon of Divorce” due to the constant teasing of Sugeun and the other casts. This is due to his history of divorce with an announcer after 3 years of marriage. This issue seemed to be sensitive at first but now became somewhat of a normal teasing.

Janghoon is also known on the show for being very competitive. This is to the point that he will be sulking and ranting whenever he loses on a game so the other casts will just choose to make him win rather than hear his rants the whole day.

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Lee Sangmin

Lee Sangmin was the latest one to join the show and only started appearing since the 14th episode.

He is considered to be as one of the most successful music artist during the 90’s. He was a big-time record producer as well as being the leader of the group Roora. He was in the ranks with Yang Hyun Suk (YG) and produced hit groups such as Country Kko Kko, Chakra and S#arp with his old company Sangmind.

Unfortunately, the public witnessed how he gradually fell down from the peak of his career and reached the lowest point in his life. He was faced with divorce, business failures and fraud charges that snowballed into billions of financial debt.

He started his attempt for redemption by appearing in MNET’s music variety God of Music and proceeded to appear in various programs. However it was only until he came to Knowing Brothers when he finally felt his career moving towards a positive direction. He started having advertisement contracts and new shows. Slowly, he was able to redeem his reputation as a celebrity.

On his start on the show, he was known as the “miserable” character, who experience poverty and hardships despite being a celebrity. Soon enough, he became the character of hope. He gave out sincere advice to every young idols who came to the show and gave himself as an example to learn from.

Together with Janghoon, he is also known as one of the “smart” guys in the show. He would occcasionally show his expertise in music as well as his ability to solve difficult puzzles.

In 2018, he finally paid off his debt and was able to apply for a low-limit credit card, for the first time in more than a decade. He then treated the other members with Iced americano as a form of gratitude.

Kim Heechul

Kim Heechul who nicknamed himself as “우주대스타” (Universe Big Star) is a member of veteran Kpop group Super Junior.

Before Knowing Brothers, Heechul was already recognized as a “variety genius” since his debut in 2005. He is considered as the “blue chip” of South Korea’s variety shows with his unique, rebellious and spontaneous character as an idol.

He is the only member of the casts that is actually doing quite well even before the show started with all his other variety shows and activities with Super Junior. However, due to his character during his early years in the industry, he was also known to have tons of antis (haters) as well as having rumors about his sexuality.

Because of the show and his apparent change of personality (after his military enlistment), he started gaining new fans (even children and teenagers) and is now loved by the public as an entertainer more than being an idol. This is proven by his constantly high rank in the monthly brand reputations on many categories aside from being a Kpop Idol.

In the show, he is considered as the “psycho” character with all his straightforward remarks that don’t care for possible backlash afterwards. He is known to treat all the guests with the same respect (and disrespect lol) whether they are a well respected celebrity or a newly debuted idol group. He would easily throw a savage comment towards the guest in order to ease the awkwardness during filming and making everyone comfortable.

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He also exhibited his supreme memory and incredible knowledge on the South Korean entertainment industry by knowing trivial things on music and television that are unknown to a normal human, further fueling the idea that he was indeed an actual genius.

Lastly, he is the one assigned (whether he likes it or not) to take on the female roles in skits within the show because of his androgynous visuals that would easily pass off as a female.

Min Kyunghoon

Min Kyunghoon is the lead vocalist of South Korean rockband Buzz. The band is well loved for their great songs such as “Coward”, “Thorn” and “You don’t know men” that are still going strong on the charts for noraebang songs despite being released more than a decade ago.

Kyunghoon was extremely popular during their peak because of his charming “head voice” and “Flower boy” visuals and is considered as the pioneer of idol bands before FT Island and CNBlue.

However in 2007, the band decided to temporarily disband as the other members enlisted in the military. Kyunghoon was left to continue as a solo artist but it was not well received by the public. Because of this, he fell into depression and started gaining weight. He was able to somehow get back on his feet and returned to music in 2010. He continued to release new albums but it was still not doing any better. In 2012, he decided to rest and just enlist in the military for the mean time.

When he came back from military service in 2013, Buzz members finally gathered together and decided to reunite as a band. They became active again as a band although still not having their old mainstream popularity.

In 2015, Kyunghoon joined the Knowing Brothers cast from its 2nd episode and from then on fired up his career as a TV host and variety star.

He is the show’s maknae and “4D” character. He is known for his out-of-the-box thinking and risque comments during the show. He is shown as a reclusive character that would choose playing games at home over a night-out with friends.

In the show, he is recognized for his athletic skills rooting from his martial arts training since elementary. He is always teased for his signature singing style which they call as “head voice” because of his distinct use vibrato and subconscious hand gestures. It can be noted that Heechul have been imititating this singing style since his debut and them appearing together in the show made it evident that Heechul have actually mastered it.

Kyunghoon now made a name for himself in the variety scene and managed to get himself some good shows such as Problem Kid in House.

In conclusion…

Knowing Brothers, currently on its way to its 200th episode really came so far from it started. They started as a program on the verge of being cancelled to a program being weekly anticipated by viewers of all ages locally and internationally.

The cast members, despite having their own forms of “past baggage” managed to somehow turn it into something that the public viewers can learn from. Maybe that is also one reason why the program succeeded, it somehow became an evidence of hope and redemption and that one should accept that life problems naturally pass a person’s life so it is alright to laugh it off once in a while.

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