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Introducing Yoo Jae Suk: the Entertainer loved by South Korea

Yoo Jae Suk is one of the most famous personalities in South Korea. He has won numerous Daesang awards due to his outstanding performance as an entertainer. Despite his status as one of the popular figures in the Korean variety industry, Jae Suk had a fair share of his ups and downs as an entertainer.

Get to know Yoo Jae Suk

Yoo Jae Suk is born on August 14, 1972, in Seoul. He attended the acting department of Seoul Institute of Arts but decided to drop out when he pursued his television career. He is currently signed in Antenna owned by his friend, Yoo Hee Yeol.

Source: ELLE Korea

Jae Suk is often associated with SBS’ Running Man as one of the program’s fixed cast. He received a lot of nicknames such as Grasshopper and Yoomes Bond in Running Man. However, before securing his spot in Running Man, Jae Suk is once an MC to various Korean programs. And before being an MC, he was a comedian!

Let’s get to know our Jae Suk-nim better here.

KBS Comedian Festival 1991

Jae Suk debuted as part of the KBS Comedian Festival 1991. He was most famed for his funny performance of Step by Step of New Kids on the Block, which has been associated with him ever since. Sometimes this song is also played as his background song in Running Man.

Yoo Jae Suk dancing Step by Step
Yoo Jae Suk dancing | Image source

Nation’s MC

He earned the title of Nation’s MC for being able to host programs on the three huge networks – KBS, SBS, and MBC. Jae Suk initially gained a lot of audiences during his stint in X-Man in SBS, Happy Together in KBS, and Infinite Challenge in MBC.

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Here are some of his early shows:

X-Man (2003-2007)

X-Man Korean Variety hosts
Kang Ho Dong and Yoo Jae Suk as X-Man Hosts | Image source

Happy Together (2004-2020)

Happy Together S3 Hosts
With Happy Together Season 3 Casts
Top L-R: Cho Sae Ho, Yoo Jae Suk
Bottom L-R: Jun Hyun Moo, Uhm Hyun Kyung, and Park Myung Soo | Image Source

Infinite Challenge (2005-2018)

Infinite Challenge Korean Variety members
With Infinite Challenge casts
L-R: Cho Sae Ho, Jung Jun Ha, Haha, Park Myung Soo, Yang Se Hyeong, and Yoo Jae Suk

He’s became part of over 25 variety programs, with four programs currently running. We are pretty sure that his name is pretty common in the Korean household.

The following are his on-going programs as of writing:

Running Man (since 2010)

Running Man 2021
With Running Man members
Top L-R: Kim Jong Kook, Jeon So Min
Second row: Haha, Jee Suk Jin, Song Ji Hyo
Sitting on Suk Jin’s Lap: Yang Se Chan, Yoo Jae Suk | Source: SBS

Yoo Quiz on the Block (since 2018)

Yoo Quiz on the Block
with co-host Cho Sae Ho. | Source: tvN

Hangout with Yoo (since 2019)

Hangout with Yoo
Promotional poster for Hangout with Yoo | Source: MBC

Sixth Sense (on its second season this 2021)

Yoo Jae Suk in Sixth Sense Season 2 Korean Show
With Sixth Sense members
Girl L-R: Oh Na Ra, Jeon So Min, Jessi, and Lee Mi Joo
Boys: Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Sang Yeob | source: tvN

Regular Daesang recipient

During his 30 years in the industry, Jae Suk has received 69 nominations winning 65 of them. Amazing right? And yes, our beloved MC is frequent of the most prized Daesang Award. He received the award twice in Baeksang, winning the years 2013 and 2021. He frequented the Daesangs for SBS and MBC for winning it more than five times.

Aside from his numerous awards, he is consistent for being part of Korea’s Top 40 Power Celebrity since 2009. How can we not love and respect this man right?

Aspiring Musician

Jae Suk does not deny that he loves music! His variety programs allowed him to work with several musicians, specifically in the following programs: Infinite Challenge and Hangout with Yoo.

For Infinite Challenge, the program has its segment where the cast holds a music festival Jae Suk worked with Lee Juck, Yoo Hee Yeol, JYP, and Dok2, and Lee Hi.

You can even listen to one of his popular hits, As I Say with Lee Juck below:

Infinite Challenge allowed him to work with EXO. He joined the group in one of their EXOrdium concerts, where they performed Dancing King. A cute homage to Jae Suk, who loves to dance!

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Yup, he is the inactive hyung of EXO.

As for Hangout with Yoo, it allowed him to explore several music genres. He took the name of Yoo San Seul as his alternate ego promoting Trot music.

Watch him as Yoo San Seul performing some of his hits during the 2019 MBC Entertainment Awards below:

And yes, he won a Rookie Award during this awards night too! How iconic!

He then took became U-Duragon when he debuted in SSAK3 with Rain (B.Ryong) and Lee Hyori (Linda G.), their group is inspired by first generation K-Pop groups.

You can watch their ~old school summer vibes~ debut hit below:

I mean…is there anything he can’t do?

Loves to extend a helping hand

Jae Suk is also a donation angel! Throughout his career, he’s donated over ₩3 Billion (roughly $2.6M) to several organizations. Last year alone, he donated around ₩ 1 Billion for the COVID-19 relief fund in Korea.

In February 2021, Yoo Jae Suk made the headlines due to his good deed once again. A patient once revealed that when he was diagnosed with an illness, he found it hard to receive treatment due to his financial situation. Luckily, the hospital has a program for the people who are in need allowing the patient to receive treatment. When the patient wanted to thank the mystery person, he was surprised it was Jae Suk!

Aside from donating to charities, he loves to help his junior comedians! In one of his segments, Variety Investor in Hangout with Yoo, he invited some of the rising comedians to his show to help them make their names known! Oh, and we forgot to mention that he’s been helping his fellow celebs through music video appearances too!

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He is known for being the yellow suit guy in Psy’s Gangnam Style and Gentleman:

Yoo Jae Suk Gangnam Style MV

Jaesuk also appeared in Jinusean’s Tell Me One More Time.

Yoo Jae Suk in Tell Me One More Time MV

He just love helping out people as long as he could whenever he can!

A family man

As we all know, the nation’s MC has been off the market since 2009. He married his partner, Na Kyung Eun, an announcer he worked with in Infinite Challenge.

Comedian Yoo Jae-suk and wife welcome second baby | Yonhap News Agency
Yoo Jae Suk and wife Na Kyung Eun during their wedding
Photo from Yonhap News

The couple shares two children: Ji-ho born in 2010, and Na-eun born in 2009. Despite keeping his children away from the cameras, Jae Suk loves to share his experience as a father. He often expressed that when not working, he is always spending time with his family.

We’re pretty sure that his family is so proud of him for all the achievements he had during his career.

Support Yoo Jae Suk!

I hope that this article introduced you well to one of South Korea’s most loved and well-respected personality. And as for me, I just want to say that he inspire me to become a better version of myself. Let’s continue cheering on him!

We hope to see you in our TV screens for a long time! Thank you so much for putting smile on our faces whenever we need it.

Featured Image from Hangout With Yoo Instagram.

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