In the Kpop industry, idols need to have a special talent in order to stay relevant. Whether it is acting or presenting, nothing beats the charm and the likeability of a ‘gag-idol’. These members are always the ones who are confident on TV programmes and are not afraid to let out their inner ‘4D’ silliness. Many long running variety shows including Running Man and Infinity Challenge often invite idols to feature on their shows as guests. Some of the presenters are very experienced and are often comedians or celebrities who have established themselves as entertainment trump cards. These entertainment professionals make the comedic atmosphere rather than the idol guest.
Many other programmes are actually based around our kpop idols whom we truly love seeing on TV; Invincible Youth and many other reality TV shows like the ‘MTV Diary’ or the ‘Showtime’ seasons really show us what our idols are like behind closed doors. The producers of these shows really love idol variety ‘blue-chips’. This name is an alternative name for gag-idols who are naturally talented entertainers. Past idols who shone brightly in the entertainment world include: 2AM’s Jokwon, Lee Hyori, Daesung and Seungri from Big Bang as well as Shinhwa. Anyone who has watched Shinhwa’s variety programmes will know how talented they are at presenting. Many say that they are an example of a perfect all round entertainer.
Below, I have listed ‘The Top 5 Up and Coming Gag Idols’ who have stood out over the last year.
- Eunkwang from BTOB
Eunkwang is the leader of BTOB. BTOB are in a company called CUBE Entertainment. Eunkwang is unafraid of damaging his idol image which is often something that hinders many idols on variety shows. The faces Eunkwang pulls are so extreme that you cannot help laughing at him with a slight hint of embarrassment. Famously, he pretended to be a gorilla at an event’s red carpet; he actually got down on all-fours and started crawling whilst pulling a gorilla face. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy has no shame. I think he is very likeable which is why he is appreciated by many of the more experienced entertainers. Many say he is able to pull these things off as his visuals are not like your average kpop idols. However, I think he is able to do what he does because he is keen to make a mark in the presenting and comedy industry. Eunkwang oozes charm which goes beyond most other idols.
In past BTOB reality programmes, you can evidently see he is one of the main atmosphere makers of the group. There was one moment in BTOB’s TV show, ‘Real Men’, which set into fits of laughter. The members were trying to fit as many hard boiled sweets into their mouth. Eunkwang started drooling and saliva actually dripped onto the floor… Check it out! You either will be laughing or frowning in absolute disgust. Skip to 8:34 for the drooling readers!
- 15&’s Jimin
Jimin is only 17 years old and has already started a career in show business. She used to live Thailand and learnt English whilst she was there. Calling her 4D is an understatement. This girl is 8D! Jimin exaggerates her actions and is hyper most of the time on TV. Whilst going crazy, she is still able to keep a straight face. I have sincere respect for her; on many shows comedians may underestimate her. However, when asked to show her wild personality and comedic sense, the presenters are so astonished yet amused by her funny outbursts. She is indeed a very rare ‘blue chip’.
Her quirky personality was first noticed by many fans of KPOPSTAR. After she debuted, like many other idols, 15& were invited onto many music programmes to promote their songs. On ‘Show Champion’, Jimin was selected by the 2 presenters to express a colour though the art of dance. Many people are saying she is the 3rd generation of ‘Kkap Idols’. ‘Kkap Idols’ are idols who dance in a very exaggerated way with a very straight face. Previous ‘Kkap Idols’ include 2AM’s Jokwon and Miss A’s Min. The reaction of fellow idols, including Block B and Girls Day, are priceless!
- Winner’s Seunghoon
Winner debuted this year with their song ‘Empty’. Ever since then, netizens have labelled them the ‘New Monster Rookies’. In every new group who debuts, I normally look for someone who is the next idol variety blue chip. When I saw Winner’s variety TV show, ‘Winner TV’, I instantly recognised Seunghoon from his KPOPSTAR days and also spotted his knack of making people laugh. I think people who tuned in to KPOPSTAR Season 1 remember him most for his dance skills. In the clip below, when Seunghoon dances with the KPOPSTAR sign on the floor, was noted as one of the moments where YG saw the potential in him. Not only did he do this spontaneously but also was being judged by YG himself and other YG artists.
Recently, Winner was invited onto ‘Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook’ where artists are invited to sing live on a stage with a live audience. Not only kpop artists, but also many Korean trot singers, song writer and other bands like ‘Rose Motel’ are invited. It is considered as a great platform for artists to promote their new songs. In the video below, Seunghoon was asked to do freestyle dances to random songs. The outcome was hilarious!
Many people actually find Mino, another rapper from Winner, as having more variety potential than Seunghoon. I find that Mino is much funnier than Seunghoon at reality TV programmes but Seunghoon has the cheekiness to go ahead with whatever he wants to say or do.
- Jackson from Got7
Jackson, a Chinese member from the JYP boy group GOT7 is in at number 2. Jackson caught my attention during WIN (a competition to see which YG trainee boy group would be the first to debut). In one episode, there was a battle between the YG trainees and JYP trainees. I was extremely impressed with with Jackson’s confident smirk and English skills. Stating that he is ‘Mr Wild and Sexy’ himself, he has an arrogant yet likeable personality. It’s obvious that he exaggerates his actions and way of speech a lot but one can’t help thinking that maybe he is as weird and random in real life.
There are so many Jackson moments that are variety gold. He has been invited on to so many variety programmes like ‘Star King’ and the new season of ‘Roommate’. Many netizens have said that Jackson was one of the celebrities who saved the programme ‘Roommate’ from being an absolute flop. Since Korean is Jackson’s 4th language, he does find expressing himself a challenge. His actions and amusing way of expressing things compensate for this. One moment which stood out for me was when Jackson was a guest on a celebrity panel on a programme called ‘Star king’. A lady came out claiming she could eat 16 plates of curry in one sitting. Jackson, being the 4D clown that he is, asked whether it all comes out at the other end straight after eating! In Korean culture, many of you may know that their way of living is very conservative. It was a hilarious moment because no one was expecting Jackson’s comment.
Here are some moments below which made me chuckle.
- Bomi from Apink
It was very tight race for 1st and 2nd place. I have put Bomi from Apink as the ‘Top Up and Coming Gag-Idol’ because of her care free personality. Ever since Apink debuted, Bomi was known as the gorilla girl because of her impression of the said animal. In the link below, Bomi was invited onto a show called ‘Oh My School’ or ‘100 Points out of 100’. The other reaction of the famous comedians and other kpop artists are hilarious. They seem so taken aback by Bomi. Ever since then, she has been climbing the ladder of success proving that female rookies can make it in the comedy entertainment industry.
Apink have had many of their own reality TV with ‘Apink Showtime’ as the most recent one. Bomi is also a regular co-presenter on a show called ‘Weekly Idol’. In every reality TV show, we always see Bomi’s dorky side. She is the ‘atmosphere maker’ of Apink. I love her hilarious laugh and her love of food. Many kpop fans may know that girl group members are often pushed to go a diet in order to slim down. In most TV shows I have seen her in, there is always one frame where Bomi is wolfing down food. In the video below, we see just that!
In the ‘Weekly Idol’, where Apink were guests, Bomi showed the presenters and viewers her ‘exaggerated’ dance. Seriously, it’s a dance where you only do it in the privacy of your own bedroom or when you’re drunk. Skip to 10:09 to see her dance in the clip below!
I think Bomi’s random outbursts are variety gold. It shows she has the guts to do what she does. In my opinion, she is one of the best female variety idols. I sincerely hope she continues her career in the entertainment industry for many years to come.
Please comment below on the Kpop who you think also deserved to be on this list.