As much as we rely on belly-aching, comedy K-dramas to lift our spirits on somber days, sometimes entertaining variety shows can better do the trick, especially if you’re not up to investing in yet another 16-episode story. Considering their format, not only do these comedic reality shows demand less of your full, undivided attention, they also often invite celebrity guests into the mix—a definite bonus if you’re eyeing new idols and actors to fangirl over. Not sure where to start with all the options out there?
Ahead are 8 funny Korean variety shows you can watch online now:
1. 2 Days & 1 Night
Watch on: Youtube, Viu
With four seasons and counting, 2 Days & 1 Night features a fixed cast of Korean personalities as they travel around South Korea, including offshore islands, with the purpose of recommending these underrated tourist spots to viewers. While there, the cast are given missions that often lead to comical antics, like playing table tennis with various everyday objects, or awkwardly performing alongside established idols.
2. I Live Alone: Girls' Secret Party
Watch on: Youtube
If your mood’s more attuned to a quick fix, this special YouTube spin-off of the variety show I Live Alone should be right up your alley. The 16-episode short series follows three of the original program’s cast members—Mamamoo’s Hwasa, comedian Park Na Rae, and model Han Hye Jin—as they take their friendship to new and ridiculous heights, all while attempting to lose weight through different diets and exercises.
3. Running Man
Watch on: Viu
On air for more than a decade, Running Man may well be one of the most popular variety shows in South Korea. A rambunctious mission-based program, the show finds its cast members embarking on a series of games to win each episode’s race. This award-winning reality series invites celebrity guests to play along with its fixed stars, so if you’re eager to see your favorite actors and K-pop idols in fierce yet fun competitions, then you should definitely give Running Man a shot.
4. Knowing Bros
Watch on: Netflix, Viu
Alternatively titled Men on a Mission, this famous sitcom talk show stars seven Korean personalities as mischievous brothers out to interview their celebrity guest of the week. As the show is set in a classroom, the cast, along with their visitors, are dressed in school uniforms throughout the episode, while they participate in the show's various, usually humorous segments.
Watch on: Netflix
Anyone who regularly scrolls through Netflix may have already come across Busted! at least once or twice. ICYDK, the show is known as the first Netflix Original program with an all-Korean cast. It’s also produced by the same company that handles Running Man, so you can bet the shenanigans involved are just as top-notch. FYI, Busted! stars seven celebrity sleuths—including Park Min Young and Lee Seung Gi—tasked to unearth different mysteries each episode, as they slowly work toward uncovering the season’s biggest, pressing secret.
6. The Return of Superman
Watch on: Viu, YouTube
Prepare for cuteness overload in The Return of Superman. The show challenges celebrity dads to take care of their kids alone for 48 hours, while their spouses get the pampering they deserve elsewhere. Now that’s an adorable and relaxing family-friendly show anyone can get behind.
7. The Great Escape
Watch on: Viu
Celebrities stumbling around in larger-than-life escape rooms? Count us in! Just as its title suggests, The Great Escape gathers a cast of Korean personalities who are driven to a secret facility that they’ll have to get out of by fulfilling various tasks and missions. The show currently stars Knowing Bros regular Kang Ho Dong, 2 Days & 1 Night member Kim Jong Min, Super Junior’s Shindong, Block B’s P.O, mixed martial artist Kim Dong Hyun, and TV personality Yoo Byung Jae.
8. Hangout with Yoo/How Do You Play
Watch on: Viu
Dubbed the Nation’s MC by the Korean public, beloved comedian and host Yoo Jae Suk tries his hand at different jobs, from becoming a drummer, to running a ramyeon restaurant, to taking on the stage as a K-pop idol. Here's an impressive fact: Having worn the hat of a producer, Jae Suk has subsequently created three chart-topping, temporary music groups through Hangout With Yoo: SSAK3, Refund Sisters, and MSG Wannabe.
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