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10 Reasons Yoo Jae Suk Is the Center of "Running Man"

Fairlane is a devout Asian entertainment fan. On the side, she is a professional screenwriter and author.

Yoo Jae Suk in his most famous TV character, Grasshopper

Yoo Jae Suk in his most famous TV character, Grasshopper

Without Yoo Jae Suk, Running Man would no longer be on air. Yoo Jae Suk is the glue that holds everyone together, and everyone benefits from the credibility he has established. He is so well-respected that every single thing he does is always under scrutiny. It’s hard to imagine how he pulls it off. After all, it is always the high and might that falls the hardest.

I believe it is because the Yoo Jae Suk we see on screen is the real Yoo Jae Suk when he is not on camera, kind, honest, sincere, and compassionate. He lives by the principle of respect which allows him to create funny moments without the need to degrade or humiliate anyone.

The moments below represent the different facets to Yoo Jae Suk’s personality—the leader, the funny, the ideal Hyung/Oppa, the badass and regular comedian out to simply make everyone laugh.

#10 Episode 7: VJ Kwon Rayeol

It’s easy to create moments for celebrities, but when you create great TV moments out of anyone and make a nobody into a celebrity, that’s the measure of a great MC.

In Episode 7, Running Man members were running around a stadium looking for bags. Yoo Jae Suk had nowhere near the stamina he has now, but with the little he had, his VJ Kwon Rayeol had even less. Yoo Jae Suk found himself running without a camera, and that’s just unforgivable for Yoo Jae Suk. He then went back and found another VJ to film them as he starts scolding his VJ, jokingly, of course.

Since then, YJS started featuring more and more of his VJ, and his VJ has started taking a more active part in the games. VJ Kwon Rayeol often helps YJS with his mission, blocking people chasing YJS, helping him find clues, and interacting with the guests too.

#9. Episode 6: Yooruce Willis

Yoo Jae Suk has created the most memorable characters in Running Man, from Monday Couple to Giraffe; he is impeccable in creating characters. It is but natural he creates some of the funniest characters for himself too.

One of the first characters he created for himself is Yooruce Willis. He did it in this episode as he displayed his prowess for running away. There simply was no way he could match Kim Jong Kook’s strength pound for pound, but he showed how he can move as fast and as swiftly as Yooruce Willis to survive the Commander.

Yoo Jae Suk and Jo PD. Jo PD openly admitted that they run to Yoo Jae Suk when they don't know what to do in an episode

Yoo Jae Suk and Jo PD. Jo PD openly admitted that they run to Yoo Jae Suk when they don't know what to do in an episode

#8. Episode 13: Getting Away From Kim Jong Kook With Nothing But Wits

Yoo Jae Sook and Kim Jong Kook have a long-standing rivalry. It started during the Family Outing days. There was one challenge where Kim Jong Kook beat Yoo Jae Suk. As they walk back to the house, Kim Jong Kook was walking beside Lee Hyo Ri. Yoo Jae Suk told Lee Hyo Ri, “Tell Kim Jong Kook it’s not over.” Kim Jong Kook was surprised, and little did he know Yoo Jae Suk was actually announcing their lifelong TV rivalry.

In this episode, Yoo Jae Suk further reinforced that rivalry when he went face to face with Kim Jong Kook. He decided to buy time by chatting, and Kim Jong Kook decided to try to get more screen time by indulging in the conversation. He shouldn’t have because Yoo Jae Suk took the first opportunity to shove Kim Jong Kook away, shrug off Kang Gary and Haha, use his VJ to block the door, and run toward victory.

#7. Episode 38: First Yoomes Bond

Lee Kwang Soo and Haha are known as the betrayers. Song Ji Hyo is known for being cunning but no one beats Yoo Jae Suk for his strategy.

That was evident in the first Yoomes Bond episode. Although there have been betrayers in the past, this is the first time a different device was used to eliminate someone via a name tag. Yoo Jae Suk had to contend with 6 members who were able to deduce that there might not be a guest in less than an hour. He had to take people out without arousing suspicion.

In his first attempt, he raised the bar so high that no one has been able to do anything remotely connected to being a secret killer successfully.

Yoo Jae Suk with his long-time TV rival (and real life friend) Kim Jong Kook, a.k.a. The Commander

Yoo Jae Suk with his long-time TV rival (and real life friend) Kim Jong Kook, a.k.a. The Commander

#6. Episode 53: Starting a Rivalry With Choi Min Soo

This is the episode that started it all.

Yoo Jae Suk wanted nothing but to win the game. However, he had to get Choi Min Soo out of the way in order to do so. He did what was expected. He betrayed Choi Min Soo after forming an alliance with them. Choi Min Soo immediately told the PD to invite him again so he can take revenge. Little did anyone know that Choi Min Soo was serious about taking revenge.

#5. Episode 69: The Return of Choi Min Soo

Choi Min Soo did come back, and Yoo Jae Suk took on the challenge of saving his teammates who are held captive by Choi Min Soo. Yoo Jae Suk said that he used to hate his nickname, grasshopper, but this is the episode where Yoo Jae Suk fully embraced his nickname. He was asked to wear a grasshopper headgear by Choi Min Soo.

Looking silly as a real grasshopper pretending to be human, Yoo Jae Suk managed to sustain the whole program with no one to interact with but his opponent, Choi Min Soo. He was absolutely brilliant in every moment, managing to create comedy with nothing but his VJ.

#4. Episode 83: Yoo Jae Suk vs. Haha and Lee Da Hae

Yoo Jae Suk is not at all bad in name tag tearing, but he isn’t the best either. In fact, there are very few moments when he has displayed badassery in nametag tearing. It is most likely because being the best in nametag tearing isn’t really what he is supposed to do in Running Man.

In this episode, however, he displayed just how good he really is by strategically tearing off two name tags consecutively while protecting the bag he is holding. It wasn’t so much his display of strength. It was how he looked for the perfect position in order to lure the opponents one at a time allowing him to tear off the tags easily.

#3. Episode 49: Helping a Citizen

He just had to.

While on a mission to transport the queen, Neo Se Yo, Yoo Jae Suk sees a woman going down a staircase with a baby cart. He just had to stop. He, with Gary, stopped to help the woman. The Queen, known for her impatience, couldn’t protest.

It is, however, one of the many moments where Yoo Jae Suk displayed such sheer gentlemanliness and kindness towards others. Often, he asks that it be edited out or not be announced. This is one of the few moments, understandably so, where he allowed for it to be broadcasted.

#2. Episode 177: Menimen

It is, hands down, one of the funniest moments in Running Man.

This moment demonstrates Yoo Jae Suk's comedic genius. Not even a real singer, he was able to create a character, Menimen, in an instant and create a funny moment worth a cut in the final episode.

#1. Episode 20: Passing the Lie Detector

Of all the great moments he has had in the show, why make this number 1?

This moment encapsulates why Yoo Jae Suk gets the respect of everyone; he does not pretend to be kind; he IS kind.

Everyone talks highly of Yoo Jae Suk’s kindness. Everyone has a story to share that proves just how sincerely kind he is. That was finally put to the test when Yoo Jae Suk was put under a lie detector test. There are two most telling questions

1) Is there anyone in Running Man you think is dispensable? His answer is none. He feels everyone is necessary.

2) Does he feel that without him, Running Man will not survive. He said he doesn't feel that way.

A lie detector test relies on a person’s heart and brain activities. The assumption is that a person is relaxed when telling the truth but uneasy when telling a lie. Thus, the lie detector machine shows brain and heart activities when telling a lie.

Yoo Jae Suk was totally at ease. All the running man members were so touched and I am pretty sure so were the viewers.

His sincerity is real. He is REALLY honest. He is REALLY considerate. That's why he is the nation's beloved MC.


Andy on March 20, 2018:

Yoo Jae Suk Yeah

Anon on July 27, 2017:

Yoomes Bond - our hero

bubz on August 27, 2015:

He's talented and kind but so selfless in that he allows others to shine and brings people who would have been ignored into the spotlight. Hwaiting Grasshopper!

Sofia on April 27, 2015:

I'm a big fan of him

Anita Woo from Indonesia on March 01, 2015:

I'ma his fan too, funny and humble entertainer