Yoo Jae-suk (Korean유재석; Korean pronunciation: [jud͡ʑεsʌk̚] or [ju] [t͡ɕεsʌk̚]; born on August 14, 1972), is a South Korean comedian, host and television personality currently signed to FNC Entertainment. He has hosted several variety television shows in South Korea, including Infinite Challenge, Running Man, and Happy Together. Known for his quick wit and appeal across a wide range of demographics, Yoo has established himself as one of Korea's top comedians and TV personalities, arguably the most well-known and popular celebrity in South Korea.[1][2]

Yoo Jae-suk
Yoo Jae Suk going to work at Happy Together on August 19, 2017 (1).jpg
Yoo for Happy Together Season 3
Born (1972-08-14) August 14, 1972 (age 47)
Seoul, South Korea
MediumStand-up, television
NationalitySouth Korean
EducationSeoul Institute of the Arts
Years active1991–present
EmployerFNC Entertainment
GenresObservational, sketch, wit, parody, slapstick
Na Kyung-eun [ko] (m. 2008)
Musical career
Also known asYoo San-seul
Years active2019–present
Yoo Jae-suk
Revised RomanizationYu Jae-seok
McCune–ReischauerYu Chae-sŏk

Early life and educationEdit

Born on August 14, 1972 in Seoul, South Korea, Yoo is the eldest of three siblings. In 1985, Yoo Jae-suk completed his primary education and graduated from Youhyun Elementary School in Seoul. In 1988, He completed his middle school education and graduated from Seoul's Suyu middle school. In 1991, he completed his high school education and graduated from the Yongmoon high school in Seoul. In the same year, Yoo entered the acting department of Seoul Institute of the Arts. [3]



Yoo's television debut was on the KBS Comedian Festival (for college students) in 1991, where he performed a parody of a commercial with Choi Seung-gyung. His dancing to a cover of the song "Step by Step" by New Kids on the Block was another early memorable moment.[1] In 2002, after nine years as a relatively unknown comedian, thanks to a recommendation by Choi Jin-sil, he hosted the program Live and Enjoy Together.[4] He then rose to prominence when he co-hosted a program called The Crash of MCs with Kang Ho-dong, Lee Hwi-jae, and Kim Han-seok.

His first Grand Prize award was for the talk show Happy Together Friends.[5]

Mainstream recognition as "Nation's MC"Edit


Yoo later hosted the show X-Man, which soon grew to be one of the most popular and highest rated shows in South Korea. During that time, Yoo became increasingly popular and many programs began to nickname him "the nation's MC". He went on to host various shows, including New X-Man, Old TV, and Haja! Go! (Let's Do It) for SBS, but these were all soon canceled due to low ratings on Sunday evenings. However, X-Man has found success in international syndication, and Yoo gained popularity among Korean Wave fans.[6]

Infinite ChallengeEdit

Yoo was a part of the cast of the top-rated comedy variety program Infinite Challenge. He had been the host-in-chief since 2005 and was one of the program's founding members.

Despite low ratings during its premiere, the show went on to become one of the most popular and influential variety programs in Korea. Dubbed the "national variety show" in Korea,[7] Infinite Challenge became the forerunner of many programs that used a similar format.[8] Since December 2, 2006, the program has received the highest ratings of prime-time lineups for Saturday evening.[9]

Yoo revealed his love for the program during 1-on-1 talk with fellow co-host, Jeong Hyeong-don, on a "Pause" special (S04E300) that aired on October 20, 2012. He said, "I think my life on television and variety shows will be tied to the fate of Infinite Challenge... When will we ever get to do another program like this? No matter how hard you try, it's going to be impossible to do another show like this."[10]

Talk showsEdit

Yoo also co-hosts Come to Play with Kim Won-hee[11] and Happy Together Season 3. In particular, Happy Together is one of the longest running talk shows in Korea and has consistently earned high ratings.[12]

Good Sunday Variety Programs: Family Outing and Running ManEdit

Yoo became the main host of Family Outing as part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup. Together with Lee Hyori, Yoon Jong-shin, Kim Su-ro, Lee Chun-hee, Kang Dae-sung, Park Ye-jin, and Kim Jong-kook (since episode 19), they made up the "family" (cast members) of the show. Family Outing became one of the top-rated shows in Korea, consistently achieving the highest ratings for the Sunday mid-afternoon time-slot, and it gained popularity among Hallyu fans.[13]

Since July 11, 2010, Yoo has hosted the urban action variety Running Man together with fellow Infinite Challenge member Haha, fellow Family Outing member Kim Jong-kook, other entertainers such as Ji Suk-jin, Leessang's Gary (who left since episode 324 to focus on his music career), Song Ji-hyo, Lee Kwang-soo, Song Joong-ki (who left since episode 41 to focus on his acting career), Lizzy of After School (who left for unknown reasons), Jeon So-min and Yang Se-chan (both joined since episode 346). Although the program did not have a good start in ratings, it later became very popular and has held a consistent international fanbase to this day.[14]

Post Infinite ChallengeEdit

After the end of Infinite Challenge, Yoo’s biggest show, in March 2018, articles were being written about how Yoo was in a crisis and past his prime. Though with himself still topping popularity charts, new shows of his such as Labourhood on Hire and You Quiz on the Block while finding moderate success and having favourable reviews, were not able to fill the shoes of Infinite Challenge.[15]

2nd heyday: Hangout with YooEdit

Hangout with Yoo[16][17] was the eagerly anticipated new project with the partnership of the power duo from ‘Infinite Challenge’. The main driving forces for the success of ‘Infinite Challenge’ are main program director Kim Tae-ho and Yoo, as the main host. Unfortunately, initial reactions to the show were not ideal and ratings were plummeting, leaving many ‘Infinite Challenge’ fans disappointed.

After the disappointing start a few episodes in, the show began working on a new project. The project was to have Yoo learn to play a simple beat on a drum set. The recorded sample was then passed down from musician to musician in which each musician will add their own accompaniment in, and ultimately end up with a complete song. With the start of this project, ratings and reviews for the show were picking up.[18]

With the show slowly picking up in popularity,[19][20] the media labelled the show as Yoo’s 2nd heyday with Yoo’s debut as a rookie trot singer, Yoo San-seul for another of the show’s project. Yoo released a three-track trot album, Bbong For Yoo.[21][22]

Other notable programs: Sugar Man and Busted!Edit

From 2015 to 2016, Yoo hosted the program Two Yoo Project Sugar Man together with You Hee-yeol. The program focuses on current popular artists remaking hit songs from singers who have disappeared from the public eye.[23] The show returned again for a second season in 2018 with Yoo co-hosting alongside Yoo Hee-yeol, Joy (Red Velvet), and Park Na-rae.[24] The show then returned again for a third season in late 2019 with Yoo co-hosting alongisde You Hee-yeol, Kim Eana and Heize.[25]

Yoo hosted both seasons of Netflix's variety show, Busted!, which aired in 2018 and 2019.[26][27][28]

Guest appearances and collaborationsEdit

In 2012, Yoo appeared in the music video for Psy's hit single "Gangnam Style". In the video, he reprises the retro disco dancing character he created for the mock-band "Sagging Snail" in Infinite Challenge's West Coast Highway Music Festival special, in which Psy also appeared. Following his appearance, Yoo became known worldwide as the "yellow suit guy".[29] He also appeared in Psy's follow-up single, "Gentleman".[30] In 2015, Yoo collaborated with JYP in Infinite Challenge. On July 15, 2015, Yoo signed an exclusive contract with FNC Entertainment after having been without an agency for about five years.[31]

In 2016, Yoo collaborated with EXO for the SM Station single "Dancing King", which was also a collaboration for Infinite Challenge.[32] He performed with them at EXO's EXO Planet #3 - EXO'rDIUM concert in Bangkok.[33]

In the mediaEdit

Yoo has been dubbed "the nation's MC" for his broad appeal and popularity with a wide demographic of viewers.[1] He has consistently ranked as the top comedian in Korea,[34] topping the Gallup poll in 2009, and for six consecutive years since 2012.[35][36][37][38] He is one of the highest paid television personalities in Korea,[39][40] and one of the most in-demand endorsers.[41]

Known for his exemplary image, Yoo has consistently been picked as a role model by fellow entertainers, as well as the citizens of Korea.[42] He makes donations regularly to several causes, and has participated in philanthropic acts.[43][44][45]

Yoo is the first television host to have his own wax figure, currently displayed at the Grevin Seoul Museum.[46]

Personal lifeEdit

On July 6, 2008, Yoo married MBC announcer, Na Kyung-eun [ko], who worked with him on the show Infinite Challenge.[47][48] Yoo and his wife welcomed their first child, a son, Yoo Ji-ho, on May 1, 2010.[49][50] Their second child, a daughter, Yoo Na-eun was born on October 19, 2018.[51]


On October 8, 2019, Yoo Jae Suk reportedly donated 50 million Won ($41,733) to the Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association in order to aid those affected by Typhoon Mitag.[52][53]


List of current programsEdit

Year Title Network Notes Ref.
2010–present Running Man SBS Since 2010.07.11
2018–present Happy Together (Season 4) KBS2 Since 2018.10.11 [54]
2019–present You Quiz on the Block (Season 2) tvN Since 2019.4.16 [55][56]
Hangout with Yoo MBC Since 2019.7.27 [57][58]
Two Yoo Project Sugar Man (Season 3) JTBC Since 2019.11.29 [59]



As lead artistEdit

Title Year Peak chart
Sales (DL) Album
"Fascination of Samba" (삼바의 매력) 2007 N/A N/A Infinity Challenge Gangbyeon Road Concert
"Grasshopper World" (메뚜기월드) 2013 4 Park Myung-soo’s How About This?
"Hapjeong Station Exit 5" (합정역 5번 출구)
as Yoo San-seul
2019 99 N/A* Hangout with Yoo "Bbong For Yoo"
"Redevelopment of Love" (사랑의 재개발)
as Yoo San-seul
"Redevelopment of Love 2" (사랑의 재개발 2)
as Yoo San-seul
2020 Rediscovery of Love 2
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.
* Gaon stopped releasing download sales numbers in January 2018.


Title Year Peak chart
Sales (DL) Album
"All You Need Is Love"
with Infinite Challenge
2006 N/A N/A Non-album single
"If I Do It or Not" (하나마나송)
with Noh Hong-chul
2007 N/A N/A Non-album single
"The Family's Day" (패밀리의 하루)
with Family Outing members
2009 N/A N/A Non-album single
"Let's Dance"
with Tiger JK & Yoon Mi-rae
N/A N/A Olympic Expressway Music Festival
"Apgujeong Nallari" (압구정 날라리)
with Lee Juck
2011 2 Infinite Challenge West Coast Highway Festival
"As I Say" (말하는 대로)
with Lee Juck
"Heat Stroked Seagull" (더위 먹은 갈매기)
with Song Eun-yi, Kim Sook
2012 5 I'm A Singer In My Own Right
"Room Nallari" (방구석 날라리)[66]
with Lee Juck
5 Non-album single
"Please Don't Go My Girl
with You Hee-yeol, Kim Jo-han
2013 3 Infinite Challenge - Jayu-ro Song Festival
"Dance King" (댄스왕)[69]
with You Hee-yeol
"Yes, We are Together" (그래, 우리 함께)
with Infinite Challenge
"I'm So Sexy"
with Park Jin-young
2015 5 Infinite Challenge Yeongdong Highway Music Festival
"Dancing King"
with EXO
2016 2 SM Station
"Like" (처럼)
with Dok2 feat. Lee Hi
7 Infinite Challenge Great Legacy
with Haha
2019 N/A* Running Man Fan-meeting: Project Running 9
"Confession, Come Out Now" (이제 나와라 고백)
with Soran and Jeon So-min
"I Like It" (좋아)
with Running Man members
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.
* Gaon stopped releasing download sales numbers in January 2018.

As featured artistEdit

Title Year Peak chart
Sales (DL) Album
"Again" (다시)
Turbo Feat. Yoo Jae-suk
2015 1 Again
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.
* Gaon stopped releasing download sales numbers in January 2018.

Music creditsEdit

Music credits adapted from the Korea Music Copyright Association. As of 23 December 2019.[77]

Year Artist Song Album Lyrics Music
Credited With Credited With
2011 Yoo Jae-suk, Lee Juck
(Sagging Snail)
"As I Say" (말하는 대로) Infinite Challenge West Coast Highway Festival Yes Lee Juck No N/A
"Apgujeong Nallari" (압구정 날라리) Yes No
2012 "Room Nallari" (방구석 날라리) Non-album single Yes No
2013 Yoo Jae-suk, Yoo Hee-Yeol Feat. Kim Johan
(How Do You Dool)
"Please Don't Go My Girl" Infinite Challenge - Jayu-ro Song Festival Yes Yoo Hee-Yeol No
Yoo Jae-suk, Yoo Hee-Yeol
(How Do You Dool)
"Dance King" (댄스왕) Yes Yoo Hee-Yeol, TEXU No
Infinite Challenge members "Yes, We are Together" (그래, 우리 함께) Yes Yoo Hee-Yeol, Infinite Challenge members No
2019 Running Man members "I Like It" (좋아) Running Man Fan-meeting: Project Running 9 Yes Jung Joon-il, Running Man members No
UV, Urban Zakapa THIS IS MUSIC Hangout with Yoo "Yoo-plash" No N/A Yes Yoo Jun-sung, Yoo Se-yoon, Muzie, Jo Hyun-ah, MO'I
So!YoON!, SUMIN "Please Distress Me + It's Not That I Can't" (날 괴롭혀줘 + 못한 게 아니고) No Yes Sunwoo Jung-a, Yoon Suk-Chul, Lee Sang-min, Han Sang-won, DOCSKIM, So!YoON!, SUMIN
Boi B, Gaeko, Choiza, Geegooin, GRAY, Crush, Wonstein, Mommy Son, Zior Park, Sam Kim "How Do You Play?" (놀면 뭐해?) No Yes Yoo Hee-Yeol, Yoon Sang, Lee Sang-soon, Jukjae, GRAY, Crush, Sam Kim
Paul Kim, Heize, Peakboy "Tic Tac Toe" (눈치) No Yes Lee Juck, Sunwoo Jung-a, Jeong Dong-hwan, Paul Kim, Heize, Peakboy, Yang Hye-seung, Hong Joon-ho, Lee Tae-yun
Zion.T, Colde "Confused" (헷갈려) No Yes Yoo Hee-Yeol, Yoon Sang, Lee Sang-soon, Jukjae, Colde
Yoo San-seul "Hapjeong Station Exit 5" (합정역 5번 출구) Hangout with Yoo "Bbong for Yoo" Yes Lee Geon-woo No N/A



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External linksEdit