Monday, March 11, 2013

Jackie Chan On Running Man: Breaking Down Barriers

Who here watched the recent Jackie Chan episode of Running Man? Most, if not all Running Man fans were excited for it, and the forums and fanpages exploded with the preview for this episode. Even if you weren't a huge fan of Running Man, the very idea of action superstar Jackie Chan appearing on the show would have at least perked your interests.

Plus, I'm sure I'm not the only one who was wondering how Jackie Chan would be able to understand and communicate with the Running Man members. Of course, if you have already watched the episode, you'll know how that worked out.

The language barrier is probably the biggest hurdle for any foreign guest. For Jackie Chan, knowing a little bit of Korean helped a lot, but that didn't mean that he understood everything that the Running Man members were talking about. International viewers like us have the luxury of being able to read the subtitles, but Jackie Chan only has an earpiece with the translator desperately interpreting for him. Even then, most of the jokes fly by unnoticed by Jackie Chan. Of course, we found it hilarious when Kwang-soo was asked to translate.

"Pyeong!" - Kwang-soo translating a dart game.

Still, the fact that they actually got an international guest on Running Man proves that the producers of Running Man have definitely outdone themselves. It was a complete surprise for the Running Man members to see Jackie Chan appear right in front of them, because they never thought it would be possible.

With Jackie Chan's participation in not only providing the mission (ala the Hong Kong special) but also completing the missions alongside the Running Man members, there will be nothing stopping the Running Man producers from dreaming bigger and bigger and to bring in more illustrious guests onto the show in the future.

This essentially means is that Running Man has broken down a wall which prevented foreign guests to participate in the missions, and opened doors to the participation of other international guests. Maybe Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau will make an appearance one day? Perhaps even Hollywood may decide to cash in on the Hallyu wave and send in Bruce Willis (in a battle against his Korean counterpart, Yooruce Willis). These may seem like the rantings of a crazy person now, but 2 months ago, I wrote in this column that Jackie Chan's appearance on Running Man is "physically impossible". Look what happened.

They danced with Jackie Chan.

Running Man is taking great strides forward, in terms of international and local acclaim. I doubt that there will be anything preventing Running Man from continuing on with its current success. International races in Macao and Vietnam has shown that Running Man is immensely popular overseas. Jackie Chan has also shown that Running Man has a good enough following, enough for him to appear as a guest and plug his new movie. If the episode with Jackie Chan has proven anything, it is that Running Man can, and will break down any necessary barriers in its march towards being one of the best variety shows around.

What did you think about the Jackie Chan episode? Should the Running Man producers continue looking for foreign and international guests in the future? Leave your comments below!



  1. The only thing puzzling me is where Jackie has gone during the 12 animal signs mission. Only Jaesuk and Jihyo were left to defend.

  2. not very like running man~ >.<~

  3. I didn't find it as interesting as the previous episodes, the games just seems so-so. But yeah I laughed till my tummy hurts at kwang soo's attempt in translating the mission LOL

  4. haha! after i watch this episode I only knew that Jackie Chan knows Korean language. the best thing is he could understand and answer some of the basic questions that the running man asked. I like the part where they attack and defense their 12 animals! =P

  5. My wish is that the producers know their financial limit (I'm studying accounting by the way). Their budget must be huge to bring in international stars, travelling to different countries, giving much gold as gifts etc. In Macau episode, they even brought Kim Jong Kook by helicopter from Hong Kong - that alone cost a lot. I like the show and hope they do not overspend.

  6. I think after a long run of the show, they would have enough sponsors and budget to make the show even bigger - international filming and bringing international star. It was pretty much interesting episode, but I hoped to have seen more action games (tearing name-tags?). The 12 animals game was close to it. Good episode nonetheless. :D

  7. Hi Yonathan. Running Man is the highest rating Sunday variety show in Korea now. I think budget is least of their concern and not every episode they will go oversea. Also, I think Jackie Chan come to the show because he was at that time promoting his movie. I don't think he charged a fee. I heard an interview with the show's producer. Average, 1 episode will cost around USD 100K to make.

  8. That's true. A lot of the guests who come on the show are actually on to promote either their new album, movie or drama. It's sorta like a promotion method, so I don't think they are paid much, or at all. Oversea episodes are definitely expensive but RM is very popular overseas and there's no doubt that they get a lot of sponsors as well. =)

    I doubt that RM will unwisely overspend, but considering that they are now one of the most watched variety shows in South Korean and around the world, their budget will definitely have increased.

  9. Personally, I just watched this RM last month until I found out Jackie was a special guest and purposely that episode was named: Jackie Chan Treasure Hunt. Then, I re-watched the programme from episode one stated in July 2010. I found this show is so humorous and exciting comparing to the game and variety shows in HK. And I personally suggested that RM is now the most exciting variety show ever in Asia. With this good rating, and some more this show not just showing their humor, promoting their guest, it even helps to promote Korea as well with different landmarks in each episode. For us as a stranger to Korea and foreigner, at least I knw actually Korea is such an exciting places to visit,: very good scenery, food is good and healthy and also promoting the Korea culture and their most important: showing good manners to people. With this many goods thing flowing out, I'm greatly sure the sponsors are not stupid to cut their budget and those guests will not reluctantly to join since the rating is damn high... Daebak....Running Man. Run....Don't Walk.

  10. I just saw the episode with Jackie Chan. I love this guy. He's easy-going and humble. The members were awesome and hilarious as well. And Jackie's little knowledge of Korean language made the episode go smoothly.
    I didn't watch a lot of this show before. Last one I saw was with Tiger JK and it was great to see him of such a funny show with a personality like his.
    I really enjoyed watching Jackie today and hope to see more successful episodes of this show.

  11. *After 2 years* :To hunt: *replied*