The Korea Herald


Interviewers outshine star guests on YouTube

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : Jan. 19, 2020 - 16:00

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The norm of interviewers having limited roles in front of the camera no longer holds true, as more South Korean interviewers are starting to shine on YouTube.

Interviewer and producer Lee Eun-jae of variety show “MMTG,” a program that kicked off on SBS’ YouTube platform in February 2018, is one such example. The program, which features interviews with stars in different fields, has a separate YouTube channel with more than 40,900 subscribers as of Sunday. Lee, also known as Jaejae, is gaining immense popularity.

Lee started out as an intern in the broadcasting company’s digital content division. She now calls herself “half-celebrity and half-regular person” on the show and has even created a theme song about her work.


Screenshot of SBS’ YouTube variety show MMTG (YouTube) Screenshot of SBS’ YouTube variety show MMTG (YouTube)

Jaejae’s latest interview with Jiyeon of K-pop girl band T-ara got a positive response from viewers, reaching more than 780,000 views as of Sunday. In this interview, Jaejae asked Jiyeon to perform a certain scene from the drama “Master of Study.”

When Jiyeon seemed shy and hesitated to perform the scene, Jaejae immediately said, “You don’t have to do it (if you don’t want to).”

She then performed the scene herself.

“It is nice to see an interviewer like her who says you do not have to do things that you do not want to,” a viewer commented on the video.

“It seems like the interviewer’s main purpose is to make people laugh,” other viewers commented on the channel.

“Guirilla Date,” tvN’s YouTube variety show parodying KBS interview program “Guerilla Date,” is also gaining popularity. On “Guirilla Date,” the interviewers -- comedians Lee Yong-jin and Lee Jin-ho -- come up with ridiculous rumors about the guests and barely listen as the interviewees attempt to refute them.

The cable channel recently finished the third season of “Guirilla Date,” and its latest interview -- with hip-hop artist Woo Won-jae -- has more than 1 million views.

“These questions are like bait (to show off your talents),” Woo told the interviewers during his episode.

“It is funny how Lee Jin-ho all of a sudden starts imitating the singer Greg (after being asked a silly question about the singer),” a viewer commented on Woo’s video. Woo was asked a question about his friendship with Greg during the show. When Woo attempted to answer the question, Lee started singing one of Greg’s songs.

Attesting to the show’s popularity, local street fashion brand Critics recently co-created sweatshirts featuring lyrics from a song Lee sang on the show along with tvN’s YouTube channel operator. The song, written by Lee, pokes fun at the everyday life of an ordinary farmer in Korea. Sung by Lee during an interview with hip-hop artist BewhY, it soon went viral.

By Song Seung-hyun (