Happy Together (2001 TV series)

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Happy Together
Genre Variety show, comedy
Starring Yu Jae-suk
Park Myung-su
Shin Bong-sun
Park Mi-Sun
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 520 (as of January 5, 2012)
Production
Running time 70 minutes
per episode
Broadcast
Original channel KBS
Picture format 1080i (HDTV) ATSC, ISDB
Audio format Stereo
Original run November 8, 2001 – Present
External links
Website

Happy Together (Hangul: 해피투게더) is a popular South Korean variety show which first ran on November 8, 2001 on KBS2. It was the most popular show on KBS from 2002–2004, and further continued its success in two more seasons. Currently, Happy Together is still placed one of the most popular shows on Korean free-to-air networks which airs every Thursday at 11:05 PM regularly. The program celebrated its 200th episode of its third season on July 7, 2011.[1]

Season 1[edit]

Season 1 of Happy Together lasted for 4 years from November 8, 2001 to April 28, 2005. It was the most popular season of the Happy Together series, the most popular variety show on KBS from 2002–2004, and the most watched show on Thursday nights. Season 1 had several different "corners", most famous being the Metal Tray Karaoke Room, and several other "corners" like Metal Tray Drama, and Do Re Mi "Kong Kong Kong". The early Happy Together was a talk show, and a quiz where the MC's face students for scholarships. Later that was scrapped and the Classroom Talk (책가방토크) and the Metal Tray Karaoke Room were implemented as permanent corners. During the season, the Metal Tray Karaoke Room corner didn't fill up the whole episode, so other games were added to fill the hour. A highlight episode was shown on April 28, 2005 as the finale to Season 1, where ratings were slightly lower than usual.[2]

Slogan: "목요일 밤의 행복한 만남, 해피투게더!" (Thursday nights happy meeting, Happy Together!)

Metal Tray Karaoke Room[edit]

In the Metal Tray Karaoke Room (쟁반노래방), the guests would sing a song (usually a children's carol) in 10 turns, which they have to sing every line correctly. 3 chance cards are available to ease the singing, and as soon as someone makes a mistake, the metal trays above their heads will drop on them.[3]

Metal Tray Drama[edit]

The Metal Tray Drama (쟁반극장) featured the two MCs (Shin Dong-yup, Lee Hyo-ri) and two other guests, where they would be divided into two teams (1 MC, 1 guest) and act out a scene from a movie or drama. Usually involving funny antics, anyone who laughs or forgets what to do (known as NG) will be hit by a metal tray.

Do Re Mi Kong Kong Kong[edit]

Do Re Mi Kong Kong Kong (도레미 콩콩콩) was a corner which featured the Do Re Mi 7 Siblings (도레미칠남메) which contained the two MCs (Yu Jae-suk, Kim Je-dong) and five other guests. They would participate in reciting a children's song using a human-sized keyboard hanging from the ceiling. They are each assigned a note (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do) and would have four chances to correctly play the song by hitting the corresponding key on the keyboard with their heads. If they are wrong, a group of punishers will hit them with a plastic mallet.

Season 2[edit]

Season 2 was commonly known as Happy Together Friends (해피투게더 프렌즈), where celebrities find their former schoolmates. The program originally began as a pilot which aired in February 2005 titled Friends, hosted by Yu Jae-suk, Eugene, and Tak Jae-hoon. It eventually combined with Happy Together to become Happy Together Friends. This season wasn't as humorous as the previous season, because most celebrities and schoolmates would usually be crying or cherishing their time together, greatly reducing the level of laughs. Season 2 ran from May 5, 2005 to June 21, 2007. Season 2 was not as popular as Season 1 but still gained the usual range of ratings (10-18%). In Happy Together Friends, 2 celebrities are to find 5 of their schoolmates from a group of 25-40 people. Celebrities had 2 rounds to find their friends, their friends would speak about past events and their interesting stories, where the celebrities would try to clue in on the person. However, the celebrities only see the screen of the MC's and not the audience of schoolmates.

Slogan: "친구가 있어, 행복한 목요일, 해피투게더 프렌즈!" (Because friends are here, Thursday is happy, Happy Together Friends!)

Study Quick, If Incorrect, Metal Trays Will Hit![edit]

In this game, Study Quick, If Incorrect, Metal Trays Will Hit! (벼락치기, 달달 외워~ 못 외우면 쟁반 맞아!) or in the pilot Study Quick, If Incorrect, Raise Your Hands! (벼락치기, 달달 외워~ 못 외우면 손들어!), the two celebrities and their friends will compete for a free dinner after the show so they can catch-up with each other. The object of the game is to correctly identify certain objects/people after studying for 30 minutes. A picture of the object/person is put on to a conveyor belt and it passes through each participant while they are wearing headphones, they must correctly identify what it is or be hit by the Metal Trays (or be forced to raise their hands in the pilot). The team with the most points will win the free dinner. This game was only played 4 times (including the pilot).

Season 3[edit]

Season 3 which was known as Happy Together: Let's Go To School (해피투게더 학교가자), where the 4 MC's dressed as females (except for Shin Bong-sun, who is a female), and participated in school-themed games, and the corner from Season 1, where the MC's would play against students in a quiz for a scholarship. This began on July 5, 2007. These proved to be unpopular and were all scrapped in 3 weeks. Now, the show is simply known as Happy Together Season 3 which the corners are Challenge! Memorize Song, and That's You! (그건 너!). These 2 corners proved to be popular, and ratings have gone back to the usual norm. That's You! has been replaced by What is that! (이건 뭐!), where guests bring an item they cherish, and Don't Laugh in the Sauna, joined the 2 remaining corners that take place in a sauna. In early 2009, Challenge! Memorize Song was removed to save time. Only Don't Laugh in the Sauna remains, and follows Star Quiz How is that Possible! (스타퀴즈 세상에이럴수가!) which is a quiz about the guests for daily products.

Slogan: "함께하면 더욱 행복한 목요일 밤, 해피투게더!" (If we're together, Thursday night will be very happy, Happy Together!)

Challenge! Memorize Song[edit]

Challenge! Memorize Song (도전! 암기송) took place inside a sauna, where the MCs and guests would need to correctly sing a song (related to your well-being) to escape the sauna. Those who escape the sauna can enjoy food and drinks while watching the rest of the challengers suffer. The last person in the sauna is the loser and receives a painful massage.

Don't Laugh In The Sauna[edit]

In Don't Laugh In The Sauna! (웃지마! 사우나), the hosts "chat" with the guests in a dialect trying to make them laugh. These conversations usually surround what the typical "Korean mother" (아줌마) will talk about, those who laugh will be sprayed by a water gun. Everyone has a plastic clear bowl they can use to protect themselves from the water. This corner takes place in the locker room of the sauna.

Hosts[edit]

Happy Together[edit]

Year Hosts
2001 Shin Dong-yup, Yu Seung-jun[nb 1]
2001–2003 Shin Dong-yup, Lee Hyo-ri
2003–2005 Yu Jae-suk, Kim Je-dong

Happy Together Friends[edit]

Year Hosts
2005 Yu Jae-suk, Eugene, Tak Jae-hoon (Pilot)
2005–2006 Yu Jae-suk, Kim Ah-joong, Tak Jae-hoon
2006–2007 Yu Jae-suk, Lee Hyo-ri, Lee Su-geun[nb 2]
2007 Yu Jae-suk, Eugene, Lee Su-geun
Yu Jae-suk, Eugene, Shin Bong-sun

Happy Together Season 3[edit]

Year Hosts
2007 Yu Jae-suk, Park Myung-su, Shin Bong-sun, Park Jun-gyu, Kim Gu-ra[nb 3]
2008 Yu Jae-suk, Park Myung-su, Shin Bong-sun, Park Mi-sun, Ji Sang-ryul[nb 4]
2008–Present Yu Jae-suk, Park Myung-su, Shin Bong-sun, Park Mi-sun,

Competition[edit]

This programme has been marked the highest ratings of Thursday night prime-time lineups since its beginning. Every week, between 10 to 25 percent of viewers enjoy its episodes. Due to its popularity, programs on SBS and MBC at the 11:05PM timeslot have suffered from Happy Together over the years.

SBS's People Searching for Laughter (웃찾사) once dominated Thursday nights in 2005, but ratings went down and it moved to different timeslots (Sundays 6:40pm and Fridays 9:55pm). It later moved back to Thursdays at 11:05pm in 2008 but ratings were still low and moved to Saturdays at 4:10pm in 2010. Hey Hey Hey Season 2 (헤이헤이헤이 시즌2) began airing in 2006 but was cancelled after 9 months due to low ratings. Mystery Hunters (미스터리 특공대) and Love Generation (연애시대) began airing in 2008 and both were cancelled after 3 months due to low ratings. Entertainment Tonight (한밤의 TV연예) moved to that timeslot on SBS but is suffering from low ratings as well. Over on MBC, Dissatisfaction Zero (불만제로) aired for several years with low ratings and later moved to a new timeslot (Wednesdays at 6:30pm) in an effort to boost ratings. It was replaced by cheaper news programming, Who Plus (후플러스) and continues to air with low ratings as well.

Awards & achievements[edit]

Year Awards
2002
  • 1st KBS Entertainment Awards (December 28)[4]
    • Rookie of the Year Award - Lee Hyo-ri
    • Best Program Award - Happy Together
    • Grand Award (Daesang) - Shin Dong-yup
2003
  • 2nd KBS Entertainment Awards (December 27)[4]
    • Rookie of the Year Award - Kim Je-dong
    • Most Outstanding Award - Entertainment Category - Yu Jae-suk
    • Most Outstanding Idea Award - Happy Together - Metal Tray Karaoke Room
2005
  • 4th KBS Entertainment Awards (December 25)[4]
    • Most Outstanding Award - Entertainment Category - Tak Jae-hoon
    • Grand Award (Daesang) - Yu Jae-suk
2007
  • 6th KBS Entertainment Awards (December 22)[4]
    • Viewer's Choice Best Program Award - Happy Together Season 3
2008
  • 7th KBS Entertainment Awards (December 27)[4]
    • Outstanding Award - Entertainment Category - Shin Bong-sun
2009
  • 8th KBS Entertainment Awards (December 26)[4]
    • Outstanding Award - Entertainment Category - Shin Bong-sun
    • Most Outstanding Award - Entertainment Category - Park Mi-sun
2010
  • 9th KBS Entertainment Awards (December 25)[4]
    • Best Entertainer Award - Park Myung-su
    • Best Teamwork Award - Happy Together Season 3 team
2011
  • 10th KBS Entertainment Awards [4]
    • Outstanding Writer Award - Entertainment Category - Jo Ki-Bbum

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yu Seung-jun left the show in a matter of weeks to "focus on his music career".
  2. ^ Both Lee Su-Geun and Shin Bong-Sun served as a joint panel and were referred to as Class Presidents (반장).
  3. ^ Kim Gu-ra joined the program after 2 months serving as an MC during That's You!, but joined the sauna segment after Park Jun-gyu left in 3 months.
  4. ^ Ji Sang-ryul only served as MC for a few months.

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Korean) "‘해피투게더3’ 200회 특집, 동시간대 시청률 1위". Daily News. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Ratings April 28, 2005(Korean), TNS Media Korea, Retrieved on September 26, 2007
  3. ^ Description of the corners in Happy Together(Korean), KBS Happy Together Homepage, Retrieved on September 26, 2007
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h (Korean) Past Award Winners, KBS, Retrieved on 15 July 2011

External links[edit]