Infinite Challenge

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Infinite Challenge
Infinite Challenge Logo.jpg
Promotional Logo
Also known as Infinity Challenge
Muhan Dojeon
Genre Comedy, Variety, Reality
Created by Kim Tae-ho[1](de facto)
Directed by Kim Tae-ho
Je Young-je(co-dir.)
Hwang Ji-yeong (co-dir.)
Creative director(s) Kim Gu-san
Presented by Yoo Jae-suk (de facto)
Starring Park Myeong-su
Jeong Jun-ha
Noh Hong-chul
Jeong Hyeong-don
Haha
Opening theme Non stop, vive Fosset
by Vive la Fete
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 394
(as of August 30, 2014,
for its 4th season)
(List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Kim Tae Ho
Location(s) Worldwide
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 75-80 minutes per episode
Production company(s) MBC
Broadcast
Original channel MBC, MBC+ Drama, MBC every1
Picture format NTSC; ATSC for 2008 Infinite Challenge concert
Audio format Monophonic
First shown in South Korea
Original run April 23, 2005 (2005-04-23) – present
Chronology
Preceded by Super Recommended Saturday
(강력 추천 토요일)
Related shows Infinite Girls (spin-off)
External links
Website

Infinite Challenge (a.k.a. Muhan Dojeon; Hangul: 무한도전; hanja: 無限挑戰; abbreviated as 무도 Mudo) is a Korean television entertainment program, distributed and syndicated by MBC. As of January 2013, it still has the largest market share for its timeslot; roughly between 13 to 17 percent of Korean television viewers watch Infinite Challenge at 6:30 PM every Saturday night.[2] This makes it the top free-to-air television program on Saturday evening, and it's also the most viewed non-drama program in South Korea every week (excluding special sporting events, since November 2006, with the exception of January 2009,[3] April and May 2010[4]).[5] It has kept the same scheduled time, since first airing in 2005. Since 2009, it lasts for roughly 75 minutes, excluding ten minutes of advertising. Episodes are also frequently rerun on several Korean cable broadcasting channels.[6] Since February 19, 2011 (episode 237), the program has been aired in high-definition.[7] Infinite Challenge have been called the nation's variety and Korea's real first variety for having been successful for over nine years.[citation needed]

Contents[edit]

Infinite Challenge is recognized as the first "Real-Variety" show in Korean television history.[8] The program is largely unscripted and follows a similar format of challenge-based Reality Television programs, familiar to some audiences in the West. The challenges are often silly, absurd, or impossible to achieve, so the program takes on the aspect of a satirical comedy variety show rather than a more standard reality or contest program. In earlier episodes, the show's six hosts and staff would continuously proclaim that, in order to achieve its comedic purposes, the program was 3-D: Dirty, Dangerous, and Difficult.[9]

Occasional segments[edit]

These segments are part the show but are only featured from time to time.

Recent segments
  • "Muhan News" - This comic-based newscast presents bits of stories which report events that happened to some or all of the cast members, and also reports on aspects of their life outside of the program. As Yoo Jae-suk, the moderator of this newscast, says at the beginning of the segment every time, the segment is 'just for fun' rather than focusing on the truth of reports. Since Season 4, this segment has become very infrequent and turned to focusing more on actual events in the hosts' lives while still maintaining a balance between facts and humor.
  • "Muhan Company" - This is the one of the program's regular comic sketches (another one is "Park Myungsoo is Twelve Years Old") and being scripted unlike other Infinite Challenge contents. In this segment, the cast played as the employees from a fictional company called "Muhan Company" (Korean: 무한상사) which their characters mainly based on the members' respective characters. "Muhan Company" originally was the cast's recreation of old Korean conte by late comedian Kim Hyung-gon called "President, President, Our President" (Korean: 회장님 회장님 우리 회장님), portraying a comic situation of the board of directors of one company, for a special episode following Haha's return from his military service (S04E199). However, this conte later developed into an episode-long sketch where the concept of board of directors was changed to the staff of one department with Yoo Jae-suk as its head.
  • "Ha & Soo" - A situation comedy (sitcom, Korean: '하&수') acted out by Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myeong-su. Park Myung-soo's aggressive, hot-tempered character is highly contrast with Jeong Jun-ha's timid, simple-minded character and made them constantly quarreling with each other about petty issues. When Jeong and Park make funny, another members call it 'Ha & Soo'. They are evaluated to be a good duo and even won the "Best Couple" award at the 2011 MBC Entertainment Awards, making them the first male-male couple to have ever won the title[10]
  • "Hidden Camera" (Korean: 몰래 카메라) - Besides being a key aspect of Jimotmi, the cast and staff of the show also perform hidden-camera segments in which they record the members' natural behavior to certain contrived situations.
Former segments
  • "Jimotmi" - Jimotmi which stands for 지켜주지 못해서 미안해 (Jikyeojuji motaeseo mianhae), which means 'Sorry I could not look out for you.' In this segment, the members play hidden-camera pranks on each other to see how they react.
  • "Muhan Theatre" - The cast members of Infinite Challenge unexpectedly present a conte (short-term comic stories). One of the conte, "Muhan Company", later developed into the show's featured sketch (see above)
  • "Please, be..."(series) - This segment was introduced to instill common principles to all of the members (apart from their trademark, 'selfishness'). '"Please, come early"' (Korean: 일찍 와주길 바라) and '"Please, be friendly"' (Korean: 친해 지길 바라, featuring Ha-Ha and Jeong Hyeong-don) were two memorable forms of this segment.
  • Ah-Ha - A Korean word game in which one member says a word, and the next person must then say that word backwards. For example, 'Mu-han-do-jeon' (Name of this program in Korean) would be 'Jeon-do-han-mu.' Members who failed or made mistakes would be hit over the head. This segment premiered in the 2nd season (Infinite Challenge - The Master of Quiz) and is still played occasionally.
  • "One-flash Telepathy" - After hearing a word which has been given from the production booth, each member presents a gesture that he believes best represents that word. The members win a round if all six members perform the same gesture and face a punishment if they do not. The original alleged purpose of this segment was to unite the minds of the members; however, they have yet to succeed. Voice narration for this segment (including 'Ah-ha') was done by Na Gyeong-eun, who serves as an announcer for the MBC and eventually married Yoo Jae-suk.
  • Television Advertisements - Throughout the episodes, the hosts create some satirical Korean television advertisements. For example, Jeong Jun-ha performed a parody of Neutrogena by New Caledonia and also Hauzen by Samsung Electronics.
  • Calendar-making Project - During the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011), the members of Infinite Challenge have created a series of unique calendars and donated all profits from these sales to charity. This project has succeed every seasons.[11]

2008 Host-in-Chief Elections[edit]

Candidates Votes Notes
Yoo Jae-suk 5 (13.9%)
Park Myeong-su 10 (27.8%) Elected, but thought to have
meddled with the votes
Jeong Jun-ha 7 (19.4%)
Jeong Hyeong-don 6 (16.7%)
Noh Hong-chul 2 (5.5%)
Ha Dong-hoon 6 (16.7%)
Others 6 (Invalid votes)
Total 42 (100.0%) Turnout: 84.0%

After a humorous request by Park Myeong-su to have 'a new leader in a new year 2008', all Infinite Challenge members and staff held a vote for a new 'host-in-chief' on December 31, 2007, at the nation's own natural gas field near Ulsan.[12] This episode aired on January 12, 2008.


Major Campaign Pledges

  • Park Myeong-su - Promised that he will wipe out the 'unpopular' and 'old-fashioned' comedy, if elected (썩은개그, 낡은개그 청산)
  • Jeong Jun-ha - Providing 'Winter clothes' for all hard-working staff (모든 스태프에게 방한복 지급)
  • Ha Ha - Liberalization of individual hairstyle (두발 자유화)
  • Jeong Hyeong-don - Serving a wide range (selection) of lunch for all members and staff (다양한 중식 제공)
  • Yoo Jae-suk(Inc.) - Pledged for all eligible voters to serve as a host-in-chief again (재선 도전)
  • Noh Hong-chul's pledge one was not on the air.


Votings
All entertainment managers and co-ordinators cast their vote earlier that day (06:00 AM) at the South gate of the MBC Headquarters, and the members and other staff of the MBC voted the night of the election, after attending a meeting where all candidates stated their pledges. All votes were counted on the morning of New Year's Day (08:00 AM).


Results
Most voters expected Yoo Jae-suk to return as the 'host-in-chief' without much difficulty. However, to everyone's shock, Park Myeong-su was found to have earned the most of the votes. (On-air evidence suggests that Park somehow rigged the vote box, as he attempted and succeeded in destroying the evidence caught on CCTV. Furthermore, the tally after the vote count had only 36 votes, when Yoo Jae-suk had declared that there were 42 votes the previous day.) Therefore, Park Myeong-su was elected as the new host-in-chief. Following an agreement that every candidate agreed to before the election, the new host-in-chief's leadership was to be tested in the next 3 weeks, and if the winner did not show sufficient leadership skills, they were to be recalled and a re-election was to be held. Also as a result of this vote, Noh Hong-chul, the candidate with the fewest votes, was chosen to prepare traditional goods (a grand sum of 200 kg rice from Icheon). He chose the new leader Park Myeong-su to help him with this task.


Aftermath

Candidates Party Name Votes Notes
Yoo Jae-suk Kung-festival Party (쿵잔치당) 29 (60.4%) Elected, Regained
his leadership
Park Myeong-su Wideopened-hair Party (열린머리당) 3 (6.3%)
Jeong Jun-ha Our Ji-min Party (우리지민당) 0 (0.0%)
Jeong Hyeong-don Creative Awkward Party (창조어색당) 7 (14.6%)
Noh Hong-chul Anal fistula Party (치루치루당) 4 (8.3%)
Ha Ha Absentee Party (무재자당) 5 (10.4%)
Total 48 (100.0%) Turnout: 96.0%
  • At the beginning of episode 88 of season 3, (assisting MBC's historical drama series 'Yi San' challenge; aired on January 19, 2008), Host-in-chief Park Myeong-su nominated his manager Jeong Seok-kwon as the chairperson of the 'Host-in-chief Transition Committee,' despite Yoo Jae-suk, who had been left at the bottom by the other members on that day, strongly arguing and resisting this change. However, Park Myeong-su eventually did his job of opening and closing that episode, calling the program 'Host-in-Chief Park's Muhan Dojeon'.
  • After a poor performance for three whole weeks by Park Myeong-su, he announced at a "press conference" (prepared by Infinite Challenge) that he would, following the promise, step down as the three weeks have passed, and wait for the new election to take place. Yoo Jae-suk was appointed as interim host-in-chief on February 2, 2008. The second host-in-chief election was held on February 4, 2008 at the MBC Dream Center in Ilsan. The re-election coverage was on air on March 15, 2008. At the re-election, Yoo Jae-suk won the majority of the votes and was once again reinstated as the 'host-in-chief.'

WM7[edit]

From July 2009, with Park Myeong-su as president of their club (협회장), the members started training for the long-term WM7 (Wrestling Muhan 7) project, in which they would attempt to stage a professional wrestling show as part of Infinite Challenge. Inviting Son Star (손스타), junior-professional wrestler and the drummer for popular band Cherry Filter, as their coach, the members began learning professional wrestling moves to perform in front of an audience. After numerous injuries (including a concussion suffered by Jeong Hyeong-don), setbacks, and delays, the members finally put on a performance in front of a live audience on 19 August 2010 at Jangchung Gymnasium. The training process itself was broadcast in several half-hour segments within full episodes, except for the last two episodes (which were of the wrestling show itself), from 3 July 2010 to 11 September for a total of 11 episodes. MBC eventually released a DVD edition of this challenge, featuring several unaired segments and stories and the full uncut performance.

2014 Decision[edit]

Mirroring the 2008 Host-in-Chief election, the Infinite Challenge members and crews held a nation-wide election to choose not only a leader of Infinite Challenge for the next 10 years, but to promote the citizen's participation on the upcoming 2014 South Korean local elections.[13]


Major Campaign Pledges

  • Ha Ha - "I will protect Infinite Challenge", promised for a new and fresh generation of leadership
  • Jeong Hyeong-don - "I will make you cry after you laugh", promised to set up a Ratings Emergency Response Headquarter
  • Yoo Jae-suk(Inc.) - "I will stay with the fundamentals of entertainment shows", promised for stay in the fundamentals of the show and bring the members that has not fully put their efforts on the show to be flogged in public
  • Noh Hong-chul - "I will show you everything", promised for uncovering every members' and crews' secrets as well as featuring the members' spouses and kids on the show
  • Park Myeong-su - As he running as a candidate for blocking Yoo Jae-suk's effort only, he has no any campaign pledge and going with "Seung-chul, let me buy a food" slogan instead
  • Jeong Jun-ha pledged that the members who has not being funny in three weeks a row must demoted temporarily from the shows and let other new talents to take a place.


Internet polling
The crews held two internet polls, first based on their preference of members' pledges and then after the first episode of Decision 2014 specials aired (May 3, 2014). About 10,000 people participated on the polls. Yoo Jae-suk won the first internet poll with 29%, but lost it to Noh Hong-chul with 44% of votes on the second poll. The result of the second poll alarmed the rest of members who worried that their personal secrets would be revealed if Noh Hong-chul win the actual election. Haha and Jeong Jun-ha then dropped out their nominations and supported Jeong Hyeong-don instead. Park Myeong-su who was running for blocking Yoo Jae-suk's effort on the election ironically supported his former rival, making the actual election was participated by three candidates only (Jeong Hyeong-don, Yoo Jae-suk, and Noh Hong-chul).

Candidates Spot polls Internet votes Combined votes
Yoo Jae-suk 40,644 (42.63%) 156,551 (43.12%) 197,195 (42.8%)
Noh Hong-chul 35,322 (37.04%) 116,563 (32.11%) 151,885 (34.52%)
Jeong Hyeong-don 19,327 (20.17%) 89,933 (24.77%) 109,260 (22.68%)
Total 95,351 363,047 458,398


Votings
About 50,000 people, including the members of Infinite Challenge, cast their votes on May 22, 2014 on the polling stations at ten major cities on South Korea (Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu, Ulsan, Gwangju, Busan, Jeju, Chuncheon, and Jeonju). Another 34,000 people cast their votes earlier on the preliminary voting on May 17–18, 2014. Internet voting also held at the same time of actual poll for the people who not able to cast their votes on the polling stations. 363,047 people participated on the internet voting.


Result
The winner of Infinite Challenge's Decision 2014 is decided by combining the spot polls and the online votes by 50:50 percentage. Yoo Jae-suk won the election by defeating Noh Hong-chul with 45,310 marginal votes or 8.29% of the combined votes.

Infinite Challenge Music Festival[edit]

Started from 2009, the hosts collaborates with the real-life musicians in order to compete for the Infinite Challenge Music Festival that held every two years.

Year Festival Team Song Result
2009 Olympic Expressway Music Festival
(올림픽대로 듀엣가요제)
Yoo Jae-suk with Tiger JK & Yoon Mi-rae (Future Liger) "Let's Dance" LIVE Won
Jun Jin & Lee Jung Hyun (Charisma) "Senorita" LIVE Gold prize
Hyung Don & Epic High (Three people pig face) "Barbeque" LIVE Silver Prize
Noh Hong-chul & No Brain (Dol Brain) "Heat-Stroke Sea Gull" LIVE Bronze prize
Park Myeong-su & SNSD's Jessica (Myung-ca Drive) "Naengmyun" LIVELIVE M-CORE Nominated
Jeong Jun-ha & After School (After Shaving) "Youngkye Baeksook" LIVE Nominated
Gil & YB (band) "I'm Cool" LIVE Nominated
2011 Westcoast Highway Music Festival
(서해안고속도로 가요제)
Yoo Jae-suk & Lee Juck (Dropping Snail) "Apgujeong Nallari" (압구정 날라리) LIVE Won
"As I Say" LIVE
Park Myeong-su & G-Dragon (GG) "I Cheated" LIVE Won
Jeong Jun-ha & Sweet Sorrow (Sweet Nasal Sorrow) "Will You Give Your Affection?" LIVE Won
Noh Hong-chul & Psy (Cheolssa) "Shake It" LIVE Won
Haha & 10CM (Sentimental Haha) "Do You Wanna Die or Date Me?" LIVE Won
Gil & Bada (Sea Route) "The Song That Only I can Sing" LIVE Won
Jeong Hyeong-don & Jung Jae-hyung (Parasian) "The Innocent Macho" LIVE Won
2013 Free Highway Music Festival
(자유로 가요제)
Jeong Jun-ha & Kim C (Byung Sal) ft. Lee So Ra & Beenzino "Things That Will Float Away" LIVE Fifth Place
Jeong Hyeong-don & G-Dragon (Hyung Yong Don Jyeong) ft. Defconn "Trying To Do It" LIVE Second Place
Yoo Jae-suk & Yoo Hee-yeol (How Do Yoo Dul) ft. & Kim Cho Han "Please Don't Go My Girl" LIVE Third Place
Park Myeong-su & Primary (Leech) ft. Dynamic Duo's Gaeko "I got C"
MBC's youtube channel has PRIVATE the video from viewer due to accused of plagiarism.
LIVE in 무한도전: Season 354 clips
Won
Noh Hong-chul & Rose Motel (Rose Chin) "Call Me Your Oppa" LIVE Fourth Place
Ha Ha with Jang Giha & The Faces (Seventy Finger) "Super Jab-Cho Man (Grassman)" LIVE Eight Place
Gil & BoA (G.A.B) "G.A.B" LIVE Seventh Place
All Infinite Challenge members "Here We Are" LIVE Sixth Place

History[edit]

Season 1[edit]

The title of Season 1 was Reckless Challenge (무모한 도전). Led by Yoo Jae-suk, six or more Korean entertainers (with Noh Hong-chul and Jeong Hyeong-don as a regular members) tried to complete a 'sporting' mission in an outdoor studio, which was based on a viewer's suggestion submitted through the show's homepage. Some of the absurd challenges included racing in a foot-powered swan-shaped paddle boat against a motor boat, playing a tennis match against Maria Sharapova, appearing live on stage at a public fashion show, and playing football against Thierry Henry. A large part of the humor comes from the fact that the cast is generally not well-suited to the challenges they attempt. This program can be compared to the filmed-in-studio Wetten, dass..? of Germany, as the program mainly focuses on the process and progress of the challenges, rather than focusing on the accomplishment of a mission.[14] This format lasted only from April 23, 2005 to October 22, 2005. Despite having a strong following, its average ratings were very low (roughly 5 percent). Due to its sports-related theme, reruns of Season 1 and sports-related episodes of Season 4 (i.e. WM7) episodes are frequently aired on MBC Sportsplus, MBC's satellite and cable network for sports-casting.

Season 2 and 3[edit]

From October 29, 2005 to April 30, 2006, Season 2 was titled Excessive Challenge (무리한 도전). For the first few episodes, the program was fairly similar to the first season. However, because the cast members wanted to redefine their characters, they decided to change the whole program concept, calling it Infinite Challenge - Master of Quiz in the third season. Since then, six hosts (with Yoo Jae-suk as 'host-in-chief') played a Korean-letter game called 'Ah-ha' (see below); competed in their knowledge and mental power; participated in on-line popularity polls about specific themes; and explored other comic features.[15] Although the average ratings were low, the unity and dynamics of the members significantly improved. A panelist from Season 1, Park Myeong-su, came back as a co-host, and Haha and Jeong Jun-ha also became co-hosts of the program.

Season 4[edit]

On May 6, 2006, the fourth and current season (format) of the program that now simply known as Infinite Challenge (무한도전), went on air. Special coverage of 2006 World Cup Germany was featured for the entire month of June 2006, along with some 'Ah-ha' specials (with Shinhwa, for example) at the beginning of each episode. However, in July 8, 2006, the program took its memorable first step as the first 'Real-Variety' television program in Korean television history, with the airing of a segment called 'Please, come early': The six members were asked to come to the recording session on time or experience some form of punishment (일찍 와주길 바래, a part of the 'Please, be...' series see below), combining elements of both Reality TV and Variety programming, including comic characters from each of the Infinite Challenge members, see 'hosts'). Thereafter, the program has created challenges with regard to anything related to real life (excluding some critical issues such as politics, religions, and sexual preferences), in outdoor studios, with little use of acting or heavily-based plotting. Since December 2, 2006, the program has received the highest ratings of prime-time lineups for Saturday evening.[16]

Hosts[edit]

Current[edit]

Name Joined Nickname Character Description and Notes
Yoo Jae-suk
(유재석, Host-in-chief)
Since April 2005 Captain Yu/Yu banjang (유반장)[17]
The First-in-command (1인자)
National MC (국민 MC)
The grasshopper (메뚜기)
Mr. Playboy Yu/Nal Yu (날유)
The Sun (해님)
God Yu(유느님)
저쪼아래
As host-in-chief, he led all Infinite Challenge members in attempting to reach the goal of each episode. In 2008, he was temporarily replaced by Park Myeong-Su, but was reinstated as host-in-chief several weeks later.
Park Myeong-su
(박명수)
May - July 2005[18]
Oct. 2005 - Incumbent
Giant Star/Geo-seong (거성)[19]
Father (아버지)
The Second-in-command (2인자)
The Son of the Devil (악마의 아들)
NYSD(뉴욕쇠독)
Rash Man(깨방정)
Sancho Park (산초박)
Alien (외계인)
The leafhopper/Rice insect (벼멸구)
Worthless older brother (하찮은 형)
Unique Myeong-su (고유명수)
(A play on 고유명사/"Proper noun")
CEO Park/Park sajang (박사장)
Point five (쩜오)
Great Park (그레이트 박)
Flag Park(박깃발)
The odd one out (쭈구리)
Peter(피터)
BBB (박번복)
Ten Jobs (십잡스)
Mr. Tricky Park
Mr. Reversal Park
Mr. Flag Park
Winner Park (박대상)
One head, Two smell (한 머리 두 냄새)
Waiter Park (웨이터 박)
Senior Park (박선배)
Boy Park (소년명수)
Park has continuously proclaimed his nickname (Geo-seong, or Giant Star). He is often referred to as "Father" by the rest of the members due to his elderly look and his position as the oldest member of the program. This is especially prevalent when Myeong Su's receding hair is flattened or his make-up is removed. See his page for more details. His (on-air) persona is that of a veteran grumpy "upperclassman" of the other members. He often shouts or reprimands his "underclassmen," usually about humorously trivial matters.Thanks to his current work as the co-host of Infinite Challenge, Park Myung-soo gained more than 250 nicknames throughout his appearances on the program as listed by the netizens.[20]
  • Giant Star/Geo-seong (거성) The Most popular Park Myeong-su nicknames [21]
Jeong Jun-ha
(정준하)
Since March 2006 The Helmet (헬멧),[22]
The Lord of Eating (식신)[23]
Monster (괴물)
The Third-in-command (3인자)
Stupid brother (바보형)
Mr. Jeong Joong-ang (정중앙씨)
Fat-fatso (뚱뚱보)
Jjeori Jjang (쩌리짱)
Global Moron[24]
Cool Guy(쿨가이)
Manager Jeong (정총무)
Jeong Jun-yeon-a(정준연아)
(Kim Yeon-a Parody)
Somewhat lacking but a good friend
(약간 모자라지만 착한 친구)
Jonathan(조나단)
Love evangelist(사랑 전도사, 사랑꾼)
Wax drippings Jeong (정촛농)
Grandfather (할아버지)
Icon of Aging (노화의 아이콘)
His character is mainly defined by 3 things: his size (often referred to as being 0.1 tons, or 100 kilograms), appetite, and a degree of slowness in judgment. His extraordinarily large head (supposedly 8 kg) has gotten him, on a few occasions, called "Chivas Degal" (Degal = is a shortened word for "Degari", a vernacular word for "head"). In the 50th episode special of season 3, he was challenged to eat 50 plates of noodles in five minutes. The plates altogether weighed about 10–30 kg. (He succeeded, but had to go straight to the lavatory and subsequently slept in the back of the studio). On episode 61 of season 3, he went to a hair salon with Hong-chul to curl Hong-chul's hair. He asked a woman who was working there if she knew Jun-ha's name, but she said Joong-ang by mistake. Since that time, the members, including the creator Yoo Jae-suk, have frequently teased him as Mr. Jeong Joong-ang (정중앙씨), which means 'Mr. Square-in-the-middle'.
Jeong Hyeong-don
(정형돈)
Since April 2005 Fatso (뚱보)
Awkward fatso (어색한 뚱보)
[25]
Jinsang (진상, nuisance)
Jeong Hang-don (정항돈)
The Moon (달님)
Doni (도니)
Crazy Existence (미친존재감)
Gaehwadong Orange-Tribe
(개화동 오렌지족)
A comedian by profession before joining the team, Jeong Hyeong-don used to appear in the Korean comedy show Gag Concert (where Do-Re-Mi Trio being one of his many skits). However, over many episodes, he has demonstrated remarkable talent in everything imaginable (for example, catching grapes with his mouth or playing a Korean jump-rope game) except being funny. He is teased by the other members for this. His character is also defined by the ability to make anyone around him feel awkward.
Noh Hong-chul
(노홍철)
Since April 2005 Stone Kid/Psychopath/Crazykid/Dol+I
('돌+아이'),[26]
Childhood friend(with Haha)
(죽마고우)
Quickmouth (퀵마우스)[27]
Noh Jji-rong (노찌롱)
Global Fraudster(글로벌 사기꾼)
Noh big-jaw(노하관)
Fraudster (사기꾼)
Affirmation Noh (노긍정)
Anal Fistula Patient(치루치루)
Dekopon (한라봉)
Ppakku (빡구)
'돌+아이/Dol+I' was created by Yoo Jae-suk during episode 22 of season 3. Quickmouth was his original character, due to his ability to speak very rapidly. 돌+아이 (when written without the plus sign) is a Korean curse word meaning psychopath, or an extremely crazy person. Since this is a show watched by families, the staff humorously put a plus (+) sign in the middle to separate the word so its literal meaning becomes 'Stone+Kid' when in actuality it means 'psycho'. On-screen graphics often depict this nickname by displaying a large capital 'I' that looks to be made of stone ('아이' is pronounced like the letter 'I').
Ha Ha (하하)
(Ha Dong Hoon, 하동훈)
December 2005 - March 2008

March 2010 - Incumbent
Shorty (단신)[28]
Childhood friend(with Noh Hong-chul)
(죽마고우)
Little one (꼬마)
The M.A. Ha (석사 하하)
The Top Little one(상꼬맹이)
haroro (하로로)
Compares in the same age,
The friend who lacks
(또래에 비해 떨어지는 친구)
Hybrid Sammy Sosa Rio Lelvi (Hybrid)
Currently the youngest member of the program, Haha was long considered the cutest and best-looking member of the cast. He is also the most-educated member, having obtained a Master of Arts in Theatre & Film at Daejin University; however, during the episode of the 50th special, he got only 20 points on a 100-point elementary-level spelling test. In episode 62 of season 3, he sang a song called 'A Little Boy's Story' (키작은 꼬마 이야기) as a tribute to his short height, which is a constant target of ridicule among the cast. It was a huge sensation with viewers. Haha temporarily left the show from March 2008 through March 2010 in order to fulfill his mandatory military service. In his final episode before entering the service, Haha performed at a guerilla concert that was secretly organized by his fellow co-hosts.

Former[edit]

Name Joined Nickname Character Description and Notes
Jun Jin (전진)
(Park Chung-Jae, 박충재)
June 2008 - November 2009 Junstin Jinberlake (전스틴)
The roll-in kid (굴러들어온 놈)
Jan Jin (잔진)
The Million Dollar Boy (백만돌이)
In June 2008, Shinhwa member Jun Jin appeared on the show to replace Ha Ha. Jin showed his extraordinary physical talent and was a target for all the other members of Infinite Challenge, who envied his looks and abilities during many challenges.
Gil (길)
(Gil Seong-joon, 길성준)
April 2009 - April 2014 Baldy/Bbaak-Bbaak-ei (빡빡이)
Come between-Gil(이간길)
Honey jar(꿀단지)
Fat-fat-fatso (뚱뚱뚱보)
Ip-sae (입새)
(as he only brushes his teeth once a day)
Gilmeo (길메오)
(as a 'cameo' proclaimed by Yoo Jae-suk)
Overreacting (무리수)
The friend who born unfunny
(태생적으로 재미없는 친구)
Icon of Betrayal (배신의 아이콘)
Gil made his first appearance on an episode which featured Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na in April 2009, ostensibly substituting for Jeong Jun-ha, who had to leave the episode recording early. He remained a de facto member of Infinite Challenge until he became a full member later that year. During the Boxing episodes in January 2010, Gil showed off his 9-year-long training in the sport. Gil is often called the Unfunny Friend due to his inability to ad-lib as quickly as the other co-hosts.

On April 23, 2014 Gil was caught the police due to drunk-driving. Fan of the 'Infinite challenge' have been flooding the board with requests for Gil to leave the show for his inappropriate actions. Eventually, afternoon of the same day, MBC executives announced his leaving.[29]


Occasional Appearances[edit]

  • There are a number of people who both individually work for this program and irregularly appear with Infinite Challenge members (hosts). They are frequently referred to as 'the 8th member' (제8의 멤버).
Name Nickname Occupation Character Description and Notes
Defconn
(데프콘)
Daepho-phone(대포폰)
Peh-conn-ie(프콘이)
Singer
Long-time buddy of Jeong Hyeong-don
Member of "Hyeongdon and Daejoon" hip-hop duo (형돈이와 대준이)
Since MuDo's 'Rowing challenge' during the Spring-Summer season of 2011, he is the frequent pinch-hitter of this programme, while one or more cast members in absence.
Jeong Seok-kwon
(정석권)
Manager Jeong
(Jeong Sil-jang 정실장) Narrow-mouth Frog Brother (Mangkongei Hyong 맹꽁이형)
Long-time buddy &
Entertainment Manager of Park Myeong-su
While serving as a manager, Jeong Sil-jang had aspirations to be a comedian in his own right. Whenever he was given a chance to appear on-screen, he was often ridiculed by other cast members for attempting to constantly outperform others and for overacting in order to gain attention. As such, many of his parts were usually edited out of the final broadcast. To restrain his growing popularity, Park Myeong-su often teasingly ordered that his manager not appear on the show again.
Choi Jong-hun
(최종훈)
Choi Co-ordi. (최코디)
Almighty Co-ord. Choi
(Man-neung Choi-codi
/만능 최코디)
Entertainment Manager of Jeong Jun-ha As Jeong Jun-ha's coordinator, Choi also hoped to become a rising star as a professional actor his common hope of rising stardom (as a professional actor), with a lot of help from Jeong Jun-ha himself.[30] He prepared a bunch of radishes for the members on 'Kimchi Preparation' (S03E30) and 'Jun(Semi-) Hines Ward'(S03E77) episodes well, and he presented his professional agricultural skills on the episodes 'MD Goes to country' (S03E25) and 'Rice-planting' (S03E56).
Kim Oak-jeong
(김옥정)
Mrs. Kim (김옥정 여사)
Oak-jeong Kim (옥정 킴)
Jung d'Oak-jeong (융드옥정, named after her favourite outfit, the Jung Dress)
Mother of Ha Ha As has been regularly reported by the hosts, Kim has minimal cooking skills and is often humorously featured on the show to feed the cast members. She appeared for the first time in episode 83 of the third season; her closing comment of 'Hit that jackpot!' (Dae-bak Teo-ji-se-yo! 대박 터지세요) became an enormously popular new-year greeting.
TEO
Kim Tae-ho (김태호)
Bro. TEO (태호 형)
TEO PD (태호 PD)
Executive Producer of Infinite Challenge A pioneer of Korean entertainment, Kim Tae-ho produces and directs the show. Besides helping to create the unique Real-Variety format, Kim also innovated Korean television by adding unique captions to the show. Although captions are commonplace on Korean variety shows, Kim's captions went beyond simple descriptions or commentary, adding information on cast members' emotions and expressing reactions to the show, giving the captions an interactive feel that aligned with the viewing audience's thoughts. With high sensitivity for fashion, he gained extraordinary popularity when he officially opened his 'Cyworld' webpage. Although his presence is mostly felt through his captioning and occasional off-screen soundbites, he appeared as a witness of the Moot court challenge, which aired on February 20, 2010.
Kim Tae-hee
(김태희)
Writer Kim (김태희 작가) Writer of Infinite Challenge As a high-profiled co-writer of Muhan Dojeon and a Korean actress-namesake, she enjoys her huge popularity from dedicated viewers. During the 'Making a song for X-mas challenge'(S03E33) episode, she became very popular when Noh Hong-chul said that she 'has the posterior of (actress) Kim Tae-hee, but the front of Muhan Dojeon (infinitely challenging).'
Shin Mi-so
(신미소)
Miso Co-ordi. (미소코디) Fashion Co-ordinator of Yoo Jae-suk A Busan-native who helped assemble Yoo Jae-suk's wardrobe, Shin was also a popular 'guest' on the show. She debuted during a '100-minute Debate' (episode 42 of season 3), in which she was caught falling asleep in the audience. This incident made her name the top online keyword of March 2007. She was also featured when she accidentally broke a set of illuminators when Lee Young-ae appeared on Muhan Dojeon (episode 52 of season 3). She eventually appeared as a co-host of 'Madness Couples' (episode 75 of season 3) with the Host-in-chief Yoo Jae-suk. She was known to be able to argue with all six members of the show, earning her the nickname 'Aegis ship.'

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Result
2006 6th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang The Grand Prize Yoo Jae-suk Won
Best Programme; Voted By Netizen TEO PD with entire directing members of Infinite Challenge Won
Distingushed Male Award Haha Won
Best Actor of Show Variety Park Myeong-su Won
2007 MBC Programme Creating Award Outstanding Entertainment Programme TEO PD Won
Best Programme Won
Meritorious Service Medal Won
7th MBC Entertainment Awards Best Programme; Voted By Viewers Infinite Challenge Won
Congeniality Award Park Myeong-su Won
2008 8th MBC Entertainment Awards Best Variety Show Infinite Challenge Won
Outstanding Male Entertainers Jeong Hyeong-don Won
Special Awards - Best Star Jun Jin Won
89th National Athletic Competition Aerobic Amateur Club 6-People 2nd place Park Myeong-su Won
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Entertainment Program Infinite Challenge Won
20th Korean Broadcasting Award Award For Best TV Entertainment Programme TEO PD Won
2009 9th MBC Entertainment Awards Best Male Variety Daesang Infinite Challenge Won
Newcomer - Men's Division Gil Seong-joon Won
PD Award Yoo Jae-suk Won
Daesang (Grand Prize) Yoo Jae-suk Won
Variety Show Category Second Prize - Male Noh Hong-chul Won
Producer of the Year Infinite Challenge Won
People's Choice - Best Entertainment Program Won
36th Korean Broadcasting Award Award For TV (Programme) Director TEO PD Won
Award For Best TV Entertainment Programme Won
2010 10th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Yoo Jae-suk Won
Variety Top Excellence Award For Males Park Myeong-su Won
Bizarre Award Park Myeong-su Won
11th Korean National Assembly Award Award For Best TV Programme of the Year TEO PD with entire directing members of Infinite Challenge Won
22nd Korean Producers Grandprix Award For Best TV Entertainment Programme Won
2011 11th MBC Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in Show/Variety Yoo Jae-suk Won
"Best Couple" Awards (the first male-male couple to have ever won the title) Park Myeong-su & Jeong Jun-ha Won
Popularity Award Jung Jae-hyung Won
The 53rd Annual National Rowing Championships 2000m Novice Inn (Special Award) Infinite Challenge Won
Melon Music Awards Hot Trend Award Infinite Challenge West Coast Highway Song Festival Won
Korea Women Link blue media Family Award (The Butterfly Effect Feature) Infinite Challenge Won
2012 12th MBC Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Entertainer of the Year[31] Park Myeong-su Won
PD Award Yoo Jae-suk Won
"Best Couple" Awards Kim C & Jo Jung Chi Won
45th Houston International Film Festival 2012 Silver Prize Arts Infinite Challenge Won
2013 13th MBC Entertainment Awards [32] Most Popular Program Infinite Challenge Won
Popularity Award Noh Hong-chul Won
"Best Couple" Awards Jeong Hyeong-don & G-Dragon Won
High Excellence Award for Variety Shows Jeong Hyeong-don Won
49th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize Yoo Jae-suk Won

Guests[edit]

International[edit]

Name Appeared Occupation Notes
Fedor Emelianenko Season 4 Episode 18 ~ Episode 19 PRIDE heavyweight champion Appeared two episodes; he taught each member submission holds - Season 4
Thierry Henry[33] Season 4, Episode 57 ~ Episode 58 Football(Soccer) Player Appeared two episodes - Season 4
Maria Sharapova Season 1, Episode 23 ~ Episode 24 Tennis player Appeared two episodes - Season 1
Michelle Wie Season 4, Episode 1 ~ Episode 2 Golfer Appeared two episodes - Season 4
Paris Hilton Season 4, Episode 81 Starlet Appeared one episode - Season 4
Tenku Tsubasa (前田睦美) Season 4, Episode 189 and 190 Athlete (Boxer) Appeared two episodes - Season 4
MC Hammer[34] Season 4, Episode 312 Singer, Rapper Appeared one episode (Season 4), while featuring PSY for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2013
Ryan Seacrest[35] Season 4, Episode 312 TV Show Host, Broadcaster Appeared one episode (Season 4), while preparing Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2013, with PSY, Yoo Jae-suk, Noh Hong-chul, and Haha
Daisy Donovan[36] Season 4, Episode 326 TV show presenter, Broadcaster Appeared one episode (Season 4), to introduce this programme as one of South Korea's 'traditional television show', to the viewers in the United Kingdom. Her report was eventually shown on Channel 4 television show called "The Greatest Shows on Earth", on July 8, 2013.
Usain Bolt[37] Season 4, Episode 371 Jamaican sprinter Appeared one episode(Season 4), among Jamaica special episodes(369~371).

Korean[edit]

Numerous Korean celebrities have appeared on the show due to its popularity. Many of the guests have some relationships with the co-hosts of the show, including:

The show in popular culture[edit]

  • During the 12th episode (aired on August 16, 2007) of MBC's Monday-night variety programme 'Jippijiggi'(지피지기), comedian Park Su-hong urged Noh Hong-chul, Jeong Hyeong-don, and Ha Ha (members of Muhan Dojeon) to create a new comic-variety program called 'Yuhan Dojeon'(유한도전, 有限挑戰, Finite Challenge). However, this was a joke when he attended this program as a guest.[40]
  • MBC Drama, MBC's Drama and Entertainment channel on Skylife and Cable TV, has decided to launch a brand-new comic variety show called Infinite Girls (무한걸스), the female edition of Infinite Challenge. Six Korean entertainers including Song Eun-ei (송은이), Shin Bong-seon (신봉선), Kim Shin-young, Hwangbo, Baek Bo-ram and Jung Ga-eun serve as the co-hosts of this program. Previous hosts who have already left the show include Ahn Hye-kyeong (안혜경, who is former Ha Ha's girlfriend), Kim Hyeon-suk (김현숙), Bin-wu (빈우), Kim Ga-yeon (김가연) and Jung Shi-ah.[41] It aired on September 23, 2007, as a pilot (special) program for Hangawi holidays. Since October 15, 2007, This format went a regular-scheduled programme at the MBC Every1, MBC's Cable and Satellite network for comedy and variety shows, eventually.
  • On December 27, 2007, the SERI, a well-known economic research institute of South Korea, picked this program as the 6th most-influential product and service of the year 2007, due to its strong public popularity and its own productive characters.[42]
  • Infinite Challenge is often mentioned on other similar programs, when guests asking if the staff of the show in question copied the idea for a segment from Infinite Challenge.
  • In the first quarter of 2008, the Global Marketing Department of MBC reported that MBC had attempted to sell the format of Infinite Challenge to a European agency in Sweden. This was the first time in Korean television history that such a deal had been made. However, the contract was not finalized, as there were too many characters on the program for the Swedish company to reproduce. Even so, rights to the show were eventually sold to Air France and Qatar Airways' in-flight broadcast.[43]
  • The creators of Infinite Challenge filmed an advertisement about Bibimbap which has been shown in Times Square since November 26, 2010.[44] Due to this involvement, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had been put up a Plaque of Honour, to acknowledge MuDo's dedication.[45]
  • In 2011, Infinite Challenge held the West Coast Highway Music Festival. At this festival 7 teams participated and everyone got a trophy.[46]
  • The show is also famous for its loyal fans, especially from the youth demographic. Despite the show’s hiatus of 22 weeks due to MBC’s Union Labor Strike in 2012, the show was able to keep its strong popularity with television audiences. It was acclaimed as "the most favorite program in South Korea" numerous times.[47][48]
  • All of current members of Infinite Challenge cast (Yoo Jae-suk, Park Myung-soo, Jung Jun-ha, Jung Hyung-don, Noh Hong-chul, Haha, Gil) are featured on "Gentleman" music video by PSY.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Infinite Challenge to His Life, article from The Granite Tower, June 5, 2007
  2. ^ Muhan Dojeon's Rating is still No.1 slot - 9 week in a row(Korean), Xportsnews, January 13, 2013, Retrieved on January 14, 2013
  3. ^ Demonstration against controversial media-related bills draws 4,000, The Hankyoreh, Retrieved on December 31, 2008.
  4. ^ MBC labor union suspends strike, Allkpop, Retrieved on May 31, 2010
  5. ^ List of the Ratings of South Korean TV Programmes(Korean), Conducted by TNS Media Korea corp.
  6. ^ The resource of the superb power of Muhan Dojeon(Korean), Joongang Ilbo, Retrieved on May 28, 2007.
  7. ^ MuDo has been laughed in High Definition(Korean), Sports Hanguk, February 19, 2011, Retrieved on March 1, 2011
  8. ^ Ibid.
  9. ^ 'Muhan Dojeon Dictionary' got huge popular(Korean), Dkbnews, Retrieved on January 22, 2007
  10. ^ "Park Myeong-su-Jung Junha, MBC Entertainment Awards - Best Couple Award". sports.chosun.com. December 30, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ "'무한도전' 달력 예약 폭주," (in Korean). TV Report. 30 November 2012. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ ""Infinity Challenge" to Hold Nation-wide Election for New Leader". soompi.com. May 6, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ Showmanship, demolished the wall(Korean), The Hankyoreh, Retrieved on June 8, 2007.
  15. ^ Korean True-face, Muhan Dojeon(Korean), Hankyoreh 21, Retrieved on October 31, 2006
  16. ^ The rating of Muhan Dojeon renewed again to its highest mark(Korean), Starnews, Retrieved on November 26, 2006
  17. ^ Popular Nickname boosts the Programme(Korean), Starnews, Retrieved on January 31, 2007
  18. ^ S01E04(May 14, 2005) - S01E15(July 30, 2005).
  19. ^ The Rank of Korean Celebrities after starting Military service(Korean), Segye Ilbo, Retrieved on May 4, 2007
  20. ^ "무한도전 별명 정리 "박명수 별명 무려 294개…대박"". Retrieved 2013-07-03.  (Korean)
  21. ^ The Rank of Korean Celebrities after starting Military service(Korean), Segye Ilbo, Retrieved on May 4, 2007
  22. ^ Jeong Jun-ha crosses straightly(Korean), The Hankyoreh, Retrieved on January 8, 2007
  23. ^ Ibid.
  24. ^ Infinite Challenge Ep. 78 4/7(00:50)
  25. ^ Awkward as a progress of combining each programme(Korean), Starnews, Retrieved on January 24, 2007
  26. ^ 'Editing' decides the quality of Variety programmes(Korean), Starnews, Retrieved on March 28, 2007
  27. ^ To live happy, not discouraged(Korean), Ohmynews, Retrieved on March 12, 2007
  28. ^ Ibid.
  29. ^ "MBC Offers Official Statement For ‘Infinite Challenge’ Gil Caught Driving Drunk". kpopstarz. April 24, 2014. 
  30. ^ Choi Jong-hoon; "My common dream is to become an actor", Starnews, Retrieved on July 16, 2007
  31. ^ "Park Myung Soo Wins Grand Prize at 2012 MBC Entertainment Awards". Soompi. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  32. ^ ""Infinity Challenge" Cast Members Celebrate Another Successful Year". Soompi. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  33. ^ French soccer star Thierry Henry’s appearance on a Korean comedy program KBS World, Retrieved on June 26, 2007.
  34. ^ Psy, Yoo Jae Seok, No Hong Chul, and Haha with MC Hammer, Korea.com, January 13, 2013, Retrieved on January 14, 2013.
  35. ^ Ryan Seacrest Poses with Psy, Yoo Jaesuk, Haha, and Noh Hongchul, KpopStarz, January 1, 2013, Retrieved on January 14, 2013.
  36. ^ "Programme Information - The Greatest Shows on Earth", Channel 4, July 8, 2013, Retrieved on July 17, 2013.
  37. ^ ‘Infinite Challenge’ team seeks to invite Usain Bolt, February 23, 2014, Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
  38. ^ http://www.soompi.com/2013/12/21/infinity-challenges-lonely-friends-episode-ranks-1st-in-ratings-with-guests-daesung-sunny-and-more/#.UyL0gc6F9pM
  39. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2014/06/infinity-challenge-releases-group-photo-of-the-cheering-squad-in-brazil-including-lizzy-son-ye-jin-baro-and-more
  40. ^ Are Hongcheol, Hyeongdon, Haha creates a new programme with Park Su-hong?(Korean), Muhan Dojeon Gallery, Daum.net, Retrieved on August 25, 2007
  41. ^ 'Muhan Girls', The female's edition of Muhan Dojeon will be on air(Korean), Starnews, Retrieved on September 18, 2007
  42. ^ Weekly Insight: Korea’s Ten Hit Products and Services of 2007, the SERI, Retrieved on December 27, 2007
  43. ^ Deal of Muhan Dojeon programme has not been contracted with Sweden agency(Korean), Newsen.com, Retrieved on March 7, 2008
  44. ^ Bibimbap advertised at Times Square in NYC Dec. 02, 2010
  45. ^ MFAFF gave a plaque of Honour to MBC's Muhan Dojeon(Korean), Mediaus, December 10, 2010, Retrieved on January 10, 2013
  46. ^ [2](Korean), Newbusan.com, Retrieved on june 10, 2011
  47. ^ "‘Infinity Challenge’ named Korea’s Favorite TV Program". 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  48. ^ "'Infinity Challenge' ranked as the #1 show enjoyed by Korean viewers in April". 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  49. ^ "'Infinite Challenge' members to appear in Psy's new music video". 2013-04-07. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 

External links[edit]