Kang Ho-dong

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Kang Ho-dong
'한끼줍쇼' 제작발표회 현장 14s.jpg
Birth nameKang Ho-dong
Born (1970-06-11) June 11, 1970 (age 49)
Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Years active1993–present
Lee Hyo-jin (이효진) (m. 2006)
Notable works and roles
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGang Hodong
McCune–ReischauerKang Hodong

Kang Ho-dong (Korean강호동; Hanja姜鎬童; Korean pronunciation: [kɐŋ.hodoŋ]; born June 11, 1970[1]) is a South Korean television host and comedian, who first became known to Koreans as one of the top Korean traditional wrestlers. He is known to be one of the two National MCs alongside with Yoo Jae-Suk.

In 2008, Kang Ho Dong became the first comedian in history to win the Baeksang Arts Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) for Television category. It also made him the first in history to achieve entertainment awards Daesang grand slam, including KBS, MBC, SBS and Baeksang.[2]

Along with comedian Yoo Jae-suk, he has terminated his contract with De Chocolate E&TF (a.k.a. Stom E&F) for issues of non-payment. On 9 September 2011, Kang announced that he would be taking a temporary leave of absence from the public eye due to rumors of tax evasion (which were later found to be caused by mistake by one of his agency's accountants). He announced his return to the entertainment industry in late 2012 with S.M. C&C as Kang's new agency.

Personal life[edit]

Kang Ho-dong was born in Jinju on 14 July 1970 to a family of one brother and three sisters. Kang Ho-dong first met his wife on arranged double blind date with Yoo Jae-suk and on November 12, 2006, Kang married Lee Hyo-jin. On March 13, 2009, they had their first child, a boy named Kang Si-hoo.


Kang Ho-dong graduated from Masan Business High School. After graduating from high school, he started participating actively in professional Ssireum (Korean wrestling) matches. Early in his wrestling career, he lost many matches. However, on July 8, 1989, at the 44th national ssireum championships, the unseeded Kang managed to defeat the legendary Lee Mangi and went on to win the tournament, which marked the start of his successful Ssireum career. Known as 'Devil on the sand' for his arrogant and fearless demeanor, he went on to win the Baekdujangsa Ssireum Championship seven times and the Cheonhajangsa Ssireum Championship five times, he was widely recognized as the youngest ever Cheonhajangsa title holder.

After Kang retired from wrestling, he began his MC and comedian career in 1993, appearing on MBC as a talent. He was influenced by Lee Kyung-kyu, who is a famous MC and comedian in South Korea. He later became the host of a number of popular variety programs such as X-Man, Love Letter and Ya Shim Man Man. Kang has won numerous entertainment awards, and is widely recognized as one of the best television hosts in Korean television history. In 2011, he hosted four popular variety programs – Happy Sunday - 2 Days & 1 Night,[3] Golden Fishery, Star King and Strong Heart.

In 2008, the 44th Baeksang Arts Awards, Kang Ho Dong became the first in history to win the TV category Daesang (Grand Prize) as a comedian. The Daesang was only awarded to TV actors/actresses or drama ever since its establishment and Kang is the first one to break this tradition.

On September 9, 2011, Kang held a press conference announcing his retirement from the entertainment industry due to his tax evasion controversy and demand for investigation by the National Tax Service.

[4] The National MC Kang Ho Dong was investigated for tax evasion. He was initially laid with a fine due to a discrepancy in his numbers, but it seems that there were no formal charges or processes made against the multi-entertainer. On December 17, the Seoul District Prosecutor Office announced, "In the case of the fine being less than $500,000 USD (per year), the National Tax Service must file a charge of tax evasion in order for the subject to be a suspect of tax evasion. However, there has been no such charge up until now, so we have decided to drop the case as of the 16th." Kang Ho Dong's fine amounts to $700,000 USD for a combined three years, significantly less than the required $500,000 USD per year. The National Tax Service added, "Kang Ho Dong's annual fine is less than the required $500,000 USD. Furthermore, he did not commit acts of intentional evasion. It is merely a mistake made on behalf of his accountant, so we will not be charging him with tax evasion."

On 17 August 2012, Kang signed exclusive contracts with SM C&C with Lee Soo-man convinced him personally when he is retired and along with fellow MC Shin Dong-yup SM Entertainment and made a comeback.

Kang had a rough time after his return to the industry. Multiple programs in three main public broadcasts were canceled because of low ratings. However, starting at the end of 2015, Kang hosted a number of new variety shows in cable broadcast including Knowing Bros, Let's Eat Dinner Together in JTBC and New Journey to the West series in tvN. All of these programs have received very good feedback and high ratings. Thanks to the popularity of the program New Journey to the west, a spin-off program called Kang-sikdang was launched. As a result, Kang slowly regained his popularity and re-established his status of National MC.

Kang also owns a chain of Korean barbecue restaurants called Baek Jeong.[5]

Kang was voted in second place with Comedian Of The 2017.

Notable programs[edit]

  • Happy Sunday - 1 Night 2 Days is a wild variety program that airs on Sundays. Six or seven members, originally Kang Ho-dong (main MC), Lee Soo-geun, Eun Ji-won, Kim Jong-min, Ji Sang-ryul and Noh Hong-chul, later members in season 1 were Lee Seung-gi, Kim C, MC Mong, and Uhm Tae-woong, go on a trip for 1 night and 2 days and they play games (Bok-bul-bok) and present the beautiful scenery of South Korea to the viewers. Kang won his first Daesang from KBS during the annual KBS Entertainment Awards in 2008 for hosting 2 Days & 1 Night.
  • Golden Fishery was a talk show that aired on Wednesdays. Kang Ho-dong played a "knee guru" to whom celebrities presented a current problem and Kang, along with popular comedian Yoo Se-yoon and All Rise Band, tried to come up with a solution.
  • Star King is a talent variety program that airs on Saturdays. Each week, there are different challengers who compete for the title "STAR KING" and guests stars are invited to be the judges of the competition.
  • Strong Heart was a talk show originally hosted by Kang Ho-dong and Lee Seung-gi. It aired on Tuesdays. Each week, 24 guest stars were invited to share their entertaining or heartwarming stories that are related to the theme assigned and the guest with the most touching story was presented with the "Strong Heart" title.
  • Barefooted Friends was a variety and travel show where the hosts visited various countries in Asia, blending in by living like the locals in that specific country. Kang Ho-Dong was permanent host to the end of the show, alongside Yoon Shi-yoon, Yoon Jong-shin, Yoo Se-yoon, Kim Bum-soo, Eunhyuk, Kim Hyun-joong and Uee.
  • Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education or Cool Kiz on the Block is a variety sports show where the members play amateur sports games. When a sport ends, new members join the cast. Only the three permanent members stay, currently Kang Ho-dong (main MC), Jeong Hyeong-don, and Yang Sangguk. The members play against amateur or professional teams, and often fellow stars. At the KBS 2013 entertainment awards, Cool Kiz on the Block received a reward for the best teamwork.
  • New Journey to the West is a Korean reality TV series well known for reuniting the original cast and producer from the “golden era” of the KBS2 variety show “1 Night 2 Days, “New Journey to the West,” named after the Chinese legend “Journey to the West,” features a trip undertaken by Korean TV personalities Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, Eun Ji-won and Lee Seung-gi for 1st season. The first season of the show garnered an accumulated 50 million views on domestic portals by Apr 19,2016.[6]
  • New Journey to the West 2 is a sequel series of New Journey to the West starring South Korean comedians Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, singer Eun Ji-won and actor Ahn Jae-hyeon replaced Lee Seung-gi due to his attend to serve active military duty. The sequel however was watched more than 211 million times on Tencent (http://v.qq.com) as of Friday, tvN said. It is the shortest time a video has ever taken on the website to break 1 million views, the South Korean cable network said, adding the show has remained No. 1 in the entertainment category since premiering 45 days ago. (reported by 2016-06-04 11:16)[7]

Television shows[edit]

  Off-Air   On-Air

Year Start Year End Network Title Note
1997 1997 KBS Open Comedy - Mother
1999 1999 Joyful Super Sunday TV - MC Standby Cue
2002 2002
2003 MBC Kang Ho-dong's Soulmates
2004 SBS Beautiful Sunday
2003 2003 KBS Big Stars, First Looks Chuseok Special
SBS Saturday Wishes
2007 X-Man
2009 Ya Shim Man Man (S 1,2)
2004 2004 Healthy Men and Women
Star Olympiad
Medical Non-Fiction! Last Warning
2005 MBC Experimental Show, Really?! Really!
2006 SBS Love Letter
2005 2005 MBC 대통령과 함께하는 드림!드림!드림!
2006 2006 KBS 설특집 스타 대격돌 천하별미
2011 MBC Golden Fishery
2007 2007 KBS 두뇌왕 아인슈타인
Are You Ready
2011 SBS Star King
KBS 2 Days & 1 Night
2009 2011 SBS Strong Heart
2012 2013 MBC Golden Fishery Resume MC position
2016 SBS Star King Resume MC position
2013 2013 KBS2 Moonlight Prince
SBS Barefooted Friends
2016 KBS Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education
2015 2015 Invisible Man
2016 JTBC Mari and me
2018 tvN New Journey to the West (S 1 - 6)
Present JTBC Knowing Bros
2016 2016 O'live Korean Food war (S 4)
Naver TV Cast Celeb Champions Trophy
Present JTBC Let's Eat Dinner Together
2017 2017 SBS Elementary School Teacher Lunar New Year special (2 Parts)
MBN Parents Watch
tvN Suspicious Singer
2018 O'live / tvN Island Trio (S 1 - 2)
2019 tvN Kang's Kitchen (S 1 - 3)
2018 2018 O'live Talkmon
E Channel For the first time since I was born
2019 SBS Plus Day You Eat Out
tvN Amor Fati
O'live Everyone's Kitchen
SBS We Will Channel You
tvN Great Escape (S 1 - 2)
A Battle of One Voice: 300 (S 1 - 2)
2019 E Channel 똑.독.한 코디맘 : 베이비 캐슬
Channel A Good People
Present TVChosun Brother Sister
Channel A Eye Contact
tvN V-1 Chuseok Pilot Show
MBN 보이스퀸


  • 2005: "Oh! Happy Day" (Christmas carol featuring child actress, Chae Eun)
  • 2009: "Horror Show" (featured in MC Mong's repackaged album, Humanimal, also featured in the music video)
  • 2018: "I kicked my luck off" (SM STATION, Kang Ho-dong & Hong Jin-young)

Awards and achievements[edit]

Ssireum (wrestling)[edit]

Year Competition Division Result
1987 11th Hoejanggijaengtaljeon National Wrestling Championships (장사급) Runner-up
1989 44th National Wrestling Championships 95.1 kg or more Won
1990 47th National Wrestling Championships 95.1 kg or more Won
1990 18th Wrestling Tournament Titans Freeweight Won
1991 54th National Wrestling Championships 95.1 kg or more Won
1991 21st Wrestling Tournament Titans Freeweight Won
1992 24th Wrestling Tournament Titans Freeweight Won


Year Award Category Results
1995 TV Journal Star King Top Excellence Award Won
1998 MBC Entertainment Awards Excellence Award in a Comedy/Sitcom Won
2002 MBC Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in a Variety Show Won
2003 SBS Entertainment Awards Special Award, MC category Won
39th Baeksang Arts Awards Best TV Entertainer (Soulmates) Won
SBS Drama Awards Special Award Best Television MC Won
2005 4th KBS Entertainment Awards Special Award, MC category Won
SBS Drama Awards Special Award Best Television MC Won
2007 SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
6th KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Idea Corner Award Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Korean Wave Program Award - X-man Won
2008 44th Baeksang Arts Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
7th KBS Entertainment Awards Won
MBC Entertainment Awards Won
20th Korean Producers' Award of Korea Best Show Host (1 Night 2 Days) Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Netizen's Choice Program of the Year Excellence Award (Star King) Won
2008 Famous Creative Entertainment "1 of top 50" Won
9th Korea Visual Arts Awards Photogenic Award, MC category Won
2009 8th KBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Best Program Award (Strong Heart) Won
8th KBS Entertainment Awards Viewer's Choice Program (1 Night 2 Days) Won
2010 SBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
Program of the Year Award (Star King) Won
SBS 20th Anniversary Entertainment 10 Star Award Won
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Appreciation Plaque
(presented by Yu In-chon) (1 Night 2 Days)
Korea Tourism Awards 2010 Merit Division (1 Night 2 Days) Won
9th KBS Entertainment Awards Viewer's Choice Program (1 Night 2 Days) Won
2011 SBS Entertainment Awards Excellence Program Award (Talk Show Category) (Strong Heart) Won
2013 SBS Entertainment Awards Producer MC Award (Star King) Won
1st Gimcheon International Masters Diving Competition Special Award (Barefooted Friends) Won
SBS Entertainment Awards Producers award (TV sector) Won
12th KBS Entertainment Awards Best Teamwork Award (Cool Kiz on the Block) Won
Kind to Rookie Award (Cool Kiz on the Block) Won
2014 SBS Entertainment Awards Excellence Award for Programs (Talk Shows category) (Star King) Won
2015 14th KBS Entertainment Awards Best Teamwork Award (Cool Kiz on the Block) Won
2016 tvN10 Awards Best Content Award, Variety (New Journey to the West) Won


  1. ^ "영원한 통"..'아는형님', 강호동 48번째 생일 축하
  2. ^ "지상파 안 나와도 톱 찍는 예능인". 1boon (in Korean). 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  3. ^ "South Korean celeb programs popular in North". The Korea Herald. March 27, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  4. ^ "TV Host Cleared of Tax Dodging". chosun.
  5. ^ Gold, Jonathan (10 November 2012). "Counter Intelligence: The basics of life at Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong" – via LA Times.
  6. ^ "Na's 'New Journey' kicks off today". Korea JoongAng Daily.
  7. ^ "Korean reality show hits 200 million views in China". 4 June 2016.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tak Jae-hoon
KBS Entertainment Awards - Daesang
2008 & 2009
Succeeded by
Kang Ho-dong