Kang Ho-dong

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Kang Ho-dong
Kang Ho-Dong (cropped).jpg
Birth name Kang Ho-dong
Born (1970-06-11) June 11, 1970 (age 47)
Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Years active 1993–present
Genres Comedy
Spouse Lee Hyo-jin (이효진) (m. 2006)
Notable works and roles SBS X-Man
SBS Love Letter
SBS Star King
MBC Golden Fishery
KBS Happy Sunday: 1 Night 2 Days
SBS Strong Heart
KBS Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education
tvN New Journey to the West
JTBC Knowing Bros
Korean name
Hangul 강호동
Hanja 姜鎬童
Revised Romanization Gang Ho-dong
McCune–Reischauer Kang Ho-dong

Kang Ho-dong (born June 11, 1970) is a South Korean television host and comedian, who first became known to Koreans as one of the top Korean traditional wrestlers.

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.[1] On 9 September 2011, an emergency press conference was held at the Seoul Garden Hotel, in regard to his tax evasion rumours. Due to the controversy surrounding his name at the time, Kang decided to temporarily retire from the entertainment industry. Later on it was decided that his tax evasion was not intentional,as it was merely a mistake made on behalf of his accountant and his agency,which made him have to deal with two different irresponsible agencies in a row after his issues of non-payment with his previous agency.[2] 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 11 June 1970[citation needed] 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 - 1 Night 2 Days,[3] Golden Fishery, Star King and Strong Heart.

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 17th, 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."[5]

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. In December 2015, Kang joined JTBC's new variety show, Knowing Bros, as the cast member along with comedian Lee Soo-geun.[6][7]

Kang also owns a chain of Korean barbecue restaurants called Baek Jeong.[8]

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 1 Night 2 Days.
  • 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.[9]
  • New Journey to the West 2The series is A sequel 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)[10]

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
2003 SBS Saturday Wishes
2007 X-Man
2009 Ya Shim Man Man (S 1,2)
2004 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
2007 Are You Ready
2011 SBS Star King
2011 KBS 1 Night 2 Days
2009 2011 SBS Strong Heart
2012 2013 MBC Golden Fishery Resume MC position
2012 2016 SBS Star King Resume MC position
2013 2013 KBS2 Moonlight Prince
2016 Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education
2013 SBS Barefooted Friends
2015 2017 tvN go New Journey to the West (S 1 - 4)
2015 KBS Invisible Man
Present JTBC Knowing Bros
2016 Present JTBC Let's Eat Dinner Together
2017 2017 SBS Elementary School Teacher Lunar New Year special [11]
2017 MBN Parents Watch
2017 O'live / tvN Island Trio
2017 tvN Suspicious Singer
2018 tvN Kang's Kitchen
2018 2018 O'live Talkmon



  • 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)
  • 2009: "Ho Dong Show" (featured in MC Mong's repackaged album, Humanimal as a bonus track)

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 members) 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. ^ "Yoo Jae-suk files lawsuit against KBS, MBC, SBS and former agency" Allkpop . 11 December 2010. Retrieved 2015-01-06
  2. ^ " 14 September 2011, Retrieved 2012-03-16
  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". 
  5. ^ "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.https://www.allkpop.com/article/2011/12/court-dismisses-kang-ho-dongs-tax-evasion-case
  6. ^ Yoon, Dong Won. "'아는 형님' 강호동 이수근 민경훈 출연확정…12월을 수놓는 8인의 별들!". 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  7. ^ Chae, Sun Ah. "강호동 `아는형님` 출연확정, 이수근도 끌고 간다…어떤 예능일까?". 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  8. ^ Gold, Jonathan (10 November 2012). "Counter Intelligence: The basics of life at Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong" – via LA Times. 
  9. ^ "Na's 'New Journey' kicks off today". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  10. ^ "Korean reality show hits 200 million views in China". 4 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Non-Korean Idols Try To Guess Meanings Behind Korean Words To Hilarious Results". Soompi. 2017-01-27. Retrieved 2017-03-20. 

External links[edit]

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