Hope everyone had a happy holiday season with your family and friends!
In the Korean entertainment industry, the end of the year holiday season is a time when each of the three major broadcasting networks (KBS, MBC, and SBS) host their annual award shows. KBS started it off this year by hosting the KBS Entertainment Awards on December 25th. On this day, the veteran comedian and MC, Lee Kyung Gyu, took home the top prize, winning the Daesang for Qualifications of Men. (Note: I am always tempted to call it the “Daesang award,” but that would be incorrect. The “sang” in “Daesang” means “award” or “prize”, so saying he won the “Daesang award” is like saying he won the “Grand Prize Prize”.)
This was Lee Kyung Gyu’s 7th Daesang, but his first from KBS. I was very happy to learn about his win for two reasons. First, at 50 years of age, he is the only comedian still going strong from the older generation. Second, despite having been at the top for over a decade (shown by his past six Daesang), he went through a slump the last few years and many thought Lee Kyung Gyu’s glory days were over, having been succeeded by the two nation’s MCs, Yoo Jae Suk and Kang Ho Dong. Lee’s win signified the “resurrection of the legend.” So major congrats to Lee Kyung Gyu is definitely in order!
Here’s a complete list of all the past Daesang winners. The Entertainment Awards went through several name changes, and did not take place for many years at a time. The SBS awards for comedians and MCs have a particularly short history, dating back only to 2006.
(From L to R: Kim Hyung Gon, Shim Hyung Rae, Im Ha Ryong)
(From L to R: Kim Mi Hwa, Lee Chang Hoon, Lee Sang Hae)
(From L to R: Oh Jae Mi, Seo Se Won, Joo Byung Jin)
(From L to R: Lee Kyung Gyu, Lee Hong Ryul, Kim Gook Jin)
(From L to R: Lee Kyung Shil, Kim Yong Man, Park Kyung Lim)
(From L to R: Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Soon Jae, Kang Ho Dong)
(From L to R: Kang Sung Bum, Shin Dong Yup, Park Joon Hyung)
(From L to R: Lee Hyuk Jae, Kim Jae Dong, Tak Jae Hoon, Seo Kyung Suk)