In entertainment, comedians constantly struggle with audiences’ evolving tastes. Comedic tropes that were acceptable as funny just a few months ago are sometimes seen as cringe or even cancel-worthy.
It seems Comedian Lee Young Ja is the latest comedian to fall victim to a well-established trope that is now regarded as anything but.
On the August 13 episode of MBC’s The Manager, actors Lee Jung Jae and Jung Woo Sung ate naengmyun with comedian Lee Young Ja.
Naengmyun is cold noodles that are either eaten in a cold beef broth or mixed in a spicy marinade. The noodles are beloved by Koreans and are a popular summer menu.
On this day, netizens reacted to the contrast in eating styles between Lee Young Ja and Lee Jung Jae. Lee Jung Jae ate his noodles without slurping them and bit off a mouthful with his teeth. The actor ate quietly and with his head down.
Lee Young Ja, on the other hand, retorted that noodles are meant to be eaten loudly. The comedian was seen slurping her noodles loudly, surprising Lee Jung Jae.
Wow, I can’t help but watch you eat.
— Lee Jung Jae
The panelists commentating over the segment unilaterally praised Lee Young Ja, stating that slurping is the right way to eat noodles. Netizens, however, disagreed.
Netizens stated that while Lee Jung Jae showed correct table manners, Lee Young Ja did not.
- “Slurping makes you look like you don’t even have basic table manners.”
- “Kids these days are proud of slurping their noodles. TV shows directly influence them.”
- “I don’t know why TV shows make slurping seem normal. I would hate to eat with anyone who slurps their noodles.”
- “It makes them seem low-class.”
- “They shouldn’t normalize slurping on TV. Children who are still learning their table manners will be influenced.”
- “It’s dirty and loud. I learned that making noise while you eat is seen as rude. TV shows are ruining table manners.”
- “Since when did slurping become a trend?”
- “When I was a child, adults would scold me for making noise when eating.”
As many of the netizens pointed out, this isn’t the first time slurping noodles has been featured prominently on TV. What the netizens failed to say, however, is that there have been comedians who went viral for slurping their noodles. Also, the comedian who is seen ravishing their food in contrast to an actor or idol’s table manners is a long-standing trope in Korean comedy.
What are your thoughts? Is this a case of bad manners or a case of evolving tastes?