In the Korean entertainment industry, there are several MCs (master of ceremonies) or hosts who have become household names within the nation. Shin Dong Yup, Jun Hyun Moo, Kim Gu Ra, Jung Hyung Don, and more are some of the nation’s greatest MCs. However, even amongst the dozens, there are two particular names that have taken over the industry—Yoo Jae Suk and Kang Ho Dong.
The two hosts previously worked together back in the early 2000’s on the widely popular show X-Man. Since then, Yoo Jae Suk and Kang Ho Dong have yet to team up again following the 2007 conclusion of the SBS variety program. And while Kang Ho Dong was offered to be a cast member on Running Man back in 2016, he declined the opportunity due its past controversy.
Ever since X-Man finished its run, it’s become a well-known fact and a running inside joke that the top two MCs of the nation have been “pitted” against one another. The joke went as far as to create, what netizens call, a Yoo Jae Suk line (team) or a Kang Ho Dong line (team) to group different stars within the industry who have seemingly “chosen” a particular side.
While it’s not a real thing, the most famous stars who have sided with Yoo Jae Suk are Lovelyz‘s Mijoo, Haha, Ji Suk Jin, and more—and those who have lined up on Kang Ho Dong’s team are Lee Soo Geun, Kim Hee Chul, Lee Seung Gi, and more.
However, there was one lingering star that netizens have previously been curious about and it’s none other than our favorite sparta, Kim Jong Kook.
Kim Jong Kook has been more frequently seen on Yoo Jae Suk’s programs, such as Family Outing and more popularly, Running Man. However, that doesn’t mean that the Turbo member hasn’t been on Kang Ho Dong run programs. As a matter of act, Kim Jong Kook made his big breakthrough on X-Man alongside both Yoo Jae Suk and Kang Ho Dong.
It was just in July 2020 that Kim Jong Kook made a guest appearance on Knowing Bros, which is hosted by Kang Ho Dong—and it was during his time on the JTBC variety show that the singer addressed whether he was indeed a Yoo Jae Suk line or a Kang Ho Dong line.
It all began when Kang Ho Dong blatantly asked Kim Jong Kook if his “life’s variety show was ‘Running Man’ or ‘X-Man.'”
Okay so then let me ask you something, which show is your life’s variety show, ‘Running Man’ or ‘X-Man.’ Is it ‘X-Man,’ the show you did together with Kang Ho Dong or is it the show you’re currently doing, ‘Running Man.’ Which one is your life’s variety show?!
— Kang Ho Dong
Rather than getting flustered with the question, Kim Jong Kook must have smelled it from a mile away because his was answer calm and calculated. The Running Man member tackled the question head on by bolding stating, “Jae Suk hyung is a part of Kang Ho Dong’s line”…
…which garnered a confused and flustered response from Kang Ho Dong
No he’s [Yoo Jae Suk] not! Why is he [Kim Jong Kook] behaving like this?! He changed his tactic. He changed his tactic to kill me.
— Kang Ho Dong
It was here that Kim Jong Kook revealed a personal story of a conversation he shared with Kang Ho Dong many, many years ago in “a broadcasting parking lot.”
I remember this clearly. He [Kang Ho Dong] met me at the back of a broadcasting parking lot. He sat there and said to me, ‘Jong Kook-ah, which line are you?’ To which I responded, ‘hyung, of course I’m in your line.’
— Kim Jong Kook sharing what Kang Ho Dong once asked me
Following his introductory story, Kim Jong Kook dropped the hilarious bomb, which included Kang Ho Dong stating that “Jae Suk is [his] line.”
[Kang Ho Dong said] ‘But did you know, Jae Suk is my line?’
— Kim Jong Kook
This erupted the Knowing Bros studio into chaos, as the rest of the cast members began to poke fun at Kang Ho Dong and his previous X-Man days statement.
Write your resignation letter. You just dug your own grave.
— Kim Hee Chul to Kang Ho Dong
And while he didn’t actually answer Kang Ho Dong’s question, Kim Jong Kook made sure to roast Yoo Jae Suk during his time on the show as well, showing off his comfortable friendships with both MCs.
When I did a [Turbo] fan meeting, it was Jae Suk hyung who came as the fan meeting host. I honestly thought he was sent by the YMCA. I had no idea who he was at the time.
People tell me that Yoo Jae Suk made me a star, but I became more famous than he did at first!
— Kim Jong Kook
So there you have it folks—Kim Jong Kook is neither Yoo Jae Suk nor Kang Ho Dong’s line because he is his own line! You can watch the hilarious clip of the singer’s amazing roast session on Knowing Bros down below.