Don’t we all remember that incident 2 years ago that Gary was on the brink of leaving due to a scandal and he cutely bought Apple juice for the crew and members to apologise? (Word play: “Apple” and “Apology” use the same word in Korean 사과)
Now he’s leaving for real and we all can’t believe it. I’m sure ever since the day we heard that Gary was taking his leave… We’ve all been like this:
Gary has since filmed his last episode of Running Man early this week which is scheduled to air in Korea this evening at 1800 or 6pm KST. Citing reasons of wanting to focus more on his music, I guess we won’t be seeing him on variety shows any time soon. Before he really goes (yes this is unfortunately harsh reality), let’s take a trip down memory lane on 7 moments of Gary you’ll miss when he’s gone.
This could easily be on the top of the list when you write a list of “things Gary says”. I’m sure at one point we all went around pinching the air around your head going “Stress!”. He first said this phrase in Episode 56 when the other members were mocking Gary’s suggestions for games and at roughly 3:00 into the video, you can see him slowly flare up and utter the phrase “Stress!” for the first time. This soon became a popular phrase after it became a identity and even Jessica, former member of Girls’ Generation also used it when she appeared on Running Man 7 episodes later.
If you’re a huge fan of his “Stress!” moments, a fan even made a compilation that you can have on replay. You’re welcome.
2. Naked Gary
Girls, I feel you blushing all the way from here. This might possibly be one of your favourite Gary things for various reasons. As Running Man slowly gained popularity throughout the nation and the region, they started filming their episodes outside of odd hours in closed shopping malls and even brought their filming overseas. This meant that shoots lasted days and meant that members had to stay overnight in alternative places. I’m sure most fans’ favourite bit are the morning missions which allowed you to see the most natural looks of the members as they are filmed sometimes even before they’re completely awake.
And in Gary’s case, his most natural form is… As natural as it can be – Stark naked.
Notorious for always being the last member to wake, Gary is also known to have a habit of sleeping in his birthday suit.
And of course… That has earned him the nickname of “Wild Gary” and pranks from his mischievous dongsaengs.
3. Mr. Random Capable
Everyone thought Gary was all fun and games until… He unleashes his inner Mr. Capable. Fellow member Jong Kook was the first to adopt the nickname Mr. Capable for visibly obvious reasons and also for using his might to clinch the first place in many of the early episodes. He was almost the sole contender for the first place until Gary’s hidden power provided twists to many episodes.
Let’s not forget episode 74 where all the Running Man members had superpowers and Gary had the power of duplication and he named his duplicates “Lolol”. Initially being eliminated in the early half of the race, he was devastated but after Haha used his superpower and turned the time back, he was once again out of jail and emerged victorious with his team of “Lolol”.
The appearance of Mr. Random Capable made me respect his ability and seriousness to the show a lot more. And of course, he went on to win a lot more episodes with his random acts of capability!
4. Butterfly Leg Dance
On the 5th episode of Running Man, the members were all giving each other lessons about Hip Hop from their own understanding. That was when the “butterfly” dance as Gary calls it first made its appearance. It was warmly received by the members and it became something that stuck with his identity.
This popular move made its reappearance in episode 114 here:
Don’t you just love it when the members are asked to dance?
This phrase is what I would consider an earlier rendition of “Stress!” though with a different meaning. It all started on the episode 18 that was filmed on a cruise ship when members Jong Kook, Haha and Gary wanted to start a trend by creating a catchphrase, “슴돠” (pronounced as seum-dwa). This is derived from “-습니다” (pronounced as seum-ni-da) or more specifically “알겠습니다” which can be roughly translated as “Yes sir”. If you said it really fast with emphasis on the last 3 letters, it sounds like seum-dwa.
You can see Gary and the other members using it here:
6. Peaceful Gary
Korean variety shows were known to be loud and have exaggerated reactions but Gary was known to be the member who remains the most calm even in the most chaotic of situations.
This proved to be especially useful to him in the “photography zone” games where members would fight to be in the frame where a photo would be taken after an unknown number of seconds. The frame would usually be in awkward positions or places that are high and out of reach, prompting members to jump or sometimes even climb on top of each other just to get a spot in the photo zone.
And even in situations like these… There’s this one guy…
…Who seems to just appear in every photo zone game photo, with a face that seemed like for a moment there was peace on earth.
7. Monday Couple
The last Gary thing… Which is my favourite and the one I will miss the most is the Monday Couple that Gary is one half of.
The Monday Couple thing started when the members noticed that Gary was considerably sweeter to Jihyo who makes up the other half of the Monday Couple when they were filming on Mondays (FYI, most Running Man shoots are on Mondays). Earning the nickname “Monday Couple” as they were only a “couple” on Mondays during their shoot.
They soon shot to fame and were partners for many episodes and sometimes just, completely by chance.
I’d safely say that this is one of the most popular couple ships in the variety show world and they have earned themselves a large following featuring international fanbases.
Let’s not forget the surprise kiss that Gary gave Jihyo on episode 163 that left her both surprised and pleased.
But unfortunately this strong screen couple could not stand the test of time and here’s a full stop to all the 6 years of wonderful Monday Couple memories.
Maybe just like me, you’ll be scouring fanbases, blogs and old episodes for moments like these
And think about all the good times they once shared.
So here’s a tribute to a member who has been there since the beginning of it all – Through the awkward first meetings and stumbling as a hip hop artist who swore to never appear on variety shows to someone who found his own identity and variety senses through Running Man.
Thank you for all the fun, joy and laughter you’ve brought to the members and the viewers of Running Man.
It’s not a good bye, but see you soon.
Watch this space for more updates about music, entertainment and Korean culture at“KAvenyou: Your Avenue to Non-Stop Entertainment, Lifestyle and Fashion”
Article by: Cass Zheng @ KAvenyou