Kim Jong-Kook, or Sparta Kook, Tiger and ‘The Commander’ in Running Man, is known for his ferociousness in Nametag Ripping Battles and his muscles. Every time he approaches, people run away, even if they’re supposed to catch him. In every episode, the other members always try to band together to get rid of him first before getting on with the race.
He portrayed himself as a typical jock, all brawn and no brains, and is easily tricked by the smarter members of Running Man.
But what lies behind this façade of an Alpha male? Here are 10 facts about Kim Jong-Kook that show that he’s actually a kitten instead of a tiger and is more than what he shows on the screen.
He suffers from an old injury in his back
You’d never have known it, but Kim Jong-Kook mentioned that he has been having problems with his back since he was in Turbo. But even when the pain resurfaces, he still grits his teeth and gets on with the shoot for Running Man, which requires much physical activity on his part. There was once where he even thought of leaving Running Man because of his back.
He’s shy in front of women
He’s strong and decisive, but put him in front of a beautiful woman and he’ll be left a shy and stuttering wreck. “I love challenging work in all other areas but when it comes to women, it’s hard for me,” Kim Jong Kook said.
He’s a gentleman
Observe him during his games and you’d see that when it comes to female guests, he usually gives in to them and try to negotiate a win with them instead of just going all out right from the start. His attitude has been taken advantage plenty of times during the show.
He has a Master’s Degree
Kim Jong-Kook, contrary to the “all-brawn-no-brains” image, has completed his Master’s in Pop Cultural Performing Arts from Dankook University in 2011. In fact, we heard that his IQ is 136 and back in his school days, he was known as a smart boy his teachers always placed him in charge of self-study classes in school.
He’s a crooner
With that muscular build, you wouldn’t have thought he’s a crooner, well-known for his love ballads and gentle voice. But he is, and in the music industry, he’s known as the “bear with the mosquito voice”.
He doesn’t like watching horror movies
He mentioned before that he hates watching horror movies, a big surprise considering he looks like someone who will comfort a girl in the cinema when they go for horror movies.
He’s a momma boy
His mom handles his bank account, he stopped his “Axe Kim” (a nickname for him in his school days because of his prowess in fighting) lifestyle and devoted himself to studying for his mom and he often brings his mom along with him on vacation and overseas work schedule.
He even taught himself English because he wanted to help his mom travel abroad more comfortably.
He gets along well with kids
When it comes to kids, he’s a big softy. He gets along well with them, and even tries his best to make them happy by doing things like personally penning a message to them in his own handwriting.
In fact, it was said that he cultivated his image of ‘The Commander’ who do not betray because he wanted to get along well with kids.
He takes really good care of his dong saengs
He never fails to take care of his “little brothers”. He takes care of them on and off camera and is happy to sing a ballad for Haha’s wedding.
He even continued bullying Kwang-Soo on Running Man, even though he was getting criticized heavily for it, because he wanted to help him develop his character (giraffe) on the variety show.
He’s hard-working and determined to succeed
Kim Jong-Kook was in a slump after Turbo broke up, and his first album failed. He never gave up and kept at it, and eventually came back with his hit song “Loveable” which took Korea by storm.
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