10 Running Man Facts (Updated in 2021) That’ll Blow Your Mind (Including One Running Man Salary)

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Running Man, the popular and hilarious variety show is one of the longest-running programmes in South Korea’s television history. With such an influential following, you’ll be wondering: what’s a running man salary like? Are their personalities real? Who is the richest Running Man member?

Well, while we don’t claim to hold all the answers, we, the hardcore Running Man fans gathered 10 Running Man facts about the 11th-year (2021) and running game-variety show.


1. Running Man is supposed to be an all-male cast

The show was once designed to be an all-male cast due to the culture and society influence in Korea.

The producer felt that having a female cast member would change the way of the show’s turn-out as males tend to “give in” to females and was afraid that it might alter the course and competitiveness of the games.

This seems like an unlikely case as Song Ji Hyo broke the stereotype of women being weaker than men, plus the producer steered the genre of the game to be more comedic than competitive.

2. Yoo Jae-suk’s VJ, Ryu Kwon Ryeol, is supposed to be Haha’s VJ

Yes, the man behind the camera is Ryu Kwon Ryeol. Initially chosen as Haha’s VJ, the roles got moved around and he became the man who’s constantly filming Jae Suk instead.

Most Running Man members would have known about him through brief scenes during some episodes and the rapport the pair shared.

Ryu Kwon Ryeol once mentioned that though he had a hard time catching up with Jae Suk during the games, he’s thankful for being able to work with Jae Suk who’s constantly taking care of him behind the scenes.

3. Each Running Man tag costs about $75

Ever since Lee Hyori asked Gary to rip off the name tag of Lee Kwang Soo in episode 1, nametags on castmates have been at risk ever since.


Used in every episode secured behind the members and guests’ tops are running man nametags, often to entertain us with the funniest nametag-ripping games, each running man tag is handmade and stitched on one-by-one.

As they are embroidered carefully, the nametags can cost up to S$75 according to One Night of Entertainment, a variety show in Korea.

Imagine the budget for the 100 vs 100 episode! But it is mentioned that nametags of permanent cast members are often reused. Probably not the tags that were ripped and torn by Kim Jong Kook, though.

4. The most-watched episode doesn’t involve Jackie Chan or Park Ji-sung

After much researching, apparently, the most watched and popular episode in all of Running Man history is episode 131, the game of Ddakji with Korean actress Lee Si-Young and Korean Martial Artist Gold Medallist Choo Sung-hoon.

The episode got a rating of 23.6 % based on Korean TNmS TV ratings.

5. Kim Jong-kook is the only member who can speak English

Among the 8 cast members of Running Man, Jong Kook understands and speaks fluent English though he humbly mentioned during an interview that his English wasn’t perfect.

He learnt it through friends and during his Turbo days and said that he tried to learn the language as some of his friends were from the US.

Other cast members including Jae Suk, Suk Jin and Kwang Soo know bits of the English language and often tried their best to impress international guests but it’s hilarious to see them struggle.

6. Running Man has been nominated for 80 awards and won 59 By 2021

The show and cast members were awarded 59 awards though it’s not a surprise. To name a few, some awards that the show won included the most popular program, most outstanding awards for variety shows and Monday Couple scoring the best couple NATE award.

7. Running Man members’ personalities in the show are “real” but exaggerated

The cast members were given personalities close to their own but were asked to exaggerate them to make the show witty.

Members like Kim Jong Kook were asked to portray a stronger and fiercer image of what he is to create a strong character in the cast while Lee Kwang Soo was asked to act sillier and be himself during the show.

8. Lee Kwang Soo was set up to become the “bullied’ character

Although Lee Kwang Soo is known as the ultimate betrayer, he was set up to become the “bullied” character from day 1.


When Lee Kwang Soo was introducing himself, it rained. Promptly, Yoo Jae Suk started talking over Lee Kwang Soo’s introduction asking people to go under the shades or get an umbrella. While everyone was scampering, Lee Kwang Soo still continued his speech in the rain. No one paid any attention to what he said then.

9. The starting salary of Yoo Jae-Suk was about $12,000 per episode

Questions of Jae Suk’s salary per episode has been a question asked by many since the start of Running Man and until 2011, some people took the liberty to calculate his estimated pay per episode from the news about his lawsuit with his former agency due to unpaid wages.

It has been said that it was an estimation of $12,000 per episode and he was paid way higher than other cast members of Running Man.

10. The official China version of Running Man is so popular, it attracted guests like JJ Lin, Show Luo and Fan BingBing

After the rise of Running Man Korea, Running Man China has also been attracting many fans from all around the world including celebrities like Show Luo and JJ Lin.

Hurry Up, Brother (奔跑吧兄弟), the name of China’s Running Man variety show invited actress, Fan Bing Bing, but an unexpected massive number of fans gathered around the venue of the filming that production had to be stopped.


To know more about the show, you can also watch this video to the end:

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Featured Image: Viki