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Haha: ‘I didn’t expect Running Man to be so popular’

SINGAPORE – Popular Korean variety show Running Man has its South-east Asian fans to thank, according to cast member Ha Dong Hoon. Speaking to screaming fans and members of the media, Dong Hoon, better known as Haha, said he did not expect the show to become so popular.

SINGAPORE – Popular Korean variety show Running Man has its South-east Asian fans to thank, according to cast member Ha Dong Hoon. Speaking to screaming fans and members of the media, Dong Hoon, better known as Haha, said he did not expect the show to become so popular.

“The popularity of the show actually started with audiences from South East Asia. The episode shot in Thailand was so popular in South East Asia, and then the show gained more attention in Korea. So we thank all our South East Asian fans for their love,” said Haha, who will perform with reggae musician Skull at Zouk tonight.

Q: Haha, you and your wife Byul have a son, Dream. Do you think you’ll change your image on Running Man (as the “betrayer”) to become a better role model?

Haha: I’ll change, if the programme needs me to. But I can also do even greater betrayals, if they need me to!

Q: The cast of Running Man visited Hong Kong for a fan meet recently. When will Running Man visit Singapore?

Haha: I don’t know, maybe soon? (laughs) Kim Jong-kook was here before, and Lee Kwang-soo is coming soon. But I hope when all the members are available, we can all come together for a fan meet here.

Q: How did you get into reggae music?

HaHa: I used to like hip-hop more, but I had a chance to perform reggae on a programme in Korea, and because it become so popular, I became more interested in reggae music.

Q: What is it like making reggae music in Korea?

Skull: Reggae is a lonely genre in Korea, but it’s getting bigger in Korea and in Asia too. So we feel very proud even though we’ve had a hard time, We feel proud right now because so many people are getting interested in reggae music, especially our music. (laughs)

Q: What’s the biggest challenge?

Skull: Making reggae music is our job, it’s not that difficult. But our new single Ragga Muffin is a re-make (from Skull’s 2005 single), and it was very hard because it’s reggae. The original song was reggae, and we had to re-make this as reggae. So it was very difficult. But I think this re-make version has more energy than the original version, and we’re very proud of this song.

Q: What do you think is the best thing about working as a duo?

Skull: I think we live in totally different worlds, I started in the underground music scene, and Haha’s an entertainer and singer. We complement each other, in our differences.

Haha: We complement each other, because we’re from very different backgrounds.

Skull: The most important factor is that our personalities match very well.

Q: What do you think you guys would be doing, if you weren’t doing reggae music?

Haha: I think Skull would be a hairdresser who does reggae hair. (laughs)

Skull: Maybe he’ll run a Korean food restaurant, if he weren’t an entertainer.

Q: Skull, is it uncomfortable having dreadlocks in Singapore?

Skull: I’m used to this hair, because I’ve had it for a couple years. I don’t feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, I want to swim. But it’s all good. Some people think it’s very uncomfortable, but it’s okay.

Q: Haha, your baby’s name is Dream, so what dreams do you have for your new album?

Haha: Skull is a pioneer in the reggae scene in Korea and also I love reggae, but sadly, reggae is not that popular in Korea. So the dream is for Skull and Haha to popularise reggae, and to perform reggae on stage regularly. As for Skull, he has been on the music charts in Japan, so I hope he’ll be like Psy in the USA.

Q: Are there any K-pop artistes you’d like to collaborate with?

Haha: All of them are talented. I’d like to maybe collaborate with some idol groups.

Skull: Actually, I want to make some music with Singapore’s most beautiful woman!

Q: Any plans to collaborate with the hosts of entertainment show Infinity Challenge? You guys appeared on Psy’s music video for his single Gentleman.

Haha: It’d be great if they can participate in the music video. And Psy should appear in it as well!

Q: Okay, can you tell us one thing about each other that your fans don’t already know?

Skull: Haha is much tougher and manlier than he looks. And he drinks alcohol very well.

Haha: One thing that you don’t know about Skull is he has a really hot body. And if you come to the fan meet, he’ll be half-naked for you guys.

Haha & Skull First Singapore Fan Meet will be held tonight (July 20), 7pm at Zouk.

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