There’s no doubting the popularity of Korean variety show Running Man in Singapore.
Droves of fans turned up for the press conference for Korea’s reggae duo made up of artiste Skull and Running Man’s Haha at Square 2 last evening, complete with posters, banners and Running Man paraphernalia mainly in support of the latter.
Screams filled the mall as Ha Dong Hoon, known as Haha, showed up with his music partner Skull, in matching patchwork khaki jeans.
Cheers were also heard throughout the press conference with the bulk of the screams reserved for questions about their favourite variety show Running Man as well as mention of other members like Kim Jong Kook and Lee Kwang Soo.
Skull, who is relatively unknown in Singapore, wasn’t left in the cold too, as fans showered him with applause and cheers as he teased and joked around on stage.
The newly-minted father Haha – whose wife Byul just gave birth to a son named Dream – was also in a relaxed mood as he greeted fans in both Mandarin and English.
True to form, as an all-rounded comedian and entertainer, he didn’t let the slight language barrier stop him from cracking jokes and providing some interesting answers while showcasing his close relationship with his “partner-in-crime” Skull.
Here are some of the highlights from the Q&A session held at the press conference.
Q: Please go ahead and send a greeting out to the crowd here in Singapore.
Skull: What’s up Singapore!!
Haha: 你好吗?(which means “How are you?” in Mandarin)
Skull: This is my first time in Singapore and I’ve heard that there are a lot of beautiful girls in Singapore!
Haha: [Laughs] I’m really thankful for the media for showing up and being here today.
Q: Congrats on being a father, Haha. Now that you’re a father, do you think you will change your betrayer image on Running Man to be a role model for your son?
Haha: Thank you! It’s really up to the programme. If the programme needs me to change, I will definitely do that. But I can even be a bigger betrayer than I already am now, if the programme needs me to.
Q: Haha, your newborn baby is named Dream. What is your personal dream?
Haha: Skull is a pioneer in reggae in Korea which I happen to also love. Although it isn’t popular in Korea yet, I hope to be able to popularise reggae with Skull and to be able to perform it on stage constantly. Skull has also been on countless Japanese music charts, but the hope is he would be as popular as Psy in USA.
Q: What’s the best part about promoting together rather than as a solo artist?
Skull: I think we started off from very different places – I started as an underground artist while he’s both a well-known entertainer and singer who is more familiar to the public. This difference actually helps us find a middle ground with our stage performances. Plus, what’s complementary is our personalities, we really do get along very well.
Q: If you could collaborate with any K-Pop artists, who would you want to collaborate with?
Haha: We’d like to collaborate with some idol groups!
Skull: Or maybe the beautiful girls in Singapore! [laughs]
Q: What would you guys be doing if you weren’t making music?
Skull: I think Haha would probably open his own restaurant.
Haha: I think Skull will make an awesome hairdresser specialising in dreadlocks and reggae-inspired hairstyles.
Q: Out of curiosity Haha, why did you get your hair dyed blonde?
Haha: I’s not dye. It’s white hair. Just kidding! As a new husband, I have to take better care of myself, so this is a new look that I’m trying out for himself, but if you don’t like it, I can dye it back.
Q: Haha, did you expect Running Man to be so popular when you first started and did you expect such a huge following in Asia?
Haha: I definitely didn’t expect it at all. At first it wasn’t very popular in Korea and the popularity of the show actually started with the South East Asian fans especially after the episode we did in Thailand. We started to gain more recognition around the region and in Korea, so I really want to thank all my South East Asian fans for their love. Thank you Singapore!
Q: Recently some of the Running Man cast visited Hong Kong for a fanmeet. So when is the cast coming to Singapore for a fanmeet or to film an episode?
Haha: I don’t know. [laughs] Maybe soon? Kim Jong Kook was here before and Lee Kwang Soo is coming in August, but I hope that the rest of the members can also come together here for a fanmeet if we manage to find time amidst everyone’s busy schedules.
Q: Skull, was there ever a time you’ve felt jealous of Haha’s popularity after it has sky-rocketed thanks to Running Man?
Skull: Of course I’ve felt jealous! Just kidding! I really respect what’s he’s doing and the opportunities that he’s getting. Actually he brought me here and it’s an honour to be able to perform here in Singapore with him.
Q: What’s one thing that has surprised you about each other?
Skull: Haha’s a lot tougher and manlier than he looks. He also has a very high tolerance for alcohol.
Haha: Something you may not know about Skull is that he has a very hot body. If you come for the fan meet tomorrow, you will be able to see him topless. So see you tomorrow night. [laughs]
Q: Is there anything you’d want to eat or try when you’re in Singapore?
Haha: Chilli crab!
Haha: Black pepper crab! Other than that, for Skull, he really needs to meet a nice girl here.
Q: Skull, can you describe your ideal woman?
Skull: It’s someone like you! (teases random journalist) Are you single? Let me know your phone number!
Q: Will we be seeing anything special at your fanmeet tomorrow?
Haha: We’re not an idol group who has predesigned dances or anything. But we will definitely show our passion and gratitude towards our Singaporean fans on stage tomorrow.
Skull: Our performance will not be complete without audience participation, so I hope you guys will join us in having fun together!
Running Man Haha + Reggae Skull First Singapore Fan Meet
Date: July 20, 2013
Venue: Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim Road
Time: 7pm (doors open at 6pm)
If you still haven’t gotten your tickets, they are available through EventClique: https://tickets.eventclique.com/leapims/Online/default.asp
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