Just Bananas About: Week of 2/3/14

After his win as SBS’ Entertainer of the Year, Kim Byung Man made an appearance on last week’s Healing Camp, Aren’t You Happy?  Lee Kyung Kyu mentions how the SBS’ Entertainer of the Year award is the only one of the big 3 that he hasn’t won yet and wanted to know Kim Byung Man’s secret.

As much as I didn’t love Laws of the Jungle as much as the previous year, I still find Kim Byung Man to be incredibly amazing and talented.  It was great to hear how he grew up, got into the business and how he manages to keep everyone entertained by being himself.

I think everyone probably knows that Kim Byung Man was born and raised in the countryside.  He mentioned how he was born in the kitchen and of course the picture that pops in my head is not the modern kitchen we’re all used to.  I imagine a traditional countryside house with a kitchen in which you have to light the stove the old-fashioned way.  However, it was here where he learned all the skills that would help him survive in the jungle.  Inspired by The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, he’d go off and recreate things from the book like catching a fish and cooking it up or exploring a cave with a torch.

One story I found hilarious was how he came up with the idea to catch goats.  By catching a wild one, he could sell it for 400,000 won a piece (approx. $400).  So he digs a hole and covers it up but one morning he discovered that it had snowed.  Excitedly he heads to his trap but discovers that along the way there are an old man’s footprints probably heading up the mountain towards the mineral spring.  His trap did catch something but it wasn’t a goat.  Worried that whoever had fallen in had gotten hurt, he saw that there were signs that whoever fell in had climbed out.  However, instead of footprints heading back home they continued along its way indicating that the person was well enough to keep going.

While Kim Byung Man didn’t get good grades in school or end up going to college, he did earn money by learning skills that would get him into a good trade like making furniture.  However after seeing his friend win a contest on television, it made him think that he could achieve bigger dreams.  So he auditioned many times to be a comedian and failed many times because he would freeze up at the audition.  One day, he asked that he be given a little bit more time to warm up and finally passed.

His climb to fame started with him performing acrobatic stunts on Gag Concert.  Many times he was supposed to fail the stunts thereby making people laugh with slapstick comedy.  However, he found that succeeding at those tasks and expressing his real thoughts amazed and entertained people.

We’ve also seen him try his hand at figure skating on Kim Yu Na’s Kiss and Cry and frankly speaking, I was totally rooting for him to win.  That Charlie Chaplin skate was pretty amazing and I know I heard Kim Yu Na mention on other programs how that performance was one of her favorites.

As we’re used to seeing on Laws of the Jungle, he’s done some amazing things and continues to get licenses such as deep sea diving or skydiving.

He’s got another show coming up in which he’s learning Shaolin Kung Fu.  This man just keeps trying new things and I hope things continue to go up and up for him as he works so hard at whatever he does.


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