Just Bananas About: Week of 12/18/15

It’s the last Bananas post of the year. I can’t think of anything better than ending the year featuring these two powerhouse comedians. Park Na Rae and Lee Gook Joo.

I’ve never really watching these two on a comedy show but I’ve enjoyed watching them on variety show, such as this week’s Healing Camp. Of course, it’s no surprise that they start the show off with a bang. I was floored with Park Na Rae’s pole dance routine. And Lee Gook Joo was cute doing Red Velvet’s “Dumb, Dumb” dance.

On this episode, the two were able to talk about whole range of topics from how they got started to the hurtful comments they’ve heard to their insecurities to their fashion sense.  Especially in the Korean entertainment world, there are often many naysayers who tell them that they are ugly. While they admit that sometimes those comments do get them down, their job as a comedian is to embrace the negativity and make the audience laugh. One thing that they do best is get made up to look like different people and it seems that Park Na Rae is excellent at this. She’s been made up to look like Ma Dong Suk and Kim Gu Ra. She also convinced Lee Gook Joo that she would make a great Penguin from the Batman series and more specifically Danny Devito’s version.

At the time, Lee Gook Joo was resistant to getting made up because she had a boyfriend at the time but then realize how proud she was to have fulfilled her job as a comedian. Afterwards, she wasn’t afraid to go all out for her comedy. Then the next guy she had a crush on came to one of her shows and the fears about the Penguin Man came back to her but this time she gave it her all. After the show, she relayed how much he complimented her that night. So she learned that day, despite not being born as pretty or skinny, she could be just as charming and beautiful to someone.

It’s a great message since Korea can be so focused on looks. As for Park Na Rae, she always had the dream of becoming an actor more than a comedian and it seems like she’s hasn’t given up hope of that yet. She also admits to going under the knife and doesn’t have any regrets about it. In her opinion, if it means boosting my self-confidence just a bit then it was all worth it.

Both Park Na Rae and Lee Gook Joo never really thought that it was her looks that would make people laugh but as she was preparing to debut she overheard someone saying how she would never succeed as even today’s female comedians are pretty and leave a good impression. Even after she debuted, the cast didn’t use her, so she did everything such as changing the bottle on the water cooler and cleaning up behind the scenes. So as time went on, people’s impression of her changed.

Lee Gook Joo was even offered money to go under the knife but she turned down the offer. If she’s not gonna look as good as Kim Ji Min or Jang Do Yeon then she doesn’t really see the point. It’s just that Lee Gook Joo has figured out what looks good on her and accentuates that. I love how Kim Je Dong turns around and asks why the women are laughing when Lee Gook Joo talks about thick thighs. It’s only an issue that women really understand.  The important thing she realized is that if people were going to call her fat, she might has well be a well-dressed fat person so she always wears high heels and skirts. For Park Na Rae, since she’s so short, she wears short miniskirts to make herself look longer.

Lee Gook Joo also brought on the laughter by depicting how good she is at photoshopping herself. Her movements to show how she nips and tucks herself are so funny that it looks like she’s dancing.

Another thing the girls show off is their skill at cooking and they each choose a guy from the audience to play their pretend boyfriend and try out their food. Of course, because they’re comedians, they push the bar as far as they can.

The expression on the guys faces are priceless.

Lastly, I think the reason why these women are so popular is because they are not only talented and able to make us laugh but that they reflect a bit of ourselves and our insecurities as people. Sometimes in a sea of pretty celebrities, all the celebrities start to look alike. However, it’s rare when a celebrity looks different, shrug it off and still entertain us doing what they do best.  Here’s hoping that in 2016 we all discover our own hidden talents that make us shine.


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