Monday, April 14, 2008

Korean Ingenuity

Here is a 'Korean Comedian Magic Show' which came on some 'gag concert' type show.

I don't know how they find audience members for these shows, but somehow they round up a crowd that seems extremely easy to entertain and amaze. Really, when the camera cuts to the audience members, it's like watching children in the bodies of adults.

The above segment is far more interesting than what regularly comes out on those shows, but alas, it is a blatant rip off of an old Penn and Teller act, move per move.

Here is Penn's reaction to it. He takes it in stride.

I was in Singapore last year and heard what I had always thought was a Korean pop song (one of the few I found interesting) while I was in a shopping mall. "Ah-ha!" I thought, "Finally an actual run-in with this mighty Korean Wave that I've heard about on a daily basis from the Korean media." When the singer began singing, it was in Japanese. It turns out the song was, like many others, originally a Japanese song that was just given Korean lyrics and fed to whatever talentless but pretty pop idol singer was being marketed at that moment by the big recording companies in Korea.

The last hit Korean movie (other than D-War, of course) was 200 Pound Beauty. It was based on a Japanese Manga (as was Old Boy). The title song was also a hit. Like almost every famous soundtrack song from a Korean movie, it was a foreign song (a remake of theBlondie tune 'Maria', in this case).

When it comes to creativity, outsourcing seems to be the only option for the Korean entertainment industry. Judging by the Korean movies, songs, and TV shows I've seen over the past year, they aren't doing it often enough.

I'd like to propose some new Korean slogans:

Korea, Be the Rip Offs!

Korea, Regurgitating!


Roboseyo said...

Recycling ideas is a start -- gotta build up come conservation momentum before we tackle that "wrap every individual cookie" fad in snack packaging.

my personal favourite ripoff is this one -- (the first one)

hyun-young (also known for gyrating in the gas heater/sexy dance commercial) doing the numa numa song, and I especially like it when I'm told "no, no, I'm pretty sure the Korean version came first." I was disappointed Hyun-young didn't dance like the star wars kid somewhere in there, though.

nice to see you posting again!

partypooper said...


Good post on your site. It's always hard to know if these artists make an effort to let people know about the original (obviously Hyo Lee did not).

Roboseyo said...

Yeah -- Im pretty sure Hyun-young was recording a(n?) homage, but Hyori was straight up trying to jack Britney. . . hence no lawyers asking her to pull Hyun-young's song.

I like the more subtle plagiarism, too - the hip-hop songs that have exactly the same bassline as a Black Eyed Peas song, or ripping chord progressions -- I've heard echoes of "let it be" and a popsong in 2003 (don't know the name) was so close to Fastball's "Was I Out Of My Head" I heard it on the radio for a week before I realized it wasn't the same song.

Hope you don't mind I linked your side. I like it.

Norik said...

Hi,could you tell what is the name of the manga, on which you say Old boy is based.
Yes, and would you, please, mention the title of that manga, which inspired 200 pounds beauty?I live in Japan and I'd love to read them. Thanks in advance

Party Pooper said...

From wikipedia:

200 pounds beauty: Kanna-San, Daiseikou Desu (カンナさん大成功です!) by Yumiko Suzuki.