With a run of 300+ episodes over 6 years, fans of Running Man knew the day was coming when one of the main cast would inevitably leave. But it was still a heart wrenching sight to see 6 chairs around the table when Kang Gary’s final 2-part episode aired. I can’t have been the only one to play ‘Get Some Air’ on repeat after the episode ended (although I may be alone in eating an entire block of dairy milk to subside my anguish. Don’t judge me, I’m grieving).
Mr Random Capable, as he became known, has been with the show since its inception. He was even the first person to ever tear off a name tag, and Running Man just won’t be the same without him. So, in his honour here are 5 of my favourite Gary Moments:
5. Stressed Gary
For someone who is so often teased for resembling a dried squid, Gary has a remarkable ability to stay calm. However, some Gary’s funniest moments come when he loses his temper. In Episode 58 Yu Jae-Suk teases Gary about his game suggestions and from there his catchphrase was born- “stress!” Now, If only it was socially acceptable to exclaim this in the work place.
4. Gary the Lovable Fool
For all of his endearing qualities, Gary is sometimes not the most quick-witted. Throughout the years he has been duped, and double crossed many times, but the best of all came in an entire episode dedicated to deceiving Gary. In ‘The Tru-Gary Show’ episode, Gary thought he had finally been given the chance to be a spy, but the rest of the cast had already been informed. The true objective was for them to feign ignorance and watch as Gary carried out his spying in a state of perpetual panic. Whilst he may not be the next James Bond, he’d sure make a great Inspector Clouseau.
3. Gary and the Lolols
Episode 74 marked the dawn on the superpowers concept. The only way it could have been improved was if Thor himself had been the special guest. (But, then again isn’t Thor essential just Kim Jong Kook in a blonde wig?) Gary’s power was dubbed ‘The Duplicator’, which gave him the ability to form clones, nicknamed Lolols. Not only did the concept provide for an intense and hilarious game of name-tag elimination, but it also gifted us all with a brilliant future band name. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Gary and the Lolols”.
2. The Monday Boyfriend
No Kang Gary countdown is complete without a Monday Couple moment. For those of us still secretly hoping for a Monday Couple marriage (if only because it would be the only recorded wedding where the bride and groom accessorised with Velcro nametags), this may be the closest we will get. During Episode 163 guest starring Big Bang, in an attempt to win Princess Ji Hyo’s favour Gary suddenly kisses her. Big Bang AND a Monday Couple moment in one episode? It’s like Christmas, my birthday and 7-11 free Slurpee day all rolled into one!
1. Whenever he displayed his love of music
Clearly music is his real passion, and he has made reference to it many times over the 6-year course of the show. There was the iconic moment when he recreated the traditional Dynamic Duo hip-hop look (which incidentally, looks alarmingly like my Great Aunt Ethel):
And the time when the Running Man cast members spent a whole episode trying to delay him from recording the final track of his album, leading to the resurgence of our old friend stressed Gary.
These moments are my number 1 pick because they hint at his enduring passion for music. Though we fans are sad to see him go, I for one can’t wait to see what his music career will bring. Let’s just hope one of his tracks features a collaboration with South Korea’s finest freestyler, MC Yoo!