“[Yoo] Jae Suk hyung (big brother) is a great figure to me. He is my General Yi Sun Sin, he is my King Sejong the Great.”
That′s what Haha had to say about the Nation’s MC Yoo Jae Suk. On the April 18 broadcast of KBS2’s Star Life Theater, Haha talked about how he was saved by a run-in with Yoo Jae Suk at a shoot for a variety show, and added, “Jae Suk hyung (older brother) is a person that lives sincerely. He is real. He’s succeeded personality-wise, and his physique is great. He’s smart, and most importantly, he has a great heart.”
Haha’s great love and attachment to Yoo Jae Suk is fairly well known. He was one of the first followers of ‘God Yoo′, so his outpour of praise for the man doesn’t come as a big surprise. If you look closely, however, you’ll be able to see a different picture. The reason Haha started to look up to Yoo Jae Suk was because of his painful past.
On the April 10 broadcast of KBS2’s Win Win, Haha tracked back to the days he was suffering from a slump. In 2005 and 2006, he was fairly active in sitcoms, variety and as a singer, but his hardships started when his friends started getting their own successes. He was a fairly well known celebrity, even nailing a steady spot on the love variety War of the Roses, but he said on Win Win, “When I went to nightclubs, I would get a lot of girls and I was pretty popular, but then I wasn′t noticed when MC Mong and Noh Hong Chul started to become big. I lost confidence after I was shooed into a corner. This lasted for about a year and a half.”
During his slump, Haha carried a rebellious mood and defeatism, which led him to even shave his head. Then, Yoo Jae Suk came along, and helped Haha out of his funk. “I ran into Yoo Jae Suk,” Haha said. “We didn’t even know each other, but he said with a friendly tone, ‘Oh? Hi, Haha.’ That’s when I began to think ‘I want Yoo Jae Suk’, and I wanted to be friends with him.”
He had only called Haha by his name, but that one call became a great hope to Haha. Because it was the most difficult time of his life, it came to him as a rescue. Yoo Jae Suk is thus like a savior to him.
Haha reminisced on those days, and said, “With that one word from Jae Suk hyung, I wanted to play around freely on broadcasting. Jae Suk hyung is someone more special to me than even myself.”
Photo credit: KBS2