“Running Man” PD Talks About 10th Anniversary, The Secret To The Show’s Longevity, And More
Producing director (PD) Choi Bo Pil of “Running Man” spoke about the program’s upcoming big milestone!
“Running Man” premiered on July 11, 2010 and the beloved variety show will soon be celebrating its 10th anniversary. While the cast and crew can’t put on a big party with fans because of COVID-19 precautions, they’re preparing some events to mark the special occasion, such as a live broadcast in next week’s episode.
Choi Bo Pil became the main PD of “Running Man” in March after being assistant director, and he recently sat down for an interview with News1 to share his thoughts on the anniversary.
“As a ‘Running Man’ fan myself, I’m sincerely celebrating the show’s 10th anniversary,” he said. “I worked on the program as an assistant director for a few years but it hasn’t been long since I became the director, so I feel a bit embarrassed to be talking about the glory of the 10th anniversary. I hope that the members, staff, and viewers who have brought the show to its 10th anniversary will look on it with pride. From what I know, it’s the only variety show other than ‘Infinite Challenge‘ to make it to its 10th anniversary, and all of the production team feel the weight of that so we’re working on it while feeling a sense of responsibility.”
Choi Bo Pil says he thinks the reason for the show’s longevity has been the cast’s chemistry. “The big asset that’s unique to ‘Running Man’ is the members’ shared memories, relationship, and friendship, which had been built up over 10 years and can’t be imitated by other variety shows. Their chemistry makes people feel happy just seeing them together, no matter what combination they’re in. I’m always thinking about how we can improve on the way we convey their energy to the viewers.”
Choi Bo Pil was asked to describe why the show is also so popular outside of Korea. He attributed this to the way that the cast and the PDs before him have made it so that viewers can understand the characters easily through the situations alone, making it possible for everyone to laugh along. “When I see how the characters they’ve developed and the fandom have continued like this all the way until today, I simply feel so grateful for the efforts of the members and producers at the time,” he said.
News1 also asked Choi Bo Pil to talk about any difficult aspects of helming the show.
“As a director, I feel very lucky to take on ‘Running Man,'” he replied. “I’m able to try more new challenges because of these characters that have been created over a long history and the support of regular viewers. However, paradoxically there are also times when the history stands in the way. Sometimes an idea we’ve come up with in a meeting turns out to be something already done in the past or gives a sense of déjà vu. So there’s a pressure to make sure that what we do is different from the missions and games done over the past 10 years while feeling new at the same time. Also, we’re really limited when it comes to locations recently because of the COVID-19 situation. This is my biggest concern lately.”
Choi Bo Pil then spoke about how they’d had several plans for the 10th anniversary but many things aren’t possible right now. “However, we want to create a meaningful memory, so we’ve planned a 10th anniversary celebration that viewers can take part in,” he continued. “The viewers won’t just be watching; we’re planning a race where they’ll be directly influencing the result. I’m a bit worried because I don’t have a lot of experience in this sort of thing, but I think it’s worth giving it a shot because we have the best cast members.”
Lastly, Choi Bo Pil said a message to viewers. “Thank you so much to the viewers who have loved ‘Running Man’ for the past 10 years,” he commented. “It’s an amazing thing for a variety program to last for 10 years. I sincerely thank you for making it so that the ‘Running Man’ brand could continue all this time and not lose its value. I want to express my thanks and say ‘You’ve worked hard’ to the senior PDs who have maintained this long history, the production team, and the members who have taken charge of everyone’s Sunday evening without any issues for 10 years.”
Watch “Running Man” below!