Everything About JTBC’s ‘Knowing Bro’: Cast, Show Concept, Guest Appearances, and More

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Get to Know JTBC’s Knowing Bro

Many of you must have heard about the popular JTBC variety show Knowing Bro. They often invite guests like celebrities, including idol stars and reveal many things that have not been revealed publicly before. The program uses a classroom setting which is easy to recognize whenever we are surfing videos on the internet. Not to mention many articles about celebrities that reveal information about their private affairs in that program which may tempt their fans to watch it. For those of you, who haven’t watched it yet, you may consider to watch it after reading this article because, this time, Channel-Korea will give you a run-through of everything about the program, cast, and also funny moments from the show. Stay tuned!

About The Program

Knowing Bro (Hangul: 아는 형님 [Ah-neun Hyungnim]) is also known as Men on a Mission or Ask Us Anything. It is a variety show that airs on JTBC on Saturdays at 9.00 p.m. KST. It originally consisted of seven members, namely Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, Kim Young-chul, Seo Jang-hun, Kim Hee-chul, Hwang Chi-yeul, and Kim Se-hwang. Min Kyung-hun was added from the second episode. Hwang Chi-yeul left the program after the sixth episode followed by Kim Se-hwang who left after the seventh episode.

Concept

Previous Concept

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  • Ask Us Anything (episode 1-13)

It was a concept where the viewers can solve the questions that were posted on the bulletin board that the cast members could use for the contest. This concept was briefly brought back on episode 107-108 to celebrate the program’s second anniversary.

  • Mental Victory Battle (episode 14-16)

It was a talk or game show contest where two entertainers who need mental victory would be invited and play logical confrontation game to determine the winner. Due to this concept, it was hard to escape from criticism. They would begin with Esteem Up and Down where they had to choose to thumbs up or down to a picture shown by the PD, then explain their reason. After listening to all their reasons, the host would press a button to choose who had the best reason.

Current Concept

  • Brother School (episode 17-present)
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The current program has a high school concept where all the members are high school students in a classroom while the guests will be transfer students and all of them wear school uniforms. Mostly, the segments represent activities in the classroom between classmates. Later on, the segments started to vary to other than school concepts. The high school concepts have gained praise from the viewers that increase the ratings significantly after a few episodes. One other notable concept is that all of the members and guests are in the same classroom, they are considered to be the same age. So, they will use banmal (informal language; in Korea, it is necessary to use formal language towards seniors or someone older) for the whole program regardless of their age or seniority. This will also disregard the Korean industry’s strict rules on spoken language, such as sunbae-hoobae (senior-junior) hierarchy. The informal setting and banmal language also encourage the guests and members, especially younger ones, to be more comfortable with each other like real classmates.

Fixed Segments

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  • Entrance Application: This is a segment where the guests will fill an application form as new students beforehand in which they also write their preferences for which members they would like or would not like to sit next to them. The application will be read by one of the members and then be commented on.
  • Guess About Me: This is a segment where the guests prepare some questions about themselves and the cast members have to guess. The questions can vary from vague ones to private ones or even stuff that haven’t been revealed publicly before. For idol groups with more than 5 members in their first visit, they will cover their names and as Heechul reveals the facts of a group member, the group members will try to confuse the cast members.

Featured Segments

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  • Second Period: This comes after the main segments where the guests mostly suggest what activities to do in this segment. It can be physical education, art class, or counseling sessions.
  • Let’s Play: A short segment where the guests will challenge the cast members for a game which the former is confident winning in. The rules usually are made anomalistic on the spot. The guests usually will have to beat all the cast members sequentially.
  • Three No(s) (No Concept, No Basis, No Script): In this segment, all the guests and cast members will make a spontaneous skit as they don’t receive any dialogues or storyline but they can only rely on the overall theme of the particular week’s skit.
  • Music Class (Songstagram): A segment where the guests make a series of songs of their own preferences and the cast members have to guess correctly in order. They will get hints, such as release date, characteristic, or the latest added, Jonghyun’s Game which was introduced in episode 29 by SHINee’s Jonghyun himself where he gave a rhythm of the beginning note of the verse.
  • Lee Sang-min Time: It was formally introduced in episode 56 and previously named Choose Your Type. It is a segment where guests (usually females) will choose a cast member (or male guests if any) that represents their ideal partner. All of the cast members are considered equal in socioeconomic, civil status, and legality so the guests’ choice is only based on physical appearance and personality.
  • Dancestagram: Similar to Songstagram, in this segment, the cast members will guess about a dance. It was first introduced by AOA’s Chanmi but later changed by PSY where the PD plays the beginning note of a song and they have to guess the title, lyrics, and dance to it.
  • 99 Seconds Teamwork Competition: This segment often appears when there are many guests in an episode, usually idol groups. The guests and the cast members must complete a mission within 99 seconds and the missions can vary. If a team manages to complete the mission, the other team is given the chance to complete the mission faster.
  • Classical Culture Class: The segment is about pop culture references to forgotten decades.
  • Imagination Time: This segment usually starts with a warm-up game like drawing something form shapes and guessing lip-synced words. The main game is Guess the Drama Line where they all have to guess the next line of the scenes from a drama shown to them.
  • Knowing Lunch: This segment comes between the two fixed segments where the guests and cast members have to answer questions correctly (individual or team battle) in order to eat one of numerous side dishes selected other than rice and light soy sauce that are already provided.

Cast Members

Current

  1. Kang Ho-dong
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Appearances: Episode 1 – present
Nickname: Brother School Captain (아형고 통)
Other nicknames: Oldest Brother, Bat, Fat Bat, Harley Dong, Tom, Face Genius, Crockery, Vocal Genius, Pig, Okja
Main and occasional theme songs:
– Nino Rota – Love Theme From The Godfather (The Godfather OST)
– Kuricorder Quartet – The Imperial March (Dart Vader‘s theme); as well as other variations of “The Imperial March”

He is the oldest and the strongest cast member and is known for his outdated sense of humor. The other cast members often tease him with his friendly MC rival, Yoo Jae-suk, who is known as the Nation’s MC and has the highest appearances fee due to his seniority. He used to be known for his poor treatment towards guests when he was still an MC for Star King and is now being teased about it. He is literally the center of the class because he usually sits outside the line of the table arrangements as if he’s the center from the point of view of the guests and the teachers who stand at the front. He is also teased for not fixing his southeastern dialect whereas Heechul had to fix his Gangwon-do dialect. He gained the nickname Face Genius from Oh My Girl member, Seunghee, after he beat Seo Jang-hoon in the battle of looks.

2. Lee Soo-geun

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Appearances: Episode 1 – present
Nickname: Dwarf Village Chief (소인마을 이장)
Other nicknames: Smurf, Ace, God of Improvisation, Kang Ho-dong’s Right Hand Man, True Embodiment of Knowing Bro, Recreation Manager
Main and occasional theme songs:
– All in Theme (Orchestra Version) (All In OST)
– Jo Yeong-wook – Public Enemy (Public Enemy OST)
– Run-DMC – You Be Illin
– 
Hoyt Curtin – La La Song (The Smurfs OST)

He is known to be the right-hand man of Kang Ho-dong and also the clown of the class. He is responsible for reading the entrance application of the new students. He is usually teased for his previous gambling scandal that caused him to withdraw from any TV activities for around two years. Opposite to Kang Ho-dong, he is teased for his cold and distant behavior towards people in the past who were in the shows with him.

3. Kim Young-chul

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Appearances: Episode 1 – present
Nickname: The One Whose Seat Is Always Taken Away (맨날 자리 뺏기는 애)
Other nicknames: Noisy Brother, DANG Boss, Least-Funny Icon, The Unfunny One, Talent Breaker, Comrade Kim Young-chul, Invisible Man, Wallflower, Comedian not Canadian
Main and occasional theme songs:
– SISTAR19 – Gone Not Around Any Longer
– 
Kim Young-chul – Ring Ring and Andenayon
– 
Ri Kyung-sook – Greetings
– 
Jon Hye-yong – Whistle

Even though he is very humorous in real life, in this program, he has to be the awkward and unfunny one. He is known for his promise to leave the program once it passed 5% viewership ratings. He is fluent in speaking English that he is touted as the most fluent English-speaking Korean comedian. Yet, his English jokes are considered unfunny because not everybody fully understands him.

4. Seo Jang-hoon

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Appearances: Episode 1 – present
Nickname: 207 Centimeters Giant (207CM 거인)
Other nicknames: Giant/Titan, Symbol of Breakups, Epitome of Legal Separation, Seo Ph. D. Breakup Expert, Honorary Ambassador on Divorce, Ssamja’s Father, Landlord, Worth $600 Million, Fact Bomber, Big Bat, Class President Seo, Dream Breaker, Ex-Son-in-Law, Chatterbox, Genius, Seogolas, Gold Spoon Class, Settlement Expert, Pillar, Utility Pole, Acting Genius, Leonardo Seo-Caprio
Main and occasional theme songs:
– Kim Min-gyo – The Last Match (The Last Match OST)
– BOIS – Scars (Secret Garden OST)
– Rain – Rainism

He is the tallest member of the cast as he is a former center of the Korean Basketball League. He is often teased for his height, wealth (as he is and was a landlord of many dorms of idol groups), high-profile divorce, and bad physical health. He mostly has the closest guesses in Guess About Me but only to get robbed at the last minute. But when he gets it right, he will walk from the corner to the other corner with a high-boom camera, sometimes with a baseball bat the switch partners.