[Interview] Interview with Super Junior's Shindong, Leeteuk and Eunhyuk - 10asiae


SBS talk show "Steel Heart" aired for the first time on October 6 of last year. And during the early stages of this massive show, while over 20 guests 'battled' each other with stories which are funny, sad or absurd, regular panelist Boom created small segments titled 'Boomkikago' and 'Boom Academy' which filled up the spaces in between such talk. His joining the military less than a month after the show premiered created a vacuum but his brilliant students Lee Teuk, Shindong and Eun-hyuk of boy band Super Junior continued his legacy with 'Teukgigayo' and 'Teuk Academy.' So how did these boys -- prince charming to numerous girls and hosts of their own radio shows -- carry on 'Teuk Academy' for a year? 10Asia met with the three who were busy preparing for a recording of "Steel Heart."

10: When "Steel Heart" first premiered, the three of you hosted 'Boomkigayo' and 'Boom Academy' with TV personality Boom. However, Boom entered the military a month later. How did you feel after hearing the news for the first time?
Lee Teuk: I was really at a loss. Honestly, before becoming really close to Boom, I always thought we would just go and shoot entertainment programs. But he taught us, "Whenever you make an appearance on a program, think about why you are on it and go on it prepared." He then added, "Let's try doing something together here." Also, "Steel Heart" was such a popular show from the start that we were worried whether we'd be able to keep doing well without him.

10: But it's already been a year now so I'm sure you're feeling all sorts of emotions.
Eunhyuk: We too say amongst ourselves "It's been a year?" a lot. We have made many memories on "Steel Heart" while preparing for 'Teukigayo' and 'Teuk Academy.'

10: In order to prepare for each segment, you would have to know who is appearing on the show, who that person is and if it is singer, you would have to practice their dance moves and be well informed before the show since there are an average of 20 guests. How do you prepare?
Lee Teuk: The three of us get together at around 3:30 a.m. since the radio show "Kiss the Radio" that Eunhyuk and I host ends after midnight and Shindong's MBC radio program "Shim Shim Tapa" finishes after two a.m. That is when we receive the list of guests from the producers and we begin to dig up any humiliating or past photographs and send them [the producers] an e-mail.
Eunhyuk: Many of the producers help us now but in the beginning we did everything ourselves. It was all handmade. (laugh)
Lee Teuk: Also, if there are any singers or celebrities who had a career in music, we get a list of their tracks together and try to create any dance moves or skits that could go with the lyrics. Even when we have two skits, it feels like it’s not enough so we begin searching online for humorous situations or add in any funny stories that we know. By then it is about 6:30 a.m. and towards the end Shindong edits the songs. When that is all finished it’s between 7 or 8 a.m. and we sleep until 11 a.m. and shoot the show for about ten to 12 hours.

10: I think the most popular segment has to be the 'introduction of past pictures' although it seems like you guys are trying out many new things as well. Are there any projects on the back burner that you think could be popular? (laugh)
Shindong: I thought the segment where you play with people's names would be a hit. It was originally done by comedian group Tin Tin Five. We talked with comedian Hong Lok-gi a while back and he said it was okay for us to write them since we liked it. So we came together, came up with a skit and we laughed over it so much during the meeting for it. However, when the segment aired, many of the names we called out got edited out. (laugh)
Lee Teuk: It was funny for a week, only a week. (laugh)
Eunhyuk: There is also the corner 'Pop Song Gag' that comedian Park Sung-ho had done and we tried really hard to come up with a skit for that as well but we were out of ideas in two weeks. (laugh)
Lee Teuk: Park Sung-ho told us that we were doing a good job and gave us his sources and gave us several song ideas. But it is definitely hard for us to come up with segments because we lack the ability to since we aren't comedians.

10: You guys are famous for your fun and diverse performances during your concerts. It seems that appearing on different entertainment programs have trained and helped you a lot.
Lee Teuk: I think we learned the overall flow of being on a variety show because on "Steel Heart," we have Korea's top emcee Kang Ho-dong and 'Midas Touch' [everything becomes a hit] Lee Seung-gi. Everyone has a role but if variety shows have emcees, there are also guests and I think the three of us form a connection between them. We are learning a lot about how to present and hold back depending on the guest. At the same time, we think about the kinds of role that we will be playing as we get older and that is what helps us figure out our position.


10: Shindong, your dress up show is also popular. You recently even pulled off actress Shin Min-ah's look from SBS TV series "My Girlfriend is Gumiho." I'm sure even the preparation that goes into isn't an easy job so what would you say are the difficulties you experience if there are any?
Shindong: I actually had dressed up a lot since a long time ago -- so much that there were almost nothing I hadn't dressed up as. I used to dress up once a day when I used to host a show on cable channel Mnet. But dressing up as someone isn't just about dressing up like them. There is a large amount of pressure that comes from the fact that you need to express yourself to be exactly like that person while doing it so that it's also fun and what I was worried about a lot was whether the onlooker would enjoy watching me do it. I do think women enjoy it a lot (laugh) but it's most difficult trying to imitate people who are amazing. In that sense, I think the hardest person to dress up as was Rain since he shows his body. I was worried it would look like I was making fun of the performances he had put on so far if I tried to look funny by just baring my upper torso, but he enjoyed it to the extent that he said I did the best job out of people who have done parodies of him so far. I was very grateful for that. I think I'm able to do this because they themselves enjoy it as well. I sometimes do think that maybe I'm trying to create humor by simply using my body, but it's definitely something that doesn't just come out with the use of your body. I have to think about a lot of things, I need to put on more weight... (laugh)
Eun-hyuk: Put on more weight? (laugh) But really, he's not just good at dressing up as that person but he's good at expressing the characteristics each person has.

10: Well I'm sure you've met a lot of entertainers so far so who out of them have you thought 'I wish I could just be as good as him.'?
Eun-hyuk: Definitely Boom.
Lee Teuk: I think Boom is the most prominent figure when it comes to entertainers. And the best emcees are Kang Ho-dong and Yoo Jae-suk. There's an undeniable reason to why people say they are so.

10: What do you remember most from the know-hows or tips Boom has taught you?
Shindong: I love the confidence Boom has. Even if we might say "It's not fun..." while we were discussing amongst ourselves, he would say, "Let's just try it first. The atmosphere on set is different so let's just try it!"
Eun-hyuk: And then he says, "I'll back you up." (laugh) But really, even when something isn't funny, it can seem like it's funny if someone around you laughs about it. Boom had told us, "When your group members try to do something, laugh even if it may not be funny and make it funny." And like he says, there's three of us so we have the advantage in that sense.

10: Super Junior has pursued its singing career in a variety of units so I think the three of you could be called the "Steel Heart" unit. Are there any members of Super Junior who envy or want to join you guys?
Lee Teuk: Many. (laugh) Dong-hae does too and they all say they want to. And it's not just members of our group. Other celebrities say they want to join our academy as well. These days, After School member Jung-ah asks us how to audition for it.
Eun-hyuk: And of our juniors, ZE:A member Gwang-hee keeps saying he wants to join us which makes me feel very proud. (laugh)
Lee Teuk: Since "Superstar K2" is on these days on Mnet, and we had talked about this with Boom too, I think it would be good if we held an audition under the name "Superstar Academy" and accept a certain number of winners into our academy. The show would do great if it could air.
Shindong: Really! I want to do that. I'm hoping you'll emphasize this when you write the article. (laugh)

10: What more is there that you want to do with it being the first anniversary of "Steel Heart"?
Shindong: Donghae recently sang the logo song for "Steel Heart" so this is what we jokingly said while we were in the States for our concert. "What would it have been like if we were American celebrities? "Steel Heart" would be equivalent to about "The Oprah Winfrey Show," we'd be the regular guests who talk on the show and Donghae would have made the logo song." When the show gets bigger, I'd like the show to go to the U.S. and help make it known overseas.
Eun-hyuk: Many of the people at our LA concert had watched "Steel Heart" so they kept saying "Teuk Academy." Variety shows like "X-Men" have gone overseas before but it hasn't happened with a talk show before so I wonder what it would be like if it was tried overseas.
Lee Teuk: I'd like to try holding the aforementioned audition on "Steel Heart" and rather than wanting to do something in particular, I just hope we'll be able to do our show for a long time. We've experienced the difficulties that comedians face and how hard they work to come up with new ideas... we've actually run into a lot of walls as well. But when we call Boom, he says, "Regardless of how fun or boring you are, what's important is for how long you can keep doing what you're doing." It's been a year now so I'm hoping we'll be able to keep going until at least the time that Boom gets discharged from the military.

10: Lastly, any words you have for Boom?
Eun-hyuk: First of all -
Shindong: Take your time.
(All laugh)
Shindong: No, we want to try something new with him, if only he'd be able to come out quickly, but since there's only a set amount of time. (laugh)
Lee Teuk: I heard he's really busy in the military. That he's almost as busy as Lee Hyori so I hope he stays busy. (laugh)

Reporter : Choi Ji-Eun five@
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Lee Ji-Hye seven@
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