Variety shows and programs are indeed one of the ways in which we can get in touch with our favourite K-pop idols and artists. In these well loved shows, the MC’s are one crucial factor to the success of each episode as their roles entail creating a lively atmosphere that the audience can enjoy. Whilst there is love for K-pop idols and artists alike there is also love for the MCs and presenters of the entertainment industry and now, the news of one of Korea’s most popular MCs is making a return and people are buzzing.

When the news of MC and comedian Kang Ho-dong’s tax evasion surfaced on the web, there was sheer shock and disbelief. More or less, the future seemed uncertain for the entertainer but then, like a bolt from the blue, news hit of Kang Ho-dong’s temporary retirement from the industry. However, after nearly a year of no scheduled TV appearance, Kang Ho-dong has signed a contract with SM C&C (a subsidiary of SM Entertainment) and will very soon be making his comeback to mainstream TV but with many implications.

Kang Ho-dong’s return is probably one of the best things that could happen to him, as many artists and fans have missed his presence. KBS’s 1 Night 2 Days continued without ever mentioning Kang Ho-dong’s absence. SBS’s Star King and Strong Heart underwent a more drastic measure, by replacing Kang completely. Great shows like these lost the excitement and energy that was needed to sustain itself and ultimately revealed just how much of an influential character Kang Ho-dong was — and still is — to Korean television. In spite of the anguish and hatred Kang Ho-dong received and having to take the blame for misdeeds that couldn’t all be his doing, he managed to revive himself and come back to face the public. Coming to the resignation that a retirement is best is one of the hardest decisions a person could make, especially if retirement is certainly not due and the passion to work is very much still there.

Now although his return is craved by people of all ages the question still looms in the air, will Kang Ho-dong’s return be successful? Let’s not discard the fact that it has been nearly a year since he has ever made an appearance on national television. How certain are we that he will be able to come back in full blown quality and ignite the entertainment skills he once had in the past? We root for him to do well, to be the same energetic presence he had always been before but expectations are, nonetheless, pretty high. The reality is that Kang Ho-dong might take a while to get into the swing of things again which may be fine for some, but not necessarily great for others.

Whilst Kang Ho-dong’s contract with SM C&C enables him to return to the spotlight, the question remains on what can be said for previous MCs who have fallen below the line. Who can forget the scandal that surrounded MC Mong for draft dodging military service in 2010 or Shin Jung-hwan’s involvement with gambling in the same year?

Both respective MCs have seemingly lost their careers over controversial issues. With Kang Ho-dong being able to rise again, hope could be in the realms for MC Mong and Shin Jung-hwan.

MC Mong did state that he would not be hoping to make a return to the industry and the severity of draft dodging the military is not one to be taken lightly. It’s certainly not on the same level as tax evasion but after Kang Ho-dong’s little move, who knows what the future may hold. The same goes for Shin Jung-hwan; gambling in South Korea is not a small crime and being accused of habitually gambling takes the issue one step further. However, given the time to reflect and recover (the same medium that Kang Ho-dong has taken) it may just be a matter of time before we see them on our screens again.

One thing is for sure though, Kang Ho-dong has been missed and when his appearance on the small screen is due, majority of us will be tuning in to see how his future unfolds.

What’s your take on this, Seoulmates? Are you excited for Kang Ho-dong’s return or is his time up in the spotlight?

(Nate [1] [2], Naver, Star News [1] [2], Newsen)