One of the biggest stories that broke this week was the announcement that Shin Bora was dating fellow comedian Kim Ki-ri and had been for the past four months. Those of you new to Korean entertainment or solely into K-pop might be thinking ‘who’s Shin Bora?’ and what the big deal is about her dating. She’s one of the most popular female comedians in Korean entertainment now with her work on the infamous and hugely popular Gag Concert. When doing research for this article, I had to literally scroll through hundreds of articles released about the announcement of the two dating, hundreds.
Her corners on Gag Concert are some of the most successful and popular on the show. The popularity of Brave Guys had fans throwing their hands up and yelling ‘Bboooorrrraaa’ every time they saw her. The quartet were so popular they even released an album.
Her other popular corner, Discoveries in Life (in which Kim Ki-ri plays the waiter at the cafe the sketch is located at) is so hot it attracts tons of famous male celebrities and idols to guest on the show posing as her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend including DBSK, Song Joong-ki, Lee Kwang-soo, JYP, No Brain, Kim Jong-kook, Yoon Shi-yoon, BEAST, SHINee, and C.N. Blue.
How popular is Shin Bora? Well, this popular.
Shin Bora is the youngest in her family having just her parents and an older brother. Yoo Hee-yeol, of Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook, is her cousin. She grew up in Gyeongsangnam-do, otherwise known as South Gyeongsang Province located in the southeast South Korea. She attended Geoje High School where she served on the school’s presidency. After high school, she attended Kyung Hee University and was enrolled in their School of Journalism. In the first semester of her fourth year of college, she secretly tried out for KBS as a comedian and was accepted. She took a break from school and debuted as a gag woman in 2010 with Gag Concert (which just happened to be the same time that her new boyfriend Kim Ki-ri also debuted). She’s a triple threat being funny, having a great voice and being known for her beauty–something most gag women are not known for.
Bora also has a lot of celebrity fans for both her comedy and singing. In a tweet a year ago, JYJ‘s Jaejoong posted “If the gag woman Shin Bora debuts as a singer, I will certainly buy her album to listen to.” On an episode of Happy Together she revealed that she is close friends with the Wonder Girls‘ Sunye and is also good friends with singer Ailee. She and Ailee have performed with each other a few times including an episode of Immortal Song 2.
Due to her popularity, many opportunities have appeared for Shin Bora. She appeared on Qualifications of Men during its popular choir episodes, made an appearance on K-drama Shut Up Family; has done voice over work with her Brave Guy cohorts for the animated movies Billy and the Brave Guys and Billy and the Brave Guys 3D; she sang for the OST of the K-drama Ghost; she recently released a book 웃음만이 우리를 구원하리라 (A Lot of Laughs Will Save Us) with fellow comedians Kim Jun-ho, Park Seong-ho, Choi Hyo-jong, and Kim Won-hyo, has appeared in CFs for several companies including KFC, LG, and Daiso; and recently appeared in Teen Top‘s “Miss Right” MV.
In 2012, Bora won the Comedy Women’s Grand Prize and Comedy Award-Best Corner at the 2012 KBS Entertainment Awards. The future is bright for Shin Bora with a successful career and a new love–can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in 2013.