[Trending] Why do young Koreans go crazy for ‘Wassup Man’?

By Park Ju-young
  • Published : Aug 28, 2018 - 10:59
  • Updated : Aug 28, 2018 - 10:59

If you asked which YouTube channel was the most popular among young Koreans these days, “Wassup Man” would be near the top of the list. 

“Wassup Man” -- otherwise known as Joon Park, a member of the legendary K-pop group G.O.D. -- is enjoying a new heyday with the channel, which makes the most of his outgoing personality as he visits the trendiest neighborhoods and tries out various restaurants and activities. 

(Studio Lulu Lala)

Since launching “Wassup Man” in June, Park has taken viewers to Ikseon-dong, Eulji-ro, Hongdae, Han River Park, Itaewon, Gangnam, Gangneung and Yangyang.

The concepts for his videos depend on the atmosphere of a given place. In Itaewon, Park recorded a “meokbang,” or eating show, centering on foreign foods and beers, while in another video he strolled around near Gyeongbok Palace in a “hanbok,” Korea’s traditional costume. In Yangyang, Park went surfing and camping. 

(Studio Lulu Lala)
(Studio Lulu Lala)

The channel had an insignificant number of subscribers when it first started, but the number has skyrocketed as Park’s clips go viral on social media. On July 4, Park uploaded a video announcing that his channel had 100,000 subscribers. Less than two months later, that figure has already jumped to 895,000.

Subscribers to “Wassup Man” say Park’s friendly attitude and the producer’s great editing skills make his videos fun to watch.

The 49-year-old Korean-American singer, who debuted in 1999 as a member of G.O.D., stopped appearing on TV when the group went on hiatus. In 2014, however, Park returned to the small screen via the MBC reality show “Infinite Challenge.”

Park’s funny style comes across well in the YouTube videos, as Park repeatedly shouts “What’s up?” to passers-by. Park is outgoing by nature and quickly befriends anyone -- campers in Yangyang, clothing shop owners in Hongdae, high school students hanging out at Han River Park. 

(Studio Lulu Lala)
(Studio Lulu Lala)
(Studio Lulu Lala)

When the locals recommend must-visit places, Park follows their suggestions. His straightforward reactions add even more fun to the show.

Credit for video editing goes to the crew of “Studio Lulu Lala,” run by broadcasting station JTBC. The videos are usually six to eight minutes long, but the smooth transitions and the clever commentaries from the crew make subscribers lose track of time.

“I don’t know who exactly edits these videos, but the person should get a big reward for it. The (team) of Park and the editing person is just perfect (to watch),” a YouTube user wrote in one comment, which received more than 2,200 likes.

(Studio Lulu Lala)
(Studio Lulu Lala)

For the 20th episode of “Wassup Man,” Park performed a special song with the band Hyukoh, urging viewers to subscribe to his channel.

“Subscribe, follow or you die!” Park jokingly sang. Even without the song, fans say they expect the channel’s popularity to continue to soar.

By Park Ju-young (jupark@heraldcorp.com)