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President-elect Roh Look-Alike Comedian Steals Spotlight

President-elect Roh Look-Alike Comedian Steals Spotlight

Posted January. 22, 2003 23:02,   


Kim Sang-tae, a 30-year-old comedian appearing in KBS2 `Gag Concert,` is catching the spotlight with his mimicry of president-elect Roh. Soon after he made his debut as village counselor Rho in `Bongsunga Classroom` corner on Jan. 19, some 10 fan sites dedicated to Kim appeared over Internet portal `Duam.`

Kim joined KBS in 1999 after graduating Choongang University as a drama major, but he had remained under obscurity until recently. Although he often made his appearance in `Gag Concert` playing a minor role, people hardly remembered him.

Finding a way for a breakthrough in his career, he came to decide to become a presidential look-alike as the presidential election approached.

˝One of my seniors was working hard on candidate Lee Hoi-chang, so I had to choose candidate Roh. My speech tone is higher than Roh`s, so I had had hard times adjusting. For two months, I watched videos trying to find out characteristics from his way of speaking.˝

He now speaks very good Gyeongsang-do dialect, but he was born and raised in Seoul. The fact that his father is from Gyeongsang-do helped him a lot.

˝I found two noticeable speech habits from president-elect Roh. He is from Gyeongsang-do but he tries to speak in Seoul language, which is why his speech carries unique accents. His pronunciation is so clear that it even sounds awkward. And he often repeats some expressions such as `You are right. Yes, You are right.` and `Thank you. Thank you a lot.`˝

Kim is rather thin, so he eats a lot before going to bed to look plump on the face. He wears the straight-line makeup on the forehead. ˝I wear this makeup and it stays even when I remove it. I think I have to wear this for the next five years.˝

˝I feel pressure about being a presidential look-alike actor. I need to be careful not to look too frivolous,˝ he said. ˝I hope people feel close to my acting as they feel close to president-elect Roh.˝

Soo-Kyung Kim skkim@donga.com