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KBS “Quiz Expedition: A World of Wonders” Hits 900-Episode Benchmark

KBS “Quiz Expedition: A World of Wonders” Hits 900-Episode Benchmark

Posted April. 22, 2004 21:01,   


“Snakes are charming animals the more you get to know them. They’re good for wrapping around you in summer since they’re so cold and smooth to the touch! When I think of snakes, the first thing that springs to mind is the time I was struggling to untangle myself from a five-meter Albino Burmese Python.” (Show Host Shin Young-il)

Korea’s longest-living quiz program, KBS 1’s “Quiz Expedition: A World of Wonders” (Sundays, 5:10 pm) turns 900-episodes old on April 25. “Quiz Expedition” first took the air in 1984, and has since been drawing audiences’ attention with its unique blend of the quiz show and the documentary formats. “This show broke the convention of the ‘audio quiz’ for the first time, and pioneered the ‘video quiz’ format,” said producer Suh Tae-ryong of the KBS Entertainment Department.

Since airing, “Quiz Expedition” has showcased more than 1,700 different animals, posed some 21,840 quiz questions, and featured 5,530 guests in its panel of participants. The most frequent “star” of the show has been the Japanese Macaque, or Snow Monkey, while internet and street surveys voted the Frilled Lizard as the most popular among viewers. Among the show’s many guests, Eom Aeng-ran, Jo Gap-kyeong, and Noh Hyun-hee take the cake for the most number of wins, with more than 20 respectively.

Host Shin Young-il is the fifth to helm “Quiz Expedition,” succeeding to the position in April 2000. Shin, who also hosts KBS 1’s “Quiz Korea,” remarked, “Quiz shows don’t come with a pre-written script, so the host’s spontaneity and wit become crucial factors.” He added, “I avidly watch documentaries on animals for research.”

For writer Cha Yoon-hee, on staff since 1985, the challenge is to find newer, fresher subjects. All three rival networks are currently airing animal-themed programs of their own, so the competition is particularly fierce. “The interest for land animals is declining, so we’re shifting the focus to microorganisms and marine animals,” she confided, “And it’s much harder to weave a story out of the activities of bacteria and other microscopic life forms than it is with land animals like elephants.”

For the special 900th episode, which airs on April 25 at 4:40 p.m., the show will run “Five All Time Best Scenes” segment, featuring such audience favorites as “Kangaroo Kickboxing.” The episode will also invite back regular panelists from the show’s early days, including Ha Il-sung, Jung Han-yong and Wang Yeong-eun.

Katherine Cho kathycho@donga.com