Posted October. 15, 2005 07:52,
Han Jae-seong, the 27-year-old son of an unknown comedian who has never had fans for his entire life, asked netizens to help fill the bulletin board of his fathers mini homepage with postings as a birthday present for his father.
His father became famous overnight.
The sons wish, who said his target was attracting 100 visitors to his fathers website, came true. By the evening of October 14, the birthday of his father Han Sang-jin (45), more than 8,000 people posted on the bulletin board, and more than 107,000 visited his homepage.
In the late evening of October 13, Dong-A Ilbo met with the father and son in a coffee shop near the Korea Broadcasting Station (KBS) annex building in Yeouido, Seoul.
Currently playing minor parts like a police officer, doctor or detective in Munhwa Broadcasting Corporations (MBCs) daily sitcom Hello, Francesca, the father, wearing a pink neck tie and jeans, looked like his sons elder brother.
Jae-seong graduated from the College of Art at Dong-A University this year and is currently preparing for special college admission tests. The family of three, including his 24-year-old sister, lives in Banghwa-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul.
Despite all the pain and suffering that the family has gone through, the father and son had a happy expression on their face.
Father: It still does not feel real, as if all this were just dreams. People kept calling me during my consolatory performance at Yeongdeungpo Prison. They asked for an interview, saying the story of my son and I is receiving keen attention from the public. After the performance, I saw the homepage for the first time in a cyber café. At first I scolded you as it felt like the homepage revealed the depressing story of my family.
His son replied, I am sorry. I just wanted to give you a surprise gift without telling you about it in advance.
The father looked sad for a moment, but he soon smiled, saying, You gave me the best present in the whole world.
The motto of this family is positive thinking, positive action.
Asked if he was concerned that his father had been unknown to the public, the son answered with a smile.
Just like my father, I have been quite a funny person. Since I was a kid, people have always told me, You should definitely be a comedian. If father were famous, everyone might have said, You are such a funny person like your father, but they did not simply because they do not know my father. I felt heartbroken over that.
The father recalled that as an elementary school student, the son had memorized all his comedy lines and performed in front of the teacher and friends.
I remember that the routine was Three Dumb Brothers. I was always grateful to you for always accepting me as I am without ever being ashamed, his father said.
When I was young, I was not aware that you were having a hard time, the son replied. Back then, you immigrated to the United States (U.S.) but had to come back to Korea alone, leaving the whole family back in the U.S. It still feels bad when I remember that having no home, you had to drink alcohol to relieve loneliness and to go to sleep in a car.
The father and son got cheerful again when one woman at the café approached and gave a bunch of flowers to Han Sang-jin, saying, Happy birthday!
I feel like boasting to your mother who passed away that I became famous thanks to our son. Especially in moments like this, however, I should collect my mind and seize the opportunity. I promise that I will definitely show you a really great performance, said the father.
Dad, it is said that when you hit the lottery, you might ruin your life as you get greedy. But I am just grateful for all this. Just as the end of the Korea-Japan World Cup 2002 is followed by the beginning of the next World Cup in Germany after four years, now it is time for us to prepare ourselves for what will come next, his son replied.