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Gag Concert

Posted May. 18, 2006 03:00,   


The prosecutor’s words seem nimble, yet they carry weight. The suspect just sits quiet and still. It seems that the truth might come out at any second. However, the situation just spins out control in a single moment.

“Hey, fess up! Everything will come up when investigated,” says prosecutor Hwang.

“Ah, what? What do you mean?” replies the suspect.

It is a scene from “Gag Concert,” a TV show that runs at 8:55 p.m. every Sunday on KBS2. The popular segment titled “Re-creation of Crime” uses all kinds of investigation methods ranging from hypnosis to psychology and drives an innocent man guilty, but in the end, only the coercive words, “Everything will come up when investigated” from prosecutor Hwang remain. However, unlike the “investigation” that turns up empty handed every week, this segment’s popularity is an enormous hit. “Everything will come up when investigated,” is quoted widely from movie posters to news anchors. Nevertheless, 26 year-old comedian Hwang Hyun-hee, who plays the role of prosecutor Hwang, looked gloomy in a May 17 interview with Dong-A Ilbo.

Hwang Hyun-hee: It’s unfair. Every week, my head is about to burst because I have to memorize two pages of lines, while the suspect only has to repeat “Ah, what?”

Kwak Han-gu, 24, who plays the prosecutors counterpart role of suspect, sniggers.

Kwak Han-gu: Ah, what are you saying? People think I am a real criminal. Last time, while driving I had a car accident and went to the police station for questioning. The police officer did not believe in a word I said and kept on saying, “Tell the truth because everything will come up when investigated.”

They derived the segment’s idea from the movie “The Big Scene” where the prosecutor interrogates the suspect, and in order to deal with current issues, they read daily five newspapers, monitor TV news, and even record current affairs programs. Their most recent interest is on election law violators and child molesters.

Kwak: The suspect that I play, is an innocent person without any charges. The prosecutor just comes forcibly upon such person. Twisting the social perception that prosecutors are above suspects, and the suspect replying “Ah, what?” to a bullying prosecutor delights the audience.

Hwang enrolled as a law major of Kwandong University in 1999. He chose law because he was impressed with his adolescence TV show “Hourglass” character prosecutor Kang who yelled at mobsters, “I’m prosecutor Kang Woo-seok. If you want to get me, just go kill yourself.” He has achieved his dream of becoming a prosecutor by becoming a comedian.

Hwang: My father was so stubborn, that when I told him that I wanted to become a comedian he threw the electric fan, the remote control, and everything else at me. But, recently a worker at my neighborhood’s barbershop told me that my father was saying proud things about me. That was very touching.

At the end of the interview, they cleared their throats, saying that wanted to tell something to Korea’s prosecutors and criminals.

Hwang: Prosecutors all across Korea. Don’t follow me when questioning suspects. Please conduct a humane investigation with relaxing humor rather than just plain bullying. Only then will everything come up when really investigated.

Kwak: Criminals all across Korea. Please don’t hide and turn yourselves in. Learn some skill and make an honest living. Nowadays, everything will actually come up when investigated.