SNL Korea: It's Weird, It's a Thing, and Here's What You Need to Know
You know that old saying, “If it doesn’t work out in America, just head off to Korea?” It’s an age old adage (no it’s not) familiar to SNL; just ask actress (and Kim Kardashian’s biggest fan) Chloë Grace Moretz, who has become the surprise American star on SNL Korea. If you just read that and whispered, “There’s an SNL Korea?!” Then congratulations! We did the same thing. The Neighbors 2 star may have never hosted SNL here in America, but that hasn’t stopped her South Korean takeover. Actually, the only thing more surprising than her appearing on the show and speaking Korean is that this is actually her second appearance on their stage—she was there last year. The Neighbors 2 star was in South Korea promoting her role in a new shooting game called Sudden Attack, which also happens to describe how we feel when our landlord comes looking for our rent (albeit with much less violence). To celebrate Moretz’s takeover of SNL Korea for the second time and our shock that SNL exists outside of America, we took to the Internet and the deepest corners of YouTube to figure out what the hell goes on across the ocean on SNL Korea’s main stage.
The offshoot show began in 2011 as a passion project of filmmaker and playwright Jang Jin who also stars on the show. He’s considered one of the most distinctive voices to emerge from the 1990s Korean cinema renaissance, according to the historians at Wikipedia, because of his distinctive “Jang Jin-ish” style of mixing eccentric characters with dry humor and puns. In other words, he’s like Korea’s Judd Apatow if Judd Apatow decided to get into sketch comedy instead of making projects about awkward people trying to find love. Jin stayed on for three of the six seasons, but was vocal early on about the difficulty recruiting guests; apparently he’s had to beg and bribe some of the guests with film scripts. If the show ever does need guests, we’ll happily ship Donald Trump over on a one-way ticket.
With six seasons down, the cast of SNL Korea has spent half a decade creating some of the strangest skits we’ve ever discovered on Korean YouTube. Like the American counterpart, the show features one-note and longer-running skits throughout the show. Among the strangest is one called “Sa-gwa Shilup” that features people trying out products while a moderator dressed like Steve Jobs narrates the action. There’s also brilliant digital shorts that include film previews for alternate versions of Interstellar and for 50 Shades of Grey that swaps BDSM for shadow puppets and is the best thing we’ve seen all week—maybe all year.
Now that Moretz has become America’s breakthrough SNL Korea star, we hope that even more stars who’ve yet to host our version of SNL will take up residency on the South Korean stage. Our suggestion? It’s time for Beyoncé to set down the microphone and line up in formation at airport security to fly across the world and take on SNL Korea.
Image via SNL Korea.
Stay tuned to Milk for more eerie TV show offshoots.