Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Infinite Challenge

Updated on
Edit
Like
Comment
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
8.8
/
10
1
Votes
Alchetron8.8
8.8
1 Ratings
100
90
81
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
Rate This

Rate This

8.8/10 Viki

Genre  reality television
Creative director(s)  Kim Gu-san
Number of seasons  4
4.6/5 DramaFever

8.6/10 IMDb

Created by  Kim Tae-ho (de facto)
First episode date  23 April 2005
Language  Korean
Infinite Challenge httpswwwdramafevercomstimgnowplay4337Inf

Also known as  Infinity ChallengeMuhan Dojeon
Directed by  Kim Tae-ho (Head dir.)Park Chang-hoonCho Wook-hyungKang Sung-ah
Starring  Yoo Jae-sukPark Myeong-suJeong Jun-haHahaHwang KwangheeYang Se-hyung
Network  Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Awards  PaekSang Arts Award Grand Prize in Television, PaekSang Arts Award for Best TV Entertainment Program
Cast  Yoo Jae Suk, Park Myeong‑su, Jeong Jun‑ha, Jeong Hyeong‑don, Haha
Similar  Running Man, Same Bed Different Dreams, Strong Heart, Queen of Housewives, The Producers
Profiles
FacebookTwitter

Infinite Challenge (Hangul무한도전; Hanja無限挑戰; RRMuhan Dojeon; abbreviated as 무도 Mudo) is a South Korean television entertainment program, distributed and syndicated by MBC. As of January 2013, it had the largest market share for its timeslot; with between 13 and 17 percent of Korean television viewers watching Infinite Challenge every Saturday night. making it the most-watched free-to-air television program on Saturday evenings, and the most viewed non-drama program in South Korea every week (excluding special sporting events, since November 2006, with the exception of January 2009, April and May 2010). It has kept the same scheduled time, since first airing in 2005. Since 2009, it lasts for roughly 75 minutes, excluding ten minutes of advertising. Episodes are also frequently rerun on several Korean cable broadcasting channels. Since February 19, 2011 (episode 237), the program has been aired in high-definition. Infinite Challenge has been called "the nation's variety show" and "Korea's real first Variety" for having been successful for over ten years.

Contents

Contents

Infinite Challenge is recognized as the first "Real-Variety" show in Korean television history. The program is largely unscripted and follows a similar format of challenge-based Reality television programs, familiar to some audiences in the West. The challenges are often silly, absurd, or impossible to achieve, so the program takes on the aspect of a satirical comedy variety show rather than a more standard reality or contest program. In earlier episodes, the show's six hosts and staff would continuously proclaim that, in order to achieve its comedic purposes, the program was 3-D: Dirty, Dangerous, and Difficult.

Occasional segments

These segments are part of the show but are only featured from time to time.

Recent segments
  • "Muhan News" - This comic-based newscast presents bits of stories which report events that happened to some or all of the cast members, and also reports on aspects of their life outside of the program. As Yoo Jae-suk, the moderator of this newscast, says at the beginning of the segment every time, the segment is 'just for fun' rather than reporting real events. Since Season 4, this segment has become very infrequent and turned to focus more on actual events in the hosts' lives while still maintaining a balance between facts and humor.
  • "Muhan Company" - This is the one of the program's regular comic sketches (another one is "Park Myungsoo is Twelve Years Old") and being scripted unlike other Infinite Challenge contents. In this segment, the cast played as the employees from a fictional company called "Muhan Company" (Korean: 무한상사) which their characters mainly based on the members' respective characters. "Muhan Company" originally was the cast's recreation of old Korean conte by late comedian Kim Hyung-gon called "President, President, Our President" (Korean: 회장님 회장님 우리 회장님), portraying a comic situation of the board of directors of one company, for a special episode following Haha's return from his military service (S04E199). However, this conte later developed into an episode-long sketch where the concept of board of directors was changed to the staff of one department with Yoo Jae-suk as its head.
  • "Ha & Soo" - A situation comedy (sitcom, Korean: '하&수') acted out by Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myeong-su. Park Myung-soo's aggressive, hot-tempered character is highly contrast with Jeong Jun-ha's timid, simple-minded character and made them constantly quarreling with each other about petty issues. When Jeong and Park make funny, another members call it 'Ha & Soo'. They are evaluated to be a good duo and even won the "Best Couple" award at the 2011 MBC Entertainment Awards, making them the first male-male couple to have ever won the title
  • "Hidden Camera" (Korean: 몰래 카메라) - Besides being a key aspect of Jimotmi, the cast and staff of the show also perform hidden-camera segments in which they record the members' natural behavior to certain contrived situations.
  • Former segments
  • "Jimotmi" - Jimotmi which stands for 지켜주지 못해서 미안해 (Jikyeojuji motaeseo mianhae), which means 'Sorry I could not look out for you.' In this segment, the members play hidden-camera pranks on each other to see how they react.
  • "Muhan Theatre" - The cast members of Infinite Challenge unexpectedly present a conte (short-term comic stories). One of the conte, "Muhan Company", later developed into the show's featured sketch (see above)
  • "Please, be..."(series) - This segment was introduced to instill common principles to all of the members (apart from their trademark, 'selfishness'). '"Please, come early"' (Korean: 일찍 와주길 바라) and '"Please, be friendly"' (Korean: 친해 지길 바라, featuring Ha-Ha and Jeong Hyeong-don) were two memorable forms of this segment.
  • Ah-Ha - A Korean word game in which one member says a word, and the next person must then say that word backwards. For example, 'Mu-han-do-jeon' (Name of this program in Korean) would be 'Jeon-do-han-mu.' Members who failed or made mistakes would be hit over the head. This segment premiered in the 2nd season (Infinite Challenge - The Master of Quiz) and is still played occasionally.
  • "One-flash Telepathy" - After hearing a word which has been given from the production booth, each member presents a gesture that he believes best represents that word. The members win a round if all six members perform the same gesture and face a punishment if they do not. The original alleged purpose of this segment was to unite the minds of the members; however, they have yet to succeed. Voice narration for this segment (including 'Ah-ha') was done by Na Gyeong-eun, who serves as an announcer for the MBC and eventually married Yoo Jae-suk.
  • Television Advertisements - Throughout the episodes, the hosts create some satirical Korean television advertisements. For example, Jeong Jun-ha performed a parody of Neutrogena by New Caledonia and also Hauzen by Samsung Electronics.
  • Calendar-making Project - During the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011), the members of Infinite Challenge have created a series of unique calendars and donated all profits from these sales to charity. This project has succeed every seasons.
  • 2008 Host-in-Chief Elections

    After a humorous request by Park Myeong-su to have 'a new leader in a new year 2008', all Infinite Challenge members and staff held a vote for a new 'host-in-chief' on December 31, 2007, at the nation's own natural gas field near Ulsan. This episode aired on January 12, 2008.


    Major Campaign Pledges

  • Park Myeong-su - Promised that he will wipe out the 'unpopular' and 'old-fashioned' comedy, if elected (썩은개그, 낡은개그 청산)
  • Jeong Jun-ha - Providing 'Winter clothes' for all hard-working staff (모든 스태프에게 방한복 지급)
  • Ha Ha - Liberalization of individual hairstyle (두발 자유화)
  • Jeong Hyeong-don - Serving a wide range (selection) of lunch for all members and staff (다양한 중식 제공)
  • Yoo Jae-suk(Inc.) - Pledged for all eligible voters to serve as a host-in-chief again (재선 도전)

  • Votings
    All entertainment managers and co-ordinators cast their vote earlier that day (06:00 AM) at the South gate of the MBC Headquarters, and the members and other staff of the MBC voted the night of the election, after attending a meeting where all candidates stated their pledges. All votes were counted on the morning of New Year's Day (08:00 AM).


    Results
    Most voters expected Yoo Jae-suk to return as the 'host-in-chief' without much difficulty. However, to everyone's shock, Park Myeong-su was found to have earned the most of the votes. (On-air evidence suggests that Park somehow rigged the vote box, as he attempted and succeeded in destroying the evidence caught on CCTV. Furthermore, the tally after the vote count had only 36 votes, when Yoo Jae-suk had declared that there were 42 votes the previous day.) Therefore, Park Myeong-su was elected as the new host-in-chief. Following an agreement that every candidate agreed to before the election, the new host-in-chief's leadership was to be tested in the next 3 weeks, and if the winner did not show sufficient leadership skills, they were to be recalled and a re-election was to be held. Also as a result of this vote, Noh Hong-chul, the candidate with the fewest votes, was chosen to prepare traditional goods (a grand sum of 200 kg rice from Icheon). He chose the new leader Park Myeong-su to help him with this task.


    Aftermath

  • At the beginning of episode 88 of season 3, (assisting MBC's historical drama series 'Yi San' challenge; aired on January 19, 2008), Host-in-chief Park Myeong-su nominated his manager Jeong Seok-kwon as the chairperson of the 'Host-in-chief Transition Committee,' despite Yoo Jae-suk, who had been left at the bottom by the other members on that day, strongly arguing and resisting this change. However, Park Myeong-su eventually did his job of opening and closing that episode, calling the program 'Host-in-Chief Park's Muhan Dojeon'.
  • After a poor performance for three whole weeks by Park Myeong-su, he announced at a "press conference" (prepared by Infinite Challenge) that he would, following the promise, step down as the three weeks have passed, and wait for the new election to take place. Yoo Jae-suk was appointed as interim host-in-chief on February 2, 2008. The second host-in-chief election was held on February 4, 2008 at the MBC Dream Center in Ilsan. The re-election coverage was on air on March 15, 2008. At the re-election, Yoo Jae-suk won the majority of the votes and was once again reinstated as the 'host-in-chief.'
  • WM7

    From July 2009, with Park Myeong-su as president of their club (협회장), the members started training for the long-term WM7 (Wrestling Muhan 7) project, in which they would attempt to stage a professional wrestling show as part of Infinite Challenge. Inviting Son Star (손스타), junior-professional wrestler and the drummer for popular band Cherry Filter, as their coach, the members began learning professional wrestling moves to perform in front of an audience. After numerous injuries (including a concussion suffered by Jeong Hyeong-don), setbacks, and delays, the members finally put on a performance in front of a live audience on August 19, 2010 at Jangchung Gymnasium. The training process itself was broadcast in several half-hour segments within full episodes, except for the last two episodes (which were of the wrestling show itself), from July 3, 2010 to September 11 for a total of 11 episodes. MBC eventually released a DVD edition of this challenge, featuring several unaired segments and stories and the full uncut performance.

    2014 Decision

    Mirroring the 2008 Host-in-Chief election, the Infinite Challenge members and crews held a nationwide election to choose not only a leader of Infinite Challenge for the next 10 years, but to promote the citizen's participation on the upcoming 2014 South Korean local elections.


    Major Campaign Pledges

  • Ha Ha - "I will protect Infinite Challenge", promised for a new and fresh generation of leadership
  • Jeong Hyeong-don - "I will make you cry after you laugh", promised to set up a Ratings Emergency Response Headquarter
  • Yoo Jae-suk(Inc.) - "I will stay with the fundamentals of entertainment shows", promised for stay in the fundamentals of the show and bring the members that has not fully put their efforts on the show to be flogged in public
  • Noh Hong-chul - "I will show you everything", promised for uncovering every members' and crews' secrets as well as featuring the members' spouses and kids on the show
  • Park Myeong-su - As he running as a candidate for blocking Yoo Jae-suk's effort only, he has no any campaign pledge and going with "Seung-chul, let me buy a food" slogan instead
  • Jeong Jun-ha pledged that the members who has not being funny in three weeks a row must demoted temporarily from the shows and let other new talents to take a place.

  • Internet polling
    The crews held two internet polls, first based on their preference of members' pledges and then after the first episode of Decision 2014 specials aired (May 3, 2014). About 10,000 people participated on the polls. Yoo Jae-suk won the first internet poll with 29%, but lost it to Noh Hong-chul with 44% of votes on the second poll. The result of the second poll alarmed the rest of members who worried that their personal secrets would be revealed if Noh Hong-chul win the actual election. Haha and Jeong Jun-ha then dropped out their nominations and supported Jeong Hyeong-don instead. Park Myeong-su who was running for blocking Yoo Jae-suk's effort on the election ironically supported his former rival, making the actual election was participated by three candidates only (Jeong Hyeong-don, Yoo Jae-suk, and Noh Hong-chul).


    Votings
    About 50,000 people, including the members of Infinite Challenge, cast their votes on May 22, 2014 on the polling stations at ten major cities on South Korea (Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu, Ulsan, Gwangju, Busan, Jeju, Chuncheon, and Jeonju). Another 34,000 people cast their votes earlier on the preliminary voting on May 17–18, 2014. Internet voting also held at the same time of actual poll for the people who not able to cast their votes on the polling stations. 363,047 people participated on the internet voting.


    Result
    The winner of Infinite Challenge's Decision 2014 is decided by combining the spot polls and the online votes by 50:50 percentage. Yoo Jae-suk won the election by defeating Noh Hong-chul with 45,310 marginal votes or 8.29% of the combined votes.

    Infinite Challenge Music Festival

    Started from 2007, the first festival was won by Haha "The Story of a Short Kid", the hosts randomly collaborate with real musicians in order to compete for the Infinite Challenge Music Festival that is held every two years.

    Season 1

    The title of Season 1 was Reckless Challenge (무모한 도전). Led by Yoo Jae-suk, six or more Korean entertainers (with Noh Hong-chul and Jeong Hyeong-don as a regular members) tried to complete a 'sporting' mission in an outdoor studio, which was based on a viewer's suggestion submitted through the show's homepage. Some of the absurd challenges included racing in a foot-powered swan-shaped paddle boat against a motor boat, playing a tennis match against Maria Sharapova, appearing live on stage at a public fashion show, and playing football against Thierry Henry. A large part of the humor comes from the fact that the cast is generally not well-suited to the challenges they attempt. This program can be compared to the filmed-in-studio Wetten, dass..? of Germany, as the program mainly focuses on the process and progress of the challenges, rather than focusing on the accomplishment of a mission. This format lasted only from April 23, 2005 to October 22, 2005. Despite having a strong following, its average ratings were very low (roughly 5 percent). Due to its sports-related theme, reruns of Season 1 and sports-related episodes of Season 4 (i.e. WM7) episodes are frequently aired on MBC Sportsplus, MBC's satellite and cable network for sports-casting.

    Season 2 and 3

    From October 29, 2005 to April 30, 2006, Season 2 was titled Excessive Challenge (무리한 도전). For the first few episodes, the program was fairly similar to the first season. However, because the cast members wanted to redefine their characters, they decided to change the whole program concept, calling it Infinite Challenge - Master of Quiz in the third season. Since then, six hosts (with Yoo Jae-suk as 'host-in-chief') played a Korean-letter game called 'Ah-ha' (see below); competed in their knowledge and mental power; participated in on-line popularity polls about specific themes; and explored other comic features. Although the average ratings were low, the unity and dynamics of the members significantly improved. A panelist from Season 1, Park Myeong-su, came back as a co-host, and Haha and Jeong Jun-ha also became co-hosts of the program.

    Season 4

    On May 6, 2006, the fourth and current season (format) of the program that now simply known as Infinite Challenge (무한도전), went on air. Special coverage of 2006 World Cup Germany was featured for the entire month of June 2006, along with some 'Ah-ha' specials (with Shinhwa, for example) at the beginning of each episode. However, in July 8, 2006, the program took its memorable first step as the first 'Real-Variety' television program in Korean television history, with the airing of a segment called 'Please, come early': The six members were asked to come to the recording session on time or experience some form of punishment (일찍 와주길 바래, a part of the 'Please, be...' series see below), combining elements of both Reality TV and Variety programming, including comic characters from each of the Infinite Challenge members, see 'hosts'). Thereafter, the program has created challenges with regard to anything related to real life (excluding some critical issues such as politics, religions, and sexual preferences), in outdoor studios, with little use of acting or heavily based plotting. Since December 2, 2006, the program has received the highest ratings of prime-time lineups for Saturday evening.

    In January 2012, the program took a 6-month hiatus due to a labor strike conducted by MBC's reporters and producers. During this period, new episodes were not produced and MBC, instead, aired reruns of previous episodes. In November 2015, Muhan Dojeon arranged special exhibition and expo titled "Expo of Muhan Dojeon", in KINTEX. The program took a 7-week hiatus from broadcast in early 2017, which Kim Tae-ho, the main PD, signified as a period to normalize the production process which has been shorten considerably where the production team had less time and always rushed to meet the deadline. The PD also reveals that the program still continues their regular shooting schedules while being off the air.

    Occasional Appearances

  • There are a number of people who both individually work for this program and irregularly appear with Infinite Challenge members (hosts). They are frequently referred to as 'the 8th member' (제8의 멤버).
  • Korean

    Numerous Korean celebrities have appeared on the show due to its popularity. Many of the guests have some relationships with the co-hosts of the show, including:

  • During the 12th episode (aired on August 16, 2007) of MBC's Monday-night variety programme 'Jippijiggi'(지피지기), comedian Park Su-hong urged Noh Hong-chul, Jeong Hyeong-don, and Ha Ha (members of Muhan Dojeon) to create a new comic-variety program called 'Yuhan Dojeon'(유한도전, 有限挑戰, Finite Challenge). However, this was a joke when he attended this program as a guest.
  • MBC Drama, MBC's Drama and Entertainment channel on Skylife and Cable TV, has decided to launch a brand-new comic variety show called Infinite Girls (무한걸스), the female edition of Infinite Challenge. Six Korean entertainers including Song Eun-yi (송은이), Shin Bong-sun (신봉선), Kim Shin-young, Hwangbo, Baek Bo-ram and Jung Ga-eun serve as the co-hosts of this program. Previous hosts who have already left the show include Ahn Hye-kyeong (안혜경, who is former Haha's girlfriend), Kim Hyeon-suk (김현숙), Bin-wu (빈우), Kim Ga-yeon (김가연) and Jung Shi-ah. It aired on September 23, 2007, as a pilot (special) program for Hangawi holidays. Since October 15, 2007, This format went a regular-scheduled programme at the MBC Every1, MBC's Cable and Satellite network for comedy and variety shows, eventually.
  • On December 27, 2007, the SERI, a well-known economic research institute of South Korea, picked this program as the 6th most-influential product and service of the year 2007, due to its strong public popularity and its own productive characters.
  • Infinite Challenge is often mentioned on other similar programs, when guests asking if the staff of the show in question copied the idea for a segment from Infinite Challenge.
  • In the first quarter of 2008, the Global Marketing Department of MBC reported that MBC had attempted to sell the format of Infinite Challenge to a European agency in Sweden. This was the first time in Korean television history that such a deal had been made. However, the contract was not finalized, as there were too many characters on the program for the Swedish company to reproduce. Even so, rights to the show were eventually sold to Air France and Qatar Airways' in-flight broadcast.
  • The creators of Infinite Challenge filmed an advertisement about Bibimbap which has been shown in Times Square since November 26, 2010. Due to this involvement, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had been put up a Plaque of Honour, to acknowledge MuDo's dedication.
  • In 2011, Infinite Challenge held the West Coast Highway Music Festival. At this festival 7 teams participated and everyone got a trophy.
  • The show is also famous for its loyal fans, especially from the youth demographic. Despite the show’s hiatus of 22 weeks due to MBC’s Union Labor Strike in 2012, the show was able to keep its strong popularity with television audiences. It was acclaimed as "the most favorite program in South Korea" numerous times.
  • Members of Infinite Challenge cast (Yoo Jae-suk, Park Myeong-su, Jeong Jun-ha, Jeong Hyeong-don, Noh Hong-chul, Haha, Gil) are featured on "Gentleman" music video by Psy.
  • International

  • On June 30, 2015, the rights to air the show was sold to one of the big channels in China; “CCTV-1” proving Infinite Challenge’s rise in popularity as a Korean Variety Show Program.
  • In October 2015, CCTV is planning to air Infinite Challenge China version in China.
  • Before the export publication rights to China, the program was already popular throughout Asia. People of the world watched this program by YouTube and the highest hit is 3,202,248 (Infinite Challenge Yeong-dong Expressway Festival, Hwangtaeji-Mapsosa.)
  • The program went to Japan, China, Thailand, America, Africa, German, and etc. for filming. Lots of international celebrities participated in one of episodes.
  • In April 2013, a show program The Greatest Shows on Earth in the UK came to Korea to shoot Infinite Challenge.
  • References

    Infinite Challenge Wikipedia