The 100th Episodes of ‘Running Man’, ‘Infinity Challenge’ and ‘1 Night, 2 Days’

Variety programs are breaking records and jumping the boundaries these days.

SBS’ Running Man recently delivered an amazing episode for its 100th episode special. Of course, Running Man isn’t the first to meet its 100th episode; how did the other programs do in their own 100th episodes?

Let’s take a look at the 100th episode specials of the three biggest variety shows in the main channels, SBS’ Running Man, MBC’s Infinity Challenge and KBS2’s 1 Night, 2 Days.

’Running Man’ goes big in scale

The episode had the biggest scale ever. The June 24 broadcast of SBS’ Running Man, which celebrated the show’s 100th episode, drew praise from its viewers with its mind-blowing ideas and a blown-up scale to match.

The episode featured actress Kim Hee Sun as the special guest, and had the cast fight in a ‘war of the gods’. The usual elimination race Running Man is known for, added with the creative idea of giving the members godly roles, made the episode all the more fun and entertaining.

The ‘war of the gods’ was fairly impressive.

Aphrodite Kim Hee Sun’s weakness was exposure, Poseidon Yoo Jae Suk’s was water, Athena Song Ji Hyo’s was her ankle, Apollo Gary’s was his mark, Eros Haha’s was a kiss and Ji Suk Jin’s was his other self.

The combination of weaknesses and powers led to a full-fledged brain game that had everyone on someone else’s tail, and the two mortals who weren’t given any godly powers, Kim Jong Kook and Lee Kwang Soo, also played their parts.

The gods could not be eliminated by having their name tags ripped off as usual unless their ultimate weakness was revealed, putting the mortals at a disadvantage and bringing on a wave of agreements and betrayals. The game then culminated in a dramatic war between the gods for a bit of last-minute entertainment.

The episode ended with a win by Poseidon Yoo Jae Suk, and used an idea so creative and huge it reminded its viewers of the ‘supernatural powers’ episode that aired as a Christmas special in 2011.

What the producers of Running Man had put together for its 100th episode was proof of the effort they had poured into the show during the two years it ran ever since it started off on July 2010. It was also the best feast it could give its viewers.

’Infinity Challenge’ celebrates with the viewers

The 100th episode of MBC’s Infinity Challenge aired amidst much anticipation in April 2008. The main attraction turned out not to be the members themselves, however, but the viewers.

Infinity Challenge tried to share the emotions brought on by its 100th episode with its viewers through communication. It charged forth with the slogan, ‘Viewers help Infinity Challenge; viewers will make the 100th episode’, and showed its consideration toward its viewers.

The members continued to shout, “Since this is the 100th episode, we need to make possible the impossible,” and bowed down to their viewers, saying, “It seems like yesterday we barely celebrated our 20th episode, and we never thought we would be celebrating our 100th episode. We want to thank all the viewers that sent us their support and made Infinity Challenge what it is today.”

The members then challenged themselves with games the viewers had sent in relation to the number 100.

Jung Joon Ha had to eat jjajangmyeon on a roller coaster running at 100km per hour, Park Myung Soo had to play dodge ball against a 100-member team, Jung Hyung Don had to earn 100 points in archery, Noh Hong Chul had to swim a race over 100m and Yoo Jae Suk had to get through a 100m obstacle course running backwards.

The episode even looked back on the show’s roots. Many of the members’ challenges were near-impossible, but they were reminiscent of the early days of Infinity Challenge when the members had to take up near-impossible challenges every episode.

Infinity Challenge is in its 21st week of halt in production due to the MBC labor strike, but it’s still garnering support thanks to its past. Infinity Challenge never forgot to care for its viewers more than anything.

The 100th episode also invited 100 viewers with names related to the show for a 100 minute debate to prove it.

’1 Night, 2 Days’, business as usual

Sometimes the most ordinary becomes the most special. KBS2’s 1 Night, 2 Days celebrated its 100th episode with a trip that wasn’t different from any of its previous ones.

The 100th episode of 1 Night, 2 Days, which aired in July 2009, was the same as any other episode. Its achievement wasn’t openly lauded; it went on with its bedtime games. Yet, it managed to become special to its fans.

The members were shown visiting a forest lodge in Gangwon-do Hongcheon. The show never openly paraded its 100th episode, but near the end it did celebrate with cake and presents the fans had sent in.

One present especially marked the true meaning the 100th episode held. It was a present for Kang Ho Dong, a book a fan made with the title ‘The Basics of Variety’, a phrase Kang Ho Dong always uses.

Kang Ho Dong said, “You can’t buy this book with money. They really took what I said seriously and wrote it down when I was joking.”

1 Night, 2 Days also played a short video of scenes from its previous episodes. It was a small party, but it showed that the producers were determined not to become too proud, making the episode special in its own way.

Photo credit: MBC, KBS, SBS

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Reporter : Ko Hong Ju (
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