As much as we dreaded it, the fated day had to come.
Gary’s last episode on “Running Man” was broadcasted yesterday (Sunday, 6th November), and fans weren’t the only one who shed tears. The members, who were all there from the start of the show, opened up about their feelings about the rapper’s departure from the show.
Towards the end of the episode, Song Ji Hyo, who had a smile on her face throughout the 1-hour-and-15-minute broadcast, teared a little. She explained, “We’ve shared a lot of stories together. It’s a little regretful, but I will continue to cheer you on. Be well.”
This was followed by a lighthearted banter from Kim Jong Kook, who commented, “I overheard this, but she said that she doesn’t know what she’ll do on Mondays without Gary from now on.” Yoo Jae Suk also followed suit, teasing, “I heard something a little different. I thought she said, ‘Is that bastard in his right mind?’”
Trust the cast members to lighten up the mood!
However, the grasshopper emcee wasn’t without his serious side. In a segment, he shared, “The members had many talks with Gary before the official announcement. We wanted to hold on to him, but after the talks, we realised that he had different paths for his life. You can’t force someone when it’s like that. We have to do what Gary wants.”
The production team also gave Gary a golden name tag and a photo frame of the rapper’s face filled with screenshots from episodes 1 to 317. As the episode ended, he bade farewell to all the staff members and his fellow hosts, and also gave out hugs while Yoo Jae Suk jokingly said, “See you next week!”
In the final scene, Gary found out that the other members have all prepared a present and a letter for him.
Gwangsoo’s letter was opened first, and it read, “Dear Gary, I still can’t believe that you’re leaving. I regret that I haven’t expressed enough of my love, gratitude, and apologies to you. I won’t get to see you every Monday anymore, but we’re already a family. My beloved Gary, thank you so much. I love you forever.”
Gary then found Jong Kook’s letter, which was straight to the point, “Gary, you know how I feel. It’s so difficult to write a letter like this to you. You worked hard for a long time. Stay healthy. Good luck in every thing you do. We’ll still see each other, so let’s not be sad.”
Suk Jin’s touching letter stated, “Gary, I still can’t believe it. During the last 7 years, we talked about many things. On one hand, I was angry when I heard that you’re quitting. But I also understood you, so I was confused about what I felt. I’ll have to respect your wish. I love you, Gary.”
Haha’s letter also expressed his disbelief, and revealed to the viewers how close the 2 hosts were. It read, “When the ratings weren’t that high in the beginning of ‘Running Man’, we spent the night at Han River. We prayed for things to turn out well at my house. We rolled on the floor laughing. I miss the times when we dreamed while drinking soju. Let’s get old together. I love you, from Haha who’s more handsome than you.”
The wise words of Jae Suk also resounded with viewers, “Gary, I’ll think of you during next week’s recording. As I know what you want to achieve in the future, the other members and I support you in all of your endeavours. Call me any time you want to be back on a variety show. It’s too embarassing for me to continue, so I’ll stop here.”
Lastly, it was Ji Hyo‘s turn for her letter to be read. It said, “I was very shocked when I heard that you’re leaving, so I was in a daze for a few days. I took for granted that until the very end, all of us would stay on this show. I was upset and cried, and now I think about it, I realised how difficult it must have been for you to make such a decision. If you miss us too much, come back any time. No one can fill your place where you’ve been for the last 7 years, so I’ll leave it for you.”
Gary also expressed his feelings, saying, “I started his show as an unknown singer and became known through this show and received a lot of love, but I’m only full of apologies, please continue to show love to the remaining Running Man staff and crew. I will do my best to live a hardworking life.”
In a recent fan meeting in Taiwan, the Leessang member also talked about his feelings about leaving the show. “My heart is sorry that I could not be with the ‘Running Man’ members until the end. Although I’ve left the program, I did my best on the show. It hasn’t been long since I’ve left the show so I don’t quite feel it yet, but next week when the time comes around that I’m usually filming, I think I will feel empty,” exclaimed Gary.
You can watch episode 324, which is Gary’s last episode, with English subtitles here.
Thanks for the memories, Gary! We’ll miss you loads 🙁