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[Interview] Americano Shares Thoughts on Winning Second Place

Rating Rating more Three Stars

2011.11.21 15:10 Mwave Choi, EunHwa

“First place? The people around us were going crazy, but we didn’t expect to win first place. Second place is a priceless result too,” said Ahn Young Mi of tvN Comedy Big League’s first runner-up team Americano.

[Interview] Americano Shares Thoughts on Winning Second Place

Americano’s Ahn Young Mi, Jung Juri and Kim Mi Ryo faced off against Small Spring (Yoo Se Yoon, Jang Dong Min, Yoo Sang Moo) on the final round of the show, which was broadcast on November 19.

Enews met up with the ladies who won second place and finally put to rest the falsehood that ‘female comedians aren’t as funny as male comedians.’

On meeting Americano

I couldn’t help but laugh upon seeing the three women with their stage makeup still fresh on their faces. Before Ahn could even get a word out, I burst into laughter, and she let out a loud laugh quickly thereafter. This would set the tone of our conversation and her feisty, B-grade comments would get us through the late night interview.

One thing the three women have in common is their slim figures, which often goes unnoticed when they’re performing their comedy sketches on stage. Ahn can pull off a pair of skinny jeans just as well as any girl group member, while Jung, who often puts on the ‘beautiful—from behind’ act onstage, has flawless skin. And beneath the baggy clothes, Kim boasts an hourglass figure. As soon as I complimented them, they began making jabs at one another.

“I don’t know why I’m the ugly character among the three of us,” said Jung.

“They’re just used to [your face] because of the cameras, but, honestly, you’re not pretty,” said Kim.

They give new meaning to the phrase ‘words have hidden meanings.’ However, I could sense their sisterly affection as they cared for and held on to one another.

[Interview] Americano Shares Thoughts on Winning Second Place

When strong-willed women get together, they fight? I beg to differ.

KBS’ Ahn, MBC’s Kim and SBS’ Jung are the representative female comedians from the three major networks, and together, they make up Americano. There were concerns that the three strong-willed women would have a difficult time accommodating each other’s ideas because people assumed none would be willing to play the supporting role to the other. However, they proved their colleagues wrong.

“We worried a lot in the beginning about what the picture would look like if the three of us got together,” said Ahn. “The director anticipated trouble because girls were getting together. But, from the beginning, we all had the mentality that we needed to be understanding of one another. So we talked a lot. We received something greater than a cash prize.”

Jung said, “They worried a lot about who would support and who would dominate. We all played dominant roles at our respective channels. But I didn’t have that kind of greed. I don’t think that only Ahn Young Mi unni’s character did well. Because unni did well, we were also able to do well.”

The women did indeed all play dominant roles in their sketches. In fact, Yang Sae Hyung and Kim Ki Wook of another team, 4G, played the supporting roles, one as a blind date partner and the other as the matchmaker.

“We’re really grateful for Kim Ki Wook and Yang Sae Hyung,” said Ahn. “If we were to have won first place and the 100 million won cash prize, we would have gladly split it with them. To be honest, they were probably more attached to our team than 4G (Laughs).”

“When we pressed them to help us with our sketch, they came and helped us without frowning,” added Jung. “Yang Sae Hyung asked me to buy him a padded jumper if we won first place, saying there was one that cost eight million won.”

Ahn chimed in saying, “Is he out of his mind? (laughs).”

Disappoint remains for ‘I’m an actress’

Americano changed their game plan in the fifth round. The team began the competition with sketch I Am An Actress, which poked fun at what happens on production sets. Ahn parodied theater actress Park Jung Ja and Kim Mi Ryo, actress Kim Hye Ja, while Jung took on the role of Han Ye Seul, who fled to the U.S. after refusing to show up for her drama’s filming and causing production to come to halt.

The reaction to the sketch was hot in the beginning, and the team ranked high in the first two rounds. Then the team dipped to seventh and sixth place in rounds three and four, respectively, and the ladies’ pride took a beating. Kim even shed tears. It was like a cruel joke.

“The truth is, I wanted to push the part in the middle where I scream ‘AH EE YA,” revealed Ahn. “But the reaction to it wasn’t so hot, so I couldn’t bring myself to push for it. We had to find something else that would increase our chances of winning again.”

Kim added, “My pride took a hit. I didn’t understand why we were ranked at the bottom. From then on, I growled and that’s when the competition with the other teams began.”

[Interview] Americano Shares Thoughts on Winning Second Place

The success of the biker girl, blogger girl and ‘the beautiful woman from behind’

It’s not an easy task, to scrap all of the ideas you had planned for Comedy Big Leagueand come up with something new in a week. But the women picked up their pride and did it with new sketch The Girl Who Was Too Much For Me

Ahn’s biker girl, Kim’s blogger girl and Jung, ‘the beautiful woman from behind,’ delivered laughs all around, and the team was, once again, on fire. It’s fair to say that Ahn was responsible for taking the team back to the top.

“The accent as well as the visual aspects of the bimbo character, which was rejected on Gag Concert, were born with Mi Ryo’s help,” said Ahn. “I thought it’d be refreshing and unconventional to convey how teenage fans follow rock stars around.”

And that’s how Ahn’s biker chick character was born. The ‘Harley-la-ee-yeh’ roar of the motorcycle is a mix of the bike brand Harley Davidson and the robot Holly’s accent. From the nose and lip piercings to the candy cigarette as well as the eye patch and cast, Ahn’s act is a parody of the rebellious teenager.

“Young Mi must’ve felt an attachment during the sixth round,” said Kim. “We thought it was funny when we watched the sketch over again, but she must not have thought it was funny when she did it because I saw her putting on the nose piercing and jacket as well as creating the hallucinated expression on her face and the motorcycle roar.”

Ahn explained, “I actually saw the comments, and there were some that said, ‘Is Ahn Young Mi on drugs when she acts?’ I must look that way because I get really into the role. When I go to get-togethers, I actually go with the stage makeup still on my face. I don’t know if I’ve become possessed, but I may have picked a fight or two on the street (laughs).”

“We have a get-together today too. Take it off! (laughs)” pleaded Jung.

So how then did the blogger girl and ‘the beautiful woman from behind’ come to be?

“I’m not the type to come up with an idea in advance,” said Kim. “When we were talking about changing the sketch, the blogger girl came to mind. As a girl who stays cooped up in her house and is obsessed with one thing, she gets stuck on otaku.”

Jung said, “Since we’re all running on different schedules, instead of having short meetings in person, we had meetings on Kakao Talk (a free, text messaging application on smart phones). The ‘beautiful woman from behind’ was born after bouncing ideas off of the unnis. The ‘beautiful woman from behind’ character was fun, but on the next season, I will try my best to make people laugh with my words and not my face. (laughs).”

Unfortunately, Americano was unable to beat its competition and wound up coming in second place. The winning team, Small Spring, predicted the all-female team wasn’t too far behind them saying, “We don’t think we’ll be able to beat Americano in season 2.” Which means yes, the three women will return, having promised to return for the next season.

What will the women come up with in the next month and a half? We can only wait and see, and hope that the female trio pulls one in for the ladies.


Photo credit: tvN
Translation credit: Nancy Lee


Tag
Americano 20111121 Comedy Big League 20111121 Jung Juri 20111121 Kim Mi Ryeo 20111121 Ahn Young Mi 20111121
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