Awesome Humor on Display at Park Geun-hye’s Ouster

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Even ten years from now, many who were in South Korea on Mar. 10, 2017, will remember how they were feeling that morning, when South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld the December impeachment and formally removed former president Park Geun-hye from office. Many yelled with joy, laughed, and cried. Some — like Park’s last remaining loyalists — were silenced by disbelief, and even broke out in angry violence.

Then there are many unforgettable moments: Acting chief judge Lee Jung-mi’s hair rollers on the morning of, Park Geun-hye’s motorcade returning to her private home two days later, and that Robert Kelly interview with the BBC (which is now probably more famous than South Korea’s impeachment scandal itself). 

To take a break from all this, and to laugh a little, Korea Exposé has gathered some of the more humorous moments from the past few days. Corruption isn’t funny, nor is a country not having a proper president for the next sixty days. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for a little humor…. 

1. Lee Jung-mi’s hair roller parodies 

“That number ‘8’ on justice Lee Jung-mi’s head foreshadows a unanimous 8:0 ruling…”

When Lee showed up to work on the morning of the ruling with two rollers still in her hair, the Associated Press said they were seen as a sign of hardworking women. South Korean netizens had a field day. The public response did not disappoint, with memes and parodies in honor of Lee, who also read the verdict in a calm, unfazed voice. (By the way, Lee retired from her post on Mar. 13.)

Guitarist Kim Hyun-bo of the band 2nd Moon at a celebratory concert on Mar. 11. (Source: OhmyTV)

Comedian Kim Mi-hwa rolls her hair. “I heard it was trending today..” 

A citizen at the last pro-impeachment rally on Mar. 11. Mass rallies calling for Park’s ouster have been happening every Saturday (sometimes more) since October 2016. (Source: Instagram)
“Message to the people of South Korea: Accepted,” say this meme, which wrote out the characters “accepted” with Lee’s rollers. A few hours later, the constitutional court accepted the impeachment motion against Park Geun-hye. (Source: Unknown)

2. The ruling: She’s out

“But, but, but…. 8:0.” All eight judges voted to uphold the impeachment. (Source: Unknown)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XilOfw_-eS0

The moment of truth: Park Geun-hye’s verdict spawned a parody of One Piece, a popular Japanese manga series created by Eiichiro Oda. Featuring Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping. (Source: YouTube)  

A Twitter user made music using the words “Park Geun-hye Impeachment” on Cubase 5, a music software product. 

3. Sign language went viral

The sign-language interpreter signals: “Removed.” In an interview with a South Korean website Deepr, the interpreter Jang Jin-suk said, “I didn’t feel any joy or excitement. Viewers who can’t hear were watching me. Just because she was removed it didn’t mean I could add in my personal feelings. I translated as I usually do.” 

4. Many were not sympathetic toward the ousted president 

Imaginary scene of Park Geun-hye moving out of the Blue House. She took two days to leave the presidential residence, even though her ouster was effective immediately on the court ruling. (Source: Unknown)
A parody of Slam Dunk, a Japanese manga series by Takehiko Inoue. Choi Soon-sil, Park’s confidante who is currently detained for investigation (hence the uniform in the parody), tells Park, “Don’t cry.” According to Min Kyung-wook, a lawmaker from Park’s own ruling party, she cried until her makeup ran on the day of departure from the Blue House. (Source: Kong Young-seok)

5. Meanwhile, chicken started trending nationwide 

https://twitter.com/dianmzhang/status/840035211807195136

“Because it was a good day, because it was the most fitting day, all the chicken was perfect.” (Source: Homeplus Facebook)

People got hungry and started looking for — sorry, not kimchi — chicken. That’s not all. A chicken restaurant was fortunate enough to be located near the nation’s most talked-about spot over the weekend…the former president’s private home in Gangnam, Seoul. 

“To get a 15-second advertisement on television, a restaurant needs to be a huge chicken chain. But there’s one with a neighbor so great it gets free PPL (products in placement) and concentrated exposure on a show with outrageous ratings. Behold the majesty of Gyedong Chicken.” 

Gyedong Chicken’s website went down because of the sudden upsurge in traffic. 

Fried chicken is usually very popular in South Korea, but its heightened popularity this past weekend is particularly funny — and ironic — because “chicken” is also a derogatory nickname for Park Geun-hye, whom some perceive as being as unintelligent as…a chicken. 

6. Of course, that BBC interview 

This interview might be even more famous than Park Geun-hye herself. It’s already spawning its own parodies. Here are just a few:  

(Source: Instagram)
(Source: Instagram)

 

Cover Image: (Source: Parody of Japanese manga Slam Dunk by Kong Young-seok) 

Haeryun Kang wrote this radar report.

 

For more on South Korea’s political humor, read:

Haeryun Kang is a freelance journalist based in Seoul and contributing editor at Korea Exposé.