Get To Know Charismatic Female Comedian Lee Young-ja Profile, Career, Daesang Award, And More

Lee Young-ja
Knowing Korea

Meet The Sassy and Outspoken Korean Comedienne and TV personality Lee Young-Ja

Lee Young-ja is a Korean comedienne and successful TV host. She has hosted various popular TV shows, and is most famous as the co-host of KBS2’s Hello Counselor. Hello Counselor is a talk show about a protagonist who has problems with an antagonist, and is in desperate need for reconciliation. On the show, she often gave blunt and straightforward responses to either the protagonist or antagonist guest. However, she also often gave the guests consolation and encouraging words.

As a popular comedienne and TV personality, she hosts many variety shows. Other than her straightforward personality, she always shows a tremendous appetite for food, and she is never shy about that appetite.

In this article, Byeol Korea will talk about Lee Young-ja, her profile, career, and other interesting information about her. So stay tuned!

Profile and Facts

Lee Young-ja

Real Name          : Lee Yoo-mi

Stage Name        : Lee Young-ja

Date of Birth       : August 15, 1967

Place of Birth      : Asan, South Chungcheong

Height                : 170 cm

Weight                : 83 kg

Blood type           : O

Management        : IOK Company

Education            : Seoul Institute of the Arts

YouTube               : Lee Young-Ja Channel

Fun Facts

  • She was criticized for faking going on a diet to reduce her weight. It appeared that she underwent liposuction to reduce her weight and improve her appearance.
  • She debuted in the Korean entertainment industry after winning MBC’s comedy audition program.
  • She was the ambassador for the World Disaster Relief Organization, and went to Haiti for her charity work.
  • She is famous for her ‘poop’ hairstyle.
  • She changed her stage name from Lee Yoo-mi to Lee Young-ja because she felt her appearance didn’t fit the image of her real name.

Debut as Comedian

Lee Young-ja graduated from Seoul Institute of the Arts, majoring in Theater. After graduating from university, she participated in MBC’s comedian contest in 1991, and made a debut as a comedienne. Before debuting as comedian, she was a regular MC on evening comedy shows. On the stage, she showed excellent charisma and did a good job in hosting the shows. She was scouted by a comedy program manager and agreed to participate in a comedy talent competition.

Relationship with Actor Tom Cruise

It turns out that Lee Young-ja and Tom cruise had a special memory. The handsome actor made a guest appearance on Lee Young-ja’s Taxi to promote his recent movie. It appeared that on his first visit to Korea, he met Lee Young-ja on a variety show and tried to lift her. That was 22 years ago, and he lifted her with ease.

About the scene, Tom Cruise said that she was as light as a feather. He remembered perfectly the scene from the program. To everyone’s surprise, he even tried to lift Lee Young-ja again and re-enact the scene from more than two decades ago.

Active as an MC and TV Personality

Lee Young-ja debuted as an entertainer in 1991 on MBC’s Youth March. She started hosting her first variety show on SBS’ Good Saturday. It wasn’t until 2005 that she started gaining attention as talented TV host. She’s appeared in various TV programs, either as a TV personality or a guest, but she is most famous for hosting variety shows. Her blunt comments, funny reactions, and excellent hosting skill make her a favorite for Korean variety show fans.

Won a Daesang Award

In 2018, Lee Young-ja received two major awards from two major TV stations, MBC and KBS. At the awards, she defeated a strong candidate, I Live Alone’s Park Na-rae. She was  in tears as she hugged her manager, Song Seong-ho. During her acceptance speech, she thanked the manager for doing his best to support her until she reached the most important recognition of her work. Other attendants were visibly in tears when hearing her acceptance speech.

YouTube Channel

Lee Young-ja posted a three-minute video that marked her first video on her YouTube channel, Lee Young-ja Channel. On the video, she greeted her fans and announced her recent project as a YouTube content creator. At the time, she was accompanied by other host members from the popular variety show jTBC’s Lanlife.

Regarding the reason for opening Youtube channel, she said “Rather than showing videos that viewers like, I will show and post the videos that I like. I will make the world that I want to make. I would love the viewers to laugh along with me. I will also deliver celebrity news as quick as possible.

Her fans responded positively to her YouTube channel and wrote “She will conquer the entire Mukbang content creator. The real deal is coming. Please reveal all the information about all the food that you eat.

On an episode of jTBC’s Lanlife, Lee Young-ja and her YouTube channel traveled to Jeju Island and visited a house that was owned by a citizen of Seoul. She revealed that it was her life-long dream to retire and live a quiet life on Jeju Island. She had started to look for her future house on the island. She was envious about the location and the perfect view of the house. She confessed that one of the reasons she started her YouTube channel was because of recent hard times. At the time she endured difficult periods, and she said that by becoming a YouTube content creator, she could make videos anywhere and anytime.  At the end, she said, “after starting YouTube, I am getting ready to retire.


TV Variety Shows

Year Title Network Role
1991 Youth March MBC Permanent member
1992 If You Laugh, Blessings Will Come Your Way Permanent member
Today is a Good Day Permanent member
1992–1993 Sunday Night Permanent member
1993 Special TV Celebrities KBS Permanent member
1994 Good Saturday SBS Program Host
Star and Tonight
1995 Super Sunday KBS2 Program Host
1996 My Father SBS
Moonlight Sonata
1999 Super TV Sunday is Fun KBS2 Program Host
Family Entertainment Contestant
2005 Find a Happy World KBS1 Program Host
2007 Squeeze MBC Program Host
2007–2012 Live Talk Show Taxi tvN Program Host
2008 People Looking for a Laugh SBS Cast member
2010–now Hello Counselor KBS2 Program Host
2012 Invincible Youth 2 Program Host
Blind Test 180° MBC Contestant
2012–2013 100 Dancing Golden Microphones Program Host
2013–2014 Mamma Mia KBS2 Program Host
2014–2015 Good Eating, Good Living – Did You Eat? SBS Program Host
2014–2017 Live Talk Show Taxi tvN Program Host
2015 Golden Wagon CBC Program Host
Serial Shopping Family JTBC Program Host
2016 Eating Show Star SBS Program Host
2018 Red Cheeks You KBS2 Program Host
2018– now Omniscient Interfering View MBC Permanent member
Food Bless You Olive Permanent member
Lanlife JTBC Program Host
2019 Fun Restaurant KBS Permanent member


TV Series

Year Title Network Role
1995 Jazz (Variety Series) SBS
1998 Will Make You Happy KBS2 Lee Young-ja
2006 Love Truly MBC Song Eon-joo
2008 Last Scandal Min-joo’s mother
2015 The Producers KBS2 Herself
2017 The Package JTBC Woman in airport



Year Title Role
1992 Don’t Cry Young-ja
I Love You, Young-ja
1999 Ghost in Love God
2004 Don’t Tell Papa Gong Sun-mi

Award Achievements

Year Award Category Program Nomination
1993 29th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Variety Performer – Female
1996 23rd Korean Broadcasting Awards Comedian Award
3rd Korean Entertainment Arts Awards Comedian Award
2010 SBS Entertainment Awards SBS 20th Anniversary Entertainment 10 Star Award
2011 10th KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award (Variety)
2012 11th KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award (Variety) Hello Counselor, Invincible Youth Season 2
2014 Asia Rainbow TV Awards Best Entertainment Host Hello Counselor
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Variety Performer – Female
2016 tvN10 Awards Perfect Attendance Award in Variety Live Talk Show Taxi
Best MC
15th KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award (Talk Show) Hello Counselor
2018 16th KBS Entertainment Awards Grand Prize
18th MBC Entertainment Awards Omniscient Interfering View
Entertainer of the Year Award
Best Couple Award
2019 55th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Variety Performer – Female


Latest News

On March 3rd, 2020, Lee Young-ja donated 50 Million KRW to areas across Korea to prevent the spread of coronavirus. She said that the donation was used for all the Daegu citizens that were severely affected by the spread of the disease. Lee Young-ja is among the leading female celebrities that frequently donate part of their income to help other people and help the country. She donated around 20 million KRW to the people affected by the forest fire in Gangwon Province. According to the news, she and her manager donated all the fees for her commercial to alleviate health problems of young children and senior citizens.

Lee Young-ja is challenging herself to be TV host Jeon Hyun-mu’s personal manager on the latest episode of MBC’s Omniscient Interfering View. As a special episode to commemorate the 100th episode, she must manage the day-to-day activities of the busy TV personality. Though they know each other very well, she is also curious about his real personality. Jeon Hyun-mu surprised Lee Young-ja, his one-day-manager by giving her a beautiful bouquet. The episode was broadcast on April 11, 2020.

That was all the information about the funny comedienne and TV host, Lee Young-ja. Her blunt and sassy character brings laughter and fun to all of her TV variety programs. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and opinions about her in the comment section below!