"Running Man" fans will need to bid final goodbye to the Monday Couple. The SBS variety show announced on Tuesday, Oct. 25 that Gary will be leaving "Running Man" after being a regular member for six years. The staff and cast members reportedly tried to change his mind but Gary has decided to go and focus on his music.
"We sincerely thank Gary for putting everything into the show for [six] years, as one of the original members of 'Running Man.' Gary wishes to focus on his career as a musician, and we wish him the best," the production staff of "Running Man" said in a statement, according to Soompi.
The rapper has been a regular cast member of one of the longest running variety shows in South Korea, "Running Man," since July 2010. He rose to fame with his loveline with Song Ji Hyo in the show called "Monday Couple" which earned him a high ranking on the cast members' popularity polls.
Despite Gary's image as the most gullible but honest member, he is also dubbed as "Dark Horse" and "Random Mr. Capable" in the variety show. He is able to win against the members in very "random" cases even when he's at a serious disadvantage or facing against the show's strongest member, Kim Jong Kook. Gary is also the record holder as the winner of the most expensive prize in "Running Man" history -- an all expense paid Europe trip which he won in the "Super Power" Christmas special in episode 74.
Gary, also known as Kang Hee Gun, is a member of the hip-hop duo Leessang which was formed in 2002. The group has since released eight albums with several hits. Gary had a solo debut with the mini album "Mr.Gae" in 2014. Despite being deemed unfit for broadcast by the three major TV stations, SBS, MBC and KBS due to explicit lyrics, the album's title track, "Shower Later," ranked number one in eight music charts.
Gary's final filming on "Running Man" will be on Monday, Oct. 31.