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KBS, KNOC point fingers over renaming Gag Concert's ‘Mansour’ to ‘Uhksour’

State broadcaster KBS and state-run oil company Korean National Oil Corp. are pointing fingers over the name change of a comedy skit on “Gag Concert” over fears it could cause political tension.

The dispute began as KBS said on Sunday that its comedy show “Gag Concert” changed the name of popular sub-segment skit “Mansour” to “Uhksour,” following a request from the Korean National Oil Corp.

The comedy skit centers on the massive wealth of oil tycoons from the oil-producing countries of the Middle East. 

Comedians perform in skit comedy
Comedians perform in skit comedy "Mansour" in KBS's comedy show "Gag Concert." (KBS)

KBS said the KNOC requested that the skit’s name be changed, as the audience may associate the name with His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE. 

As a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, the sheikh is the deputy prime minister and minister of presidential affairs of the UAE, as well as the half-brother of the current president of the UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

However, KNOC dismissed KBS’ allegation as totally groundless.

“We have never visited KBS (for that matter) and was surprised at the news articles. There was no such a thing. We have never made such a request,” a spokesperson of KNOC told The Korea Herald.

The spokesperson also said it is uncertain whether Gag Concert’s use of the name “Mansour” could deteriorate Korea’s diplomatic ties with the UAE, citing the case was unprecedented.

Despite KNOC’s denial, KBS insisted that it was the state oil company that pushed for the replacement of the skit’s title.

A spokesperson for the KBS entertainment team told reporters through a text message, “According to our producers, it is true that the Korean National Oil Corp. paid a visit. While the ‘Mansour’ skit corner had not received any complaints on such occasion, the state company seems to have been preemptively anxious.”

The spokesperson also wrote, “The skit corner’s name itself was not that big of a deal for us, so (we did not mind changing it to) ‘Uhksour,’ which is associated with ‘extremely hilarious’ in the Gyeongsang provincial dialect.”

By Chung Joo-won (