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October 8, 2015 6:04 PM   Subscribe

While the end of Sábado Gigante's 53 year television run has received heavy press coverage, earlier this year another foreign-language television show ended a 53 year reign with a single host: Finland Calling.

Broadcast in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (the region with the only Finnish plurality in the United States), Carl Pellonpaa hosted every episode in the show's history. Watch a segment in English and Finnish here.
posted by Turkey Glue (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Okay the best part is where he says "holy crud." Because HOW YOOPER.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:42 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

OK, that makes much more sense than what I was thinking -- Esteban Colberto didn't look old enough to have been around for 53 years before he retired.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:03 PM on October 8, 2015

Awwww, no more El Chacal. :(
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:09 PM on October 8, 2015

I'm from Finland, and reading about American Finns is always a really really strange experience. I'm constantly getting a "there's this whole mirror universe of awesomeness out there and we're not really paying attention to it" vibe. Hard to explain, really.
posted by wwwwolf at 4:49 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Several years ago my mother cut the listing out of a Finnish-American newspaper and mailed it to me, asking me if I ever listened to it on the internet. I came across the clipping this summer as I was going through some papers, finally checked it out, only to learn that he had recently given up the show.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:01 AM on October 9, 2015

Finland Calling was a cute show. I think his wife was the sole member of the crew. I would catch bits and pieces as a kid when my grandparents watched it. But I never saw a full episode until a couple of years when I viewed one online.

One of the segments, Carl had a handheld camera and was interviewing the people who rented the cabin next to his. They weren't Finnish, just tourists from elsewhere in America. And the "interview" consisted of the typical Midwestern small talk one has with neighbors. Everyone was sitting outside in plastic lawn chairs.

It was Cinéma Vérité.

I felt the same about Pellonpaa retiring as when I heard Garrison Keillor would. I wasn't part of the audience for the show, but the news made me a little sad for cultural nostalgia reasons.

Also, impressed that the WSJ would send a reporter to Ispheming for this story. The resources a paper has when all of its subscribers are rich. The plebs at Democracy Now! could have never done this, no sir.
posted by riruro at 12:15 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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