Carl Pellonpaa said his final “Hei Hei” to viewers of “Suomi Kutsuu” better known as “Finland Calling” on March 29, 2015. The iconic program has been a fixture at TV6 since its inception back in 1962, making it the longest running program with one host in the history of broadcasting. Here, Carl reminisces about the show: My recollections of hosting “Finland Calling”
It all started in March of 1962...with two hosts, Eugene Sinervo and Carl Pellonpaa. Tom Quayle, who hosted "Travel Agencies around the Midwest," suggested to John Borgen, General Manager of WLUC-TV6, that with a Finnish TV Show, both TV6 and his agencies would do well financially. His suggestion to Mr. Borgen proved to be a wise move because, in the course of 53 years, I have hosted 34 tours to Finland and Scandinavia with over one thousand folks joining in those tours. Taking people from the area to attend FinnFests was another venture for Finland Calling which proved to be a success!
The program also provided an opportunity for viewers to arrange appearances for their guests and relatives from Finland to appear on the Sunday Shows. When viewers wanted to meet and greet...not an easy task given the huge size of our viewing area...Finland Calling dances gave the folks the opportunity to meet and greet in person. The dances started in 1964 and ended March 22, 2015 with the video from that dance becoming a part of the final telecast of Finland Calling on March 29, 2015!!! This final dance was held at the Elks Lodge of Ishpeming, Michigan, and the music for the dance was provided by Richie Yurkovich and His Friends! Paljon Rakkautta Teille Katsojille!! LOTS OF LOVE TO YOU THE VIEWER!! The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is indeed a place to call “SOMEPLACE SPECIAL!!!!!” Hei Hei Carl V. Pellonpaa (KALLE!)
The Life and Times of Carl Pellonpaa
“The Life and Times of Carl Pellonpaa” chronicles the life of this Upper Michigan icon who holds the distinction of creating the longest running television program with a single host in the history of broadcasting. The program, Finland Calling, debuted in 1962 and ran its last episode in March of 2015, after a 53 year run.
You'll see the story of Pellonpaa's early life and career, his account of the origins of Finland Calling on TV6, the Finland Calling dances, the story behind the Finn Fest celebrations, and his service in this community that made him an integral part of the growth and development of Upper Michigan.
The documentary also features Carl’s friends and co-workers reminiscing about his life. They include Ray Adamini, Don Ryan, Karen Rhodes, Walt Lindala and Larry Deloria.