Pirkka-Pekka Petelius

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Pirkka-Pekka Petelius
Born (1953-05-31) 31 May 1953 (age 61)
Tornio, Finland
Occupation actor, screenwriter
Awards Special Venla
Special Telvis
2004, for lifetime achievement in comedy

Pirkka-Pekka Petelius (born 31 May 1953 in Tornio, Finland) is a Finnish actor and screenwriter. He has also written manuscripts for Finnish TV series and made six records as a singer.

Petelius's breakthrough was in Yleisradio's sketch series Velipuolikuu, which he wrote and also acted in. The popularity gained by the series started Petelius's career as one of the most popular comedians in Finland. He gained immense popularity due to his work in the sketch series Pulttibois (and its follower Manitbois) with Aake Kalliala. He has starred in Akkaa päälle since 1994.

Despite being known as a comedian Petelius has also acted in several more serious roles in films and television. He played Hietanen in Rauni Mollberg's The Unknown Soldier (1985). Other significant films have been e.g. Aki Kaurismäki's Hamlet liikemaailmassa (1986), Åke Lindman's Lapin kullan kimallus (1999) and Peter Lindholm's Drakarna över Helsingfors (2001).

He also provided the Finnish voice for Timon in The Lion King.

James Potkukelkka[edit]

James Potkukelkka was a character created by Petelius for the comedy sketch-series Pulttibois. The character would become the show's breakout character, appearing consistently in the latter two seasons of the show.

The basic premise of the sketches involving the character was laid down during the character's early appearances in the first season. The Apuva!-guy would appear to get into some sort of situation he could not find a conceivable escape from. For the comedic effect these would be situations of little consequence (hinting that the character is an incredibly clueless), such as getting "trapped" in a stopped escalator or the rotating entrance gate to a grocery store. Whenever Potkukelkka would find himself in trouble he would start yelling "Apuva!" (dialectisized form of the Finnish "apua" meaning help) which would summon the burly, rugged and cool-headed character played by Aake Kalliala who would save the Apuva!-guy from his peril and help him on his way.

As the show went on Potkukelkka would develop into a more manic character. Originally his cry for help was more mechanic and evenly repetitive. From the second season onward he would begin yelling "Apuva!" more loudly and sometimes in a musical form often prompting Kalliala's character to ask "Mitä sää huudat?" ("Why are you yelling?") and frequently either asking him to be quiet or sometimes having to raise his voice. His nickname Apuva-tyyppi also originated from Kalliala calling the character such in the early appearances. James Potkukelkka also adopted his distinct style of walking, moving the hand and foot of the same side in a synchronized, comical and over-stated fashion.

In the second season the character's name was revealed to be James Potkukelkka, a play on James Bond and the Finnish word for kicksled. However, Kalliala's character would display disbelief at this being the Apuva!-guy's real name and even threatened to take him to a DNA test if he didn't reveal his real name. Kalliala's character's name was revealed and only ever mentioned in one sketch as being Niilo Olli Hääppönen or N. O. Hääppönen, which when pronounced sounds like "en oo hääppönen", meaning "I'm not much".

Starting from the third season Apuva!-guy was forced to change his trade-mark yell to Swedish - hjelpivä. This was due to public concern at the time that imitations of the character would lead to a genuine cry for help to be not taken seriously. Petelius revealed this to be the case in an interview.


The character also has a very distinct way of speaking, often referring to himself in the third person simply as "hän" (he). In addition the character's grammar structure is oddly twisted at times, starting with the description of the action and ending on the pronoun after a brief pause, in later appearances Apuva-guy would often erupt into his distinct laughter ("E-he-he...") after doing so.

He also tends to speak to inanimate objects, going so far as to tell them jokes and addressing them cordially, although his lack of understanding over their function (such as condom dispenser, a slot-machine or a cash machine) is regularly a source of panic for him. He also has a bizarre way of also referring to these inanimate objects, Kalliala's character and on occasion himself as "rouva" (Mrs.).


TV series[edit]

  • Velipuolikuu (1983–1984)
  • Mutapainin ystävät (1984–1985)
  • Tabu (1986–1987)
  • Oudot Jutut
  • Hymyhuulet (1987–1988)
  • Neurovisio (1988–1989)
  • Hui Helinää, Hei Hulinaa (1988–1989)
  • Pulttibois (1989–1991)
  • Manitbois (1992)
  • Viihdeohjelma Tukholma (1993)
  • Salli mun nauraa (1993)
  • Hra 47 esittää (1994)
  • Huijarinainen (1994)
  • Akkaa päälle (1994–1996 and 2006)
  • Hömppäveikot (1996)
  • Ruonansuu & Petelius Co (1997)
  • Nortia (1996)
  • Team Ahma (1998)
  • Kaverille ei jätetä (1999–2003)
  • Korkeajännitystä (2001)
  • Ou Nou! (2001)
  • Handu pumpulla (2005)
  • 6pack (2008)




  • Yömyöhä (1986–2005)

External links[edit]