Biography

Kummeli is the name of a Finnish comedy crew formed by three musician-actors Heikki Silvennoinen, Timo Kahilainen and Heikki Hela from Tampere. They are also the heads of the Porkkana Ryhmä, the crew’s production company. Other famous members have included Olli Keskinen, better known for his on-screen persona Eero Kakko, and Heikki Vihinen who replaced Keskinen in the mid-90s is also the head of the Tampere Theatre.

Kummeli appeared on television between 1991 and 1995. After a successful three-part pilot aired they were given their own show on YLE’s channel 2 with a completely new look. The Kummeli TV show was primarily composed of sketches with some insane characters but sometimes shows would also feature musical guests as the core crew of the team were actually musicians rather than professional actors (with the exception of Hela who ironically ended up behind the camera during the early episodes of the show). Some episodes would also have a running-set of skits that would reach a conclusion at the end of the episode (such as a father and son visiting an exhibit where the wax figures are actually the caretakers in various costumes).

In the mid-90s, after the end of the show the Kummeli crew would make random appearances in TV and different events. During this time Keskinen left the crew and was replaced by Heikki Vihinen.

After the mid-90s the Kummeli crew began to make films. Their first, Kummeli: Stories begins as a story of a fictional conflict between Finland and Luxemburg but concentrated on the stories of the soldiers which were built into long sketches which also had re-occurring characters and one actually reveals the character of Kahilainen to be the grown up version of a character he portrayed in the TV show. The movie also contains a movie in itself. A short flick called Lakaisijat (the Sweepers) which tells of a just married couple staying at a hotel run by a murderous psychopath who has trapped his simple-minded twin brother at the attic. The titular Sweepers are a two-man cleaning company (Silvennoinen and Kahilainen) modelled after the stereotypical Frankenstein’s monster and Igor characters.

The second was the 1997 movie Kummeli: Kultakuume (Goldrush) which told the story of motley crew of characters travelling to Lapland to collect a hidden gold treasure left back by the main protagonist’s father. The movie also featured well known comedy actors such Aake Kalliala of Pulttibois fame and Vesa-Matti Loiri of Uuno Turhapuro fame.

A third movie Kummelin Jackpot, was released in February 2006.

Kummeli was re-launched at the turn of the millennium, with Keskinen returning to host the show, now with a live studio audience. Another re-launch occurred in 2004, with Mikko Kivinen hosting the show for its short run. In-between these two seasons of Kummeli, Keskinen and Silvennoinen, along with some other colleagues, produced another short-lived show Mankeli.

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Edited by Defeat on 4 Apr 2007, 05:41

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