Arts and Culture

Finnish news anchor gets fired for making joke, world comes to his aid

Maybe it just means Finland is humorless, but it's a pretty sad day for the world when a news anchor gets fired for making an on-air joke -- and a pretty funny one, at that. Finnish English-language news anchor Kimmo Wilska was in the middle of a segment on bars being fined for breaking the terms of their liquor licences when the camera cut back from a shot of beer taps to Wilska pouring beer into his mouth. Later that day, his employer gave him the old heave-ho.

First of all, if that's what news anchors look like in Finland, it makes me want to move to Finland, because that guy looks like his other job is selling acid on the Echo and the Bunnymen reunion tour. Just saying.

Wilska clarified after he was let go that the beer-bottle stunt (it might not have even had actual alcohol in it) was not meant to be seen by viewers; it was a studio joke only his co-workers were supposed to see. But the camera cut back too quick, catching him unawares, which explains why he looks so surprised. If only he'd done a little "wackety-schmackety-doo" dance, he might have been able to save his job. Or maybe not, but it would have been pretty hilarious.

At any rate, he lost the job. Happily for humanity, the world is not taking the injustice of joke-killing laying down -- the whole thing went down just yesterday, and already, Wilska is enjoying an outpouring of support via a Facebook page that's already 40,000 strong.

Thank God for the Internet: Uniting people who can laugh because they are not yet dead inside, all over the world.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte