Yakov Smirnoff

Thursday, Mar 16, 2017
at 7:00pm
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A popular guest of The Tonight Show and an established figure in the entertainment industry since the 1970s, Yakov Smirnoff is a master of word play and social commentary. Known for his comedic persona of a Soviet immigrant discovering American culture for the first time, Smirnoff has continued to make audiences laugh over the past four decades. Yakov Smirnoff is a genius on the comedy stage, so influential in the international comedy scene that he was called “a national treasure” by Ronald Reagan himself.

Born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1951, Yakov Smirnoff emigrated to the United States in 1977, where he began performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles. Smirnoff received his first big break when he landed a role in the 1984 film Moscow on the Hudson starring Robin Williams. Yakov then transitioned to television, where he was well known for his recurring role as Yakov Korolenko on the sitcom Night Court. From 1986 to 1987, Smirnoff starred in the TV sitcom What a Country! where he played a cab driver from the Soviet Union trying to study for the U.S. citizenship exam.

Yakov Smirnoff has continued to perform stand-up comedy across the country to sold out audiences. His performance at The Lyric Theatre this season is part of his “Happily Ever Laughter” tour, which focuses on the neuroscience of romantic relationships. Called “warmhearted, delightful, and splendidly funny” by the New York Times, Yakov Smirnoff pokes fun at the differences between men and women, and the issues that arise in relationships. As Smirnoff himself says, “you will laugh your Yak off!”