Photo By Sam Cali. 05/03/86
The Tower Theatre - Upper Darby, PA.
|Born||Yakov Naumovich Pokhis|
January 24, 1951
Yakov Naumovich Pokhis (Russian: Яков Наумович Похис), better known as Yakov Smirnoff, is a Ukrainian-born American comedian and painter. Events 41 - Gaius Caesar (Caligula, known for his eccentricity and cruel Despotism, is Assassinated by his disgruntled Year 1951 ( MCMLI) was a Common year starting on Monday. Events of 1951 January Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages Ukrainians (Українці Ukrayintsi,) are an East Slavic Ethnic group primarily living in Ukraine, or more broadly— Citizens The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience primarily by making them laugh Painting (pān'tīng in Art, is the practice of applying Color to a Surface (support base such as e He was popular with American audiences in the 1980s for comedy performances in which he used irony and word play to contrast life under the Communist regime in his native Soviet Union with life in the United States, delivered in heavily accented English. Irony is a literary or Rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity or Discordance between what one says or does and what one means or Word play is a Literary technique in which the nature of the words that are used become the main subject of the work Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991
Smirnoff was born in a Jewish family in Odessa, Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ ODESSA which stands for the German phrase O rganisation d er e hemaligen SS - A ngehörigen which in turn translates Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe. He was an art teacher in Odessa and continues to paint. Art refers to a diverse range of Human activities creations and expressions that are appealing to the Senses or Emotions of a human individual In Education, a teacher is one who helps Students or pupils often in a School, as well as in a Family, religious or Painting (pān'tīng in Art, is the practice of applying Color to a Surface (support base such as e He came to the U.S. in 1977 and became an American citizen on July 4, 1986. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Also 1977 (album by Ash. Year 1977 ( MCMLXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays Events 836 - Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar)
He was a roommate of comedian Andrew Dice Clay and has appeared in several motion pictures, including Buckaroo Banzai and The Money Pit. Andrew "Dice" Clay (born Andrew Clay Silverstein on September 29, 1957, in Brooklyn, New York) is an American The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! (often shortened to Buckaroo Banzai) is an American Science fiction film For the location known as "The Money Pit" for its (supposed buried treasure see Oak Island. Among his numerous appearances on television, he was featured many times on the sitcom Night Court as "Yakov Korolenko". Night Court is an American television Situation comedy that aired on NBC from January 1984 until May 1992 At the peak of his success, he also had a starring role in a 1986-87 television sitcom titled What a Country. What A Country! is a comedy television series shown between 1986 and 1987 In that show, he played a Russian cab driver studying for the U. S. citizenship test. In the late 1980s, Smirnoff was commissioned to provide educational bumper segments for Saturday morning cartoons, punctuated with a joke and Smirnoff's signature laugh. Since 1992, he has been a fixture in Branson, Missouri. Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) Branson is a city in Stone and Taney counties in the US state of Missouri. Missouri ( or) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee
He is almost completely unknown in the former Soviet Union. The decline in his U. S. popularity started after the collapse of the USSR, as nearly all of his signature material consisted of mocking the Soviet regime. A shtick ( Yiddish: שטיק) (or schtick) is a comic theme or Gimmick.
In May 2006, Smirnoff received a master's degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Positive psychology is a recent branch of Psychology that "studies the strengths and Virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive The University of Pennsylvania (also known as Penn) is a private University located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.  He has taught classes at Drury University along with Missouri State University in this topic. Drury University is a private Liberal arts college in Springfield Missouri. Missouri State University is a State university located in Springfield, Missouri.
The largest part of the humour of Yakov Smirnoff falls into two wide categories:
He once told Johnny Carson, "You have such nice things in the U. John William “Johnny” Carson ( October 23, 1925 &ndash January 23, 2005) was an American Television host and S. —like warning shots!"
Russian reversal or "In Soviet Russia" is a type of joke originated by Arte Johnson on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and popularized by Smirnoff, and is an example of antimetabole. Arte Johnson (born January 20, 1929) full name Arthur Stanton Eric Johnson, is an American comic Actor. Here Comes The Judge redirects here for the 1968 song see Shorty Long. In Rhetoric, antimetabole is the repetition of words in successive clauses but in transposed grammatical order (e The general form of the "In Soviet Russia" joke is that the subject and objects of a statement are reversed, and “In Soviet Russia”, or something equivalent, is added. For example:
In an episode of Family Guy, Peter gets a used car made in a former Soviet country. Family Guy is an animated American television sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane that airs on Fox and regularly on other The built in navigations system tells him to:
In an episode of King of the Hill, Bobby, who wishes to be a comedian, watches Smirnoff and this joke is heard:
In an episode of Futurama, Zoidberg, who often (poorly) tries out as a comedian at the Apollo, says:
All of Smirnoff's original "In Soviet Russia" jokes made use of formulaic wordplay that carried Orwellian undertones. The adjective Orwellian describes the situation idea or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free-society For example, one well known joke of this type runs "In the US, you watch television. In Soviet Russia, television watches you!" The joke alludes to video screens that both reproduce images and monitor the citizenry, as in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Telescreens are featured in George Orwell 's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nineteen Eighty-Four (also titled 1984) by George Orwell (the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair) is a 1949 English Novel
At the peak of Smirnoff's celebrity in the mid-1980s, he did not say "Soviet Russia"—he said simply "Russia", as the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic had existed since 1917, was still extant, and showed no signs of imminent collapse. The 1980s was the decade spanning from January 1 1980 to December 31 1989. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year The Soviet Union 's collapse into independent nations began early in 1985 Smirnoff added the Soviet qualifier after the fall of the USSR, long after his fame had faded, presumably to specify that he was referring to the communist regime and not the present state. A soviet (сове́т, "council" originally was a workers' local council in late Imperial Russia. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based
The joke form has become a staple of Smirnoff's humor, and is widely referenced in television parodies and references as well as many on-line communities. The widespread reference to the jokes has led some linguists to consider the phrases to be Snowclones. A snowclone is a type of Cliché and Phrasal template originally defined as "a multi-use customizable instantly recognizable time-worn quoted or misquoted 
Smirnoff is listed as the fourth worst stand-up comedian of all time by Maxim magazine. Maxim is an international men's magazine based in the United Kingdom and known for its revealing pictorials featuring popular Actresses 
Smirnoff is also a painter and has frequently featured the Statue of Liberty in his art since receiving his U. Liberty Enlightening the World (La liberté éclairant le monde commonly known as the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté was presented S. citizenship at Ellis Island. Ellis Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor
On the night of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks he started a painting inspired by his feelings about the event, based on an image of the Statue of Liberty. Painting (pān'tīng in Art, is the practice of applying Color to a Surface (support base such as e Just prior to the first anniversary of the attacks, he paid $100,000 for his painting to be transformed into a large mural. A mural is a Painting on a wall ceiling or other large permanent surface Its dimensions were 200 feet by 135 feet (61 m by 41 m).
The mural, titled "America's Heart", is a pointillist-style piece, with one brush-stroke for each victim of the attacks. See also Neo-Impressionism Pointillism is a style of Painting in which small distinct points of Primary colors create the impression of a wide selection Sixty volunteers from the Sheet Metal Workers Union erected the mural on a damaged skyscraper overlooking the ruins of the World Trade Center. The Sheet Metal Workers International Association is a Trade union of skilled metal workers who perform architectural The World Trade Center in New York City, United States (sometimes informally the WTC or Twin Towers) was a complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan The mural remained there until November 2003, when it was removed because of storm damage. Various pieces of the mural can now be seen on display at his theater in Branson, Missouri. Branson is a city in Stone and Taney counties in the US state of Missouri.