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Yakov Smirnoff

Soviet-Born American Comedian, Actor, & Writer

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 Yakov Smirnoff Biography

Smirnoff began doing stand-up comedy in the US in the late 1970s. He chose the last name "Smirnoff" after trying to think of a name that Americans would be familiar with; he had learned about Smirnoff vodka in his bartending days.

In the early 1980s, he moved to Los Angeles to further pursue his stand-up comedy career. There he was roommates with two other aspiring comedians, Andrew Dice Clay and Thomas F. Wilson. He appeared often at renowned L.A. club The Comedy Store. After achieving some level of fame, Smirnoff got his first break with a small role in the 1984 film Moscow on the Hudson; on the set, he helped star Robin Williams with his Russian dialogue. He subsequently appeared in several other motion pictures, including Buckaroo Banzai, Brewster's Millions and The Money Pit. Among his numerous appearances on television, he was featured many times on the sitcom Night Court as "Yakov Korolenko", and appeared as a comedian and guest on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson.

Smirnoff at a Hands Across America promotional event in 1986 He had a starring role in the 1986–87 television sitcom What a Country! In that show, he played a Russian cab driver studying for the U.S. citizenship test. In the late 1980s, Smirnoff was commissioned by ABC to provide educational bumper segments for Saturday morning cartoons, punctuated with a joke and Smirnoff's signature laugh. In 1988, Smirnoff was the featured entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner.

From 1992-2015, he performed hundreds of times a year at his own 2,000-seat theater in Branson, Missouri, featuring comedy acts and Russian dance performances.

In 2003, he appeared on Broadway in a one-man show, As Long As We Both Shall Laugh. He is a featured writer for AARP Magazine and gives readers advice in his column, "Happily Ever Laughter". He guests at the Skinny Improv in Springfield, Missouri on occasion.

After a successful career in television, movies and Broadway, Smirnoff turned his mind to understanding the mysteries of happiness. In May 2006, he received a master's degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught classes at Drury University along with Missouri State University on this topic. He also gives seminars and self-help workshops on the topic of improving relationships.

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America on Six Rubles a Day

America on Six Rubles a Day

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  • HOW TO BOOK Yakov Smirnoff?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Yakov Smirnoff for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Yakov Smirnoff, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Yakov Smirnoff or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Yakov Smirnoff?

    Booking fees for Yakov Smirnoff, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Yakov Smirnoff, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Yakov Smirnoff?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Yakov Smirnoff for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Yakov Smirnoff for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Yakov Smirnoff or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Yakov Smirnoff or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Yakov Smirnoff

Soviet-Born American Comedian, Actor, & Writer

Travels From:
Branson, MO, USA
Speaking Fee:

Yakov Smirnoff Biography

Smirnoff began doing stand-up comedy in the US in the late 1970s. He chose the last name "Smirnoff" after trying to think of a name that Americans would be familiar with; he had learned about Smirnoff vodka in his bartending days.

In the early 1980s, he moved to Los Angeles to further pursue his stand-up comedy career. There he was roommates with two other aspiring comedians, Andrew Dice Clay and Thomas F. Wilson. He appeared often at renowned L.A. club The Comedy Store. After achieving some level of fame, Smirnoff got his first break with a small role in the 1984 film Moscow on the Hudson; on the set, he helped star Robin Williams with his Russian dialogue. He subsequently appeared in several other motion pictures, including Buckaroo Banzai, Brewster's Millions and The Money Pit. Among his numerous appearances on television, he was featured many times on the sitcom Night Court as "Yakov Korolenko", and appeared as a comedian and guest on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson.

Smirnoff at a Hands Across America promotional event in 1986 He had a starring role in the 1986–87 television sitcom What a Country! In that show, he played a Russian cab driver studying for the U.S. citizenship test. In the late 1980s, Smirnoff was commissioned by ABC to provide educational bumper segments for Saturday morning cartoons, punctuated with a joke and Smirnoff's signature laugh. In 1988, Smirnoff was the featured entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner.

From 1992-2015, he performed hundreds of times a year at his own 2,000-seat theater in Branson, Missouri, featuring comedy acts and Russian dance performances.

In 2003, he appeared on Broadway in a one-man show, As Long As We Both Shall Laugh. He is a featured writer for AARP Magazine and gives readers advice in his column, "Happily Ever Laughter". He guests at the Skinny Improv in Springfield, Missouri on occasion.

After a successful career in television, movies and Broadway, Smirnoff turned his mind to understanding the mysteries of happiness. In May 2006, he received a master's degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught classes at Drury University along with Missouri State University on this topic. He also gives seminars and self-help workshops on the topic of improving relationships.

Yakov Smirnoff Videos

  • Yakov Smirnoff on Vimeo
  • Yakov Smirnoff on Broadway - YouTube
  • Yakov Smirnoff ~ Very funny - YouTube

Yakov Smirnoff Books

FAQs on booking Yakov Smirnoff

  • How to book Yakov Smirnoff?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Yakov Smirnoff for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Yakov Smirnoff, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Yakov Smirnoff or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Yakov Smirnoff?

    Booking fees for Yakov Smirnoff, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Yakov Smirnoff, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Yakov Smirnoff?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Yakov Smirnoff for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Yakov Smirnoff for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Yakov Smirnoff or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Yakov Smirnoff or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Yakov Smirnoff is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Yakov Smirnoff for your event is $30,000 - $50,000. Yakov Smirnoff generally travels from Branson, MO, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Jerry Stiller, Richard Lewis, Gabe Kaplan, Joy Behar and Caroline Rhea. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Yakov Smirnoff for an upcoming event.

Yakov Smirnoff Speaker Videos

  • Yakov Smirnoff on Vimeo
    Yakov Smirnoff on Broadway - YouTube
  • Yakov Smirnoff ~ Very funny - YouTube

Yakov Smirnoff News

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Speakers Similar to Yakov Smirnoff

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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