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Yakov Smirnoff

Soviet-Born American Comedian, Actor, & Writer

Soviet-Born American Comedian, Actor, & Writer

Travels From Travels From:
Branson, MO, USA
Speaking Fee Speaking Fee:
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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.

Yakov Smirnoff Videos

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

Yakov Smirnoff Books

  • America on Six Rubles a Day
    America on Six Rubles a Day

FAQs on booking Yakov Smirnoff

  • How do I book Yakov Smirnoff to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Yakov Smirnoff for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability 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 speaking fee information and check availability for Yakov Smirnoff or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Yakov Smirnoff

    Speaking fees for Yakov Smirnoff, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Yakov Smirnoff are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Yakov Smirnoff, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Yakov Smirnoff speak about?

    Yakov Smirnoff is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include College, Comedians, Education, Entertainers, Entertainment, Faith & Religion, Parenting, Personal Growth, Television Personalities, Television Stars.
  • Where does Yakov Smirnoff travel from?

    Yakov Smirnoff generally travels from Branson, MO, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Yakov Smirnoff’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Yakov Smirnoff for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker 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. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, 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 speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Yakov Smirnoff or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

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 Brad Meltzer, Mayim Bialik, Janine Turner, Tony Plana and Richard Dreyfuss. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Yakov Smirnoff for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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