Yakov Smirnoff is now appearing at the Five Star Theater in Hot Springs. Audience members came out in droves to see the Russian comedian last night. He doesn’t look much different from the Smirnoff we remember from the 70's, 80's and 90's when he was a favorite on The Tonight Show, the movies, television and the comedy club circuits.
Smirnoff’s mastery of the English language and all of its foibles was and is still fodder for his hilarious brand of comedy. The things we loved about him then are still there but now Smirnoff has morphed into a favorite college professor, one that teaches life’s lessons with a laugh. The class that always has a wait list. The professor whose message you always remember.
Smirnoff’s admitted goal is to make his audiences happy and he succeeds beyond reason. Lesson one, the word yep translates to the word sex in Russian and who can’t laugh every time you hear yep in perverse context.
Lesson two, to sustain a successful relationship you must give gift, an acronym for give, importance, fun, time. The lecture was enjoyable, the lesson will be remembered and hopefully implemented.
Smirnoff talked of his family and shared many sentimental stories. There were lots of laughs but also damp eyes. Be prepared to laugh and cry, ponder love and life.
When not trying out new material on the road, Smirnoff has a theater in Branson where he continues to perform but he also has pursued education. In 2006 he returned to college and received his Masters in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Today, at age 64, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in the neuroscience of laughter, this from a man that came to America 37 years ago not speaking a word of English. He is the American dream.
Smirnoff will be bringing his philosophy and humor to the Five Star Theater in Hot Springs tonight, Saturday night and an added Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. For reservations, call 318-1600.