Who knew Russians had such a great sense of humor?
Well, few Americans thought so, until the 1980s, when the young Russian-born Yakov Smirnoff burst onto the scene.
When he arrived here in 1977 from Ukraine, Smirnoff actually spoke no English.
But quickly he was able to turn his foreigner’s naivete into a very successful comedy act.
In 1987, with Smirnoff’s popularity nearing its peak — and just before a visit to the U.S. by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev — Smirnoff went on a book tour to promote a hilarious book he call America on Six Rubles A Day.
So here now, from 1987, Yakov Smirnoff.
Yakov Smirnoff is 70 now. He still performs occasionally at his theater in Branson, Missouri, and tours world wide.