Yakov Smirnoff: Streaming Comedy to Benefit Cascade Theatre
8/29/20 6:00 pm
Yakov Smirnoff is a legend in American comedy. A Russian immigrant who loves America and being American, his catch phrase “what a country” rings hysterically true after each wry observation of uniquely American foibles. He wrote jokes for President Reagan’s trip to speak at the Kremlin — the first time an American President had visited Russia in decades — and painted the huge mural that hung above Ground Zero for the 1st anniversary of 9/11. Never has someone loved his adopted country more — nor found it more confusing and hilarious. “UNITED WE LAUGH” is a 75-minute evening of streaming comedy to benefit the Cascade Theatre during its COVID-19 closure and to keep us all laughing through tough times. Join us virtually for a great evening of fun to benefit the Cascade Theatre until we can all be together in our beautiful Art Deco hall again.
After escaping communist Soviet Russia in the 1970’s, Yakov came to this country with nothing but a dream. Not even knowing the language, Yakov humbly began working as a bartender at the famous Grossinger’s Catskill Resort in New York, where he was able to tell jokes each night after his shifts. As his English improved, he quickly grew in popularity. He would then make the move to Los Angeles where the owner of The Comedy Store, Mitzi Shore, took him under her wing.
His lovable view of life through the eyes of a poor immigrant captured the hearts of America. He soared to the top of the comedy world performing on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and countless other television programs, including as a regular character on “Night Court” and the star of his very own show, named after his famous catch-phrase, “What a Country!” He branched out to the big screen where he starred in movies with Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, and Jack Nicholson to name a few.