Yakov Smirnov immigrated to the United States in 1977 in search of a better life after the hardships he faced in the Soviet Union. As a comedian, his persistence paid off once he caught the attention of the Night Court producers, leading to a recurring role on the sitcom from 1984 to 1990. IMDbafter his last appearance on the show, the actor and comedian continued to guest-star on comedy programs, including Major Papa and guest voice acting on King of the Hill in 2002. In 2007, Smirnoff also admitted to going back to school and getting a master’s degree in psychology (for comedy on the couch).
For the most part, it seems like Smirnoff’s love of stand-up comedy has taken up most of his time since Night Court ended. The comedian is currently touring the United States, performing at venues large and small, which he also records and uploads to his YouTube channel. His humor is a mix of fish-out-of-water situation comedy mixed with satire. In an interview in 2017 Herald Tribune, the comedian spoke about what humor means to him. He shared, “What he does is he tells me that when people laugh at something together, they are united.” He then added, “They are united not only with each other in the room, but also with me. It’s kind of like a test. If people laugh, it means they are not separated, they are connected.”
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