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Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5: Yakov Smirnoff (repeat)

Look at the time. It's 7 pm and the show starts in four hours. Talk about irresponsible blogging! Oh well, at least it's a repeat. And it's available in podcast form, too. In fact, the reason I chose the Yakov Smirnoff episode, from 2007, is that a friend of mine recently wrote me to tell me he listened to the Smirnoff episode last week and really enjoyed it. Perfect, I thought, that's who I'll run in this season of summer reruns. (It won't be reruns all summer, though, don't you worry.)

It's been a long time since I've heard the program, but I remember it being a good one. I have a lot of respect for comics who have lasted in show business, even if they're not at the same level of fame they once were. While Smirnoff isn't on TV much anymore, he's still got a career down in Branson, Missouri, where he runs his own theatre. And anyone who was alive and conscious in the 1980s knows he was everywhere. The Soviet immigrant was an honest-to-God American success story. His contribution to comedy includes popularizing the comedic antimetabole (aka the Russian reversal): "In America, you watch television. In Russia, television watches you!" He's also known for his catch-phrase, "What a country!" and his distinctive Horshackian laugh, which I found out, is legit.

But how many of you know that the amiable Smirnoff was once roommates with Andrew "Dice" Clay? Tis true. And you'll learn that – and more – if you tune in tonight (or listen on podcast).

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