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Comedian Yakov Smirnoff coming to OKC

Yakov Smirnoff
Yakov Smirnoff

Longtime comedian Yakov Smirnoff will speak at Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City this weekend.

The Soviet-born comedian, who starred in the "What a Country" sitcom in the 1980s, now speaks on love, laughter and relationships, in a show that combines research and humor.

The following information was provided in a news release:

  With infectious charm and his patented brand of humor, comedian Yakov Smirnoff teaches his audience how to put the spark back into relationships through love and laughter.

      A stand-up comedian for decades whose career has seen him on Broadway, television and film, Smirnoff received his Master’s in 2006 in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Smirnoff is also an adjunct professor at Missouri State University and he is currently earning his PhD in psychology at Pepperdine.  In 2016, he tackled the mysteries of love with a national PBS special entitled, “Happily Ever Laughter, the Neuroscience of Romantic Relationships,” which he is now bringing to audiences with a multi-city tour.

     “This is a far different type of live show than I did for years in Branson,” said Smirnoff who retired his “Russian act” in Branson in 2015. “By using humor, we will be discussing how to put the love and laughter back into relationships,” he added. “So, if you, or someone you know, need to bring that spark back into a relationship, come see my show in Oklahoma City.”

    One of Smirnoff’s theories: “Just as a car needs a gauge to show how much fuel is left, similarly, a relationship can use laughter as a barometer to indicate how much happiness still exists.”

     “During the honeymoon stage, we’re giving all these things to one another and we create laughter in the process of doing all that,” says Smirnoff, 65. “We’ll do whatever the other person wants us to do. That is something we should be doing for the rest of our lives, but no one teaches us that. In my marriage, it was, ‘I don’t need to send flowers anymore. I don’t need to write love letters anymore.’ But we have to continue to date our partner” Smirnoff says.     

     “There is a hunger for this information,” he says. “Most people don’t want to go to counseling. They see that as accepting they’re having problems, especially men. But to go to a comedy show? That’s something men don’t mind, and it became my little niche.”

     Smirnoff’s live show will be Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 pm at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) Visual and Performance Arts Theater. Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at (405) 682-7579.

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Yakov Smirnoff

Yakov Smirnoff

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Yakov Smirnoff" title="Yakov Smirnoff"><figcaption>Yakov Smirnoff</figcaption></figure>
Matthew Price

Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s... Read more ›