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Branson, Missouri Theatre - Laughing with Russian Comedian Yakov Smirnoff

Updated on December 16, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Headshot of comedian Yakov Smirnoff
Headshot of comedian Yakov Smirnoff | Source

This should brighten your day!

Whether you have ever been to the Grand Palace (Yakov Smirnoff's Theater) in Branson, Missouri or not, you will enjoy this Russian born comedian's unique form of comedy. It has his patrons laughing hilariously as he accentuates the differences between his home country of Russia and the country of his choice, the United States of America.

Yakov Smirnoff Theatre

The Yakov Smirnoff Theatre in Branson, Missouri - The Grand Palace.
The Yakov Smirnoff Theatre in Branson, Missouri - The Grand Palace. | Source

Yakov Smirnoff became an American citizen on July 4th,1986 and was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger at the Statue of Liberty.

When Russia was under communist rule creativity was severely stifled. The differences in freedoms between the country of his birth and his new country are the subject matter for his comedy routines.

Yakov Smirnoff

My mother and I visited Branson, Missouri in September of 1995 and chose his act as one of the productions that we wished to experience among many different choices. What a great way to start our day!

Ticket to Yakov Smirnoff Show in Branson, Missouri
Ticket to Yakov Smirnoff Show in Branson, Missouri | Source

We attended the morning show which includes a "Royal Russian Breakfast" that one can eat at one's seat right in the theater. It includes some of Yakov's mother's recipes like Bobka and Pastry Romanoff along with fruit and coffee.

The Grand Theatre is gorgeous!

Chandelier hanging from the ceiling in The Grand Palace
Chandelier hanging from the ceiling in The Grand Palace | Source

In the lobby are hundreds of American memorabilia items like old gas station pumps, jukeboxes, George Jone's white convertible car, Patsy Cline items, etc. It is like stepping back in time and viewing items from an earlier era.

In the lobby of The Grand Palace is hundreds of 1950s & 1960s memorabilia like this George Jones' 1963 Ford Galaxy convertible.
In the lobby of The Grand Palace is hundreds of 1950s & 1960s memorabilia like this George Jones' 1963 Ford Galaxy convertible. | Source

The stage is surrounded by plush and comfortable red seats. Yes...red was undoubtedly chosen as the color of choice.

Yakov's license tag on his Red Ferrari parked outside the theatre is emblazoned with the saying "X-RED."

License plate on Yakov's Ferrari
License plate on Yakov's Ferrari | Source

Every part of his act accentuates in a very comedic way the differences between living under the old communism and the freedoms he experiences today.

His two hour show consists of some music, dancing, hilarious skits and most all of it is a tribute to the United States. My mother and I laughed so hard and so often that our sides were aching as we exited the theater at the end of the show.

My mother standing next to Yakov's Ferrari parked just outside the theatre.
My mother standing next to Yakov's Ferrari parked just outside the theatre. | Source
  • Yakov Smirnoff is a University Professor who specializes in teaching the value of laughter and how it impacts our lives. He is a loving father of two children, a boy and a girl.
  • Yakov is also an accomplished artist. He has created paintings showing his daughter, son and his tribute to the Statue of Liberty that he obviously holds close to his heart. In addition his faith shines through his paintings and he has Jesus laughing as well as Einstein in a laughing pose.
  • Yakov Smirnoff created a large painting as a tribute after 9-11 that actually hung in New York on the outside of a building until it was starting to be damaged by the elements. It has been salvaged and now hangs in his theater.
  • He has been on television, in movies, has authored books and writes magazine articles.

Come along with me and learn things about Yakov Smirnoff that you may not have known. Enjoy the videos and if you ever get a chance to see this comedian in person, I would heartily recommend your doing so.

His trademark saying is "What a Country!"

Yakov Smirnoff is one American that we can all treasure as he helps us laugh our way through life. I think most everyone would agree that more laughter would be beneficial for all of us no matter where we happen to reside.

Writing this post has me smiling and remembering the laughter we enjoyed that day in his Grand Palace Theater in Branson, Missouri.

A
Branson, Missouri:
Branson, MO, USA

get directions

After viewing these videos would you want to see Yakov Smirnoff in person?

See results

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      We laughed so hard our sides ached. It was a great way to start the day. Yakov Smirnoff is quite the comedian!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      Great article. I never realized Yakov Smirnoff as such a talented artist and doing so well. Good for him.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      When you get a chance to go I think that you would enjoy visiting Branson, Missouri. There are so many terrific acts and theaters in one place and the scenery is also pretty. It is certainly nice for the stars because they can have more of a home life instead of always being on the road. Thanks for the shares.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      I love Yakov Smirnoff. Mentioned him in my article on Who Are the Homeless. I remember when he first started here in the states. I wondered what happened to him. Seems like all the celebs have disappeared and then I discover they're in Branson! Three of my sibs have been there, but I never have. Seems like it's a great place to spend some time.

      Somehow missed this article before. Voting it up, interesting, awesome, gave you 5 more stars, pinned to my 'Travel' board, and sharing it with followers.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eddy,

      My mother and I laughed so hard that we actually had tears streaming down our faces when we started out our day at the Yakov Smirnoff theatre in Branson. Great way to start any day! Thanks for your comment.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      Hi peggy, I loved this hub and I also thought that Yakov Smirnoff is so funny.

      Thank you so much for sharing him with us.

      An up up and away without a doubt.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      Aha! Perhaps that is the difference! Yakov Smirnoff is a Russian (now turned American) comedian and was never a leader in his former country.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 

      7 years ago

      I never knew Russians could be funny ..... their leaders always seem so serious.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dave,

      I've never been to Nashville or the Grand Ole Opry, but my mother and I found Branson to be a very family friendly place and a fun place to visit. Very pretty countryside also with the rolling hills and lakes. As you say...good for fishing, shows...and don't forget shopping. All those discount places... :)))

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Stephanie,

      Nice to hear that you also enjoyed seeing Yakov Smirnoff performing in his Branson, Missouri theatre. We really enjoyed hearing and seeing him. Thanks for your comment.

    • Knightheart profile image

      Knightheart 

      7 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Hi Peggy,

      Branson, well you are getting closer to my hometown...I am NE of there about 4-5 hours or so! People compare Branson to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry sites. Though not nearly as huge, Branson is a nice place to visit, especially if you like fishing and shows!!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      We saw Yakov Smirnoff a few years ago while visiting Branson — he is a very funny guy! Your hub brought back good memories of his show and how much we enjoyed it.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky,

      My mother and I were laughing so much our sides hurt when Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff was going through his routine. He is a funny man! We really liked what we got to see of Branson, Missouri. Glad that you liked the videos of Yakov Smirnoff. Thanks for the comment and God bless you too, Micky.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Awesomely funny Peggy. I watched every video but I like comedy and I like Yakov Smirnoff. God bless Dear!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi shamelabboush, Yes, he is a smart, funny and accomplished man. Thanks for the comment.

      And hello Teresa, Now you know... Isn't hubpages great? We learn so much from one another. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi G-Ma,

      Absolutely love Benny Hill. Here is a link for those who may be unfamiliar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=810TQyT2KXI

      I missed knowing about Sam Kennison but now thanks to you here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_VURr6jnWQ

      This is turning into Comedy Central! HEE HEE and Hugs back to you.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 

      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Thanks --I had heard the name, but didn't know his history. Cool.

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 

      9 years ago

      Never Known him before but his resume here is impressive.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      lOVE HIM as well as  ..oh well my mind just went blank ( Sam Kennison) and Benny Hill...classics as far as I am concerned???HEE HEE   nicely done...Thanks G-Ma :O) Hugs

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hey Pete, now that you mention it, you do look alike. Things could be a whole lot worse! Intelligence factor........you both have that going for you also. Better rest your hand. Soon you will be swamped for autographs. LOL

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cris,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogol_Bordello Hey, you guys are making me look things up! I was unfamiliar with this group so thought other people may want to know who they are also...thus, the link. Cris......you are doing well in the funny dept. and don't need help from others. LOL

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi GT,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borat_Sagdiyev Here is a link for those unfamiliar with the Borat in your comments. I did not see the movie when it came out. Did you? Thanks for being the first to read and comment.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 

      9 years ago

      Yakov is a really funny guy. I've been told that I look like him so it is probably good that he has a sense of humor.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I admire men who make people laugh however which way. It's a gift. can only dream of being funny and most of the time, it is only I who laught myself. Oh well... Anyway, have you heard of Gogol Bordello - they do some comedic acts, too. Thanks for sharing :D

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I don't see this guy much anymore, but he is witty without a doubt. Now that I see this, I think maybe Borat stole some material from him.

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