In the United States, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, the Party finds you!
That’s the kind of thing I expected when Angie and I went to Yakov Smirnoff’s show in Branson. What I got was a whole lot more.
You see, Yakov is more than just a comedian. He is an art teacher. He is a professor of psychology. He is a writer. He is an actor. He is a traditional Russian dancer. We got a glimpse of each of these facets at his show.
The comedy in his show was family friendly, but sharp. His clever play with the language was like George Carlin without the vulgarity. “I bet you never looked at it that way … but you will now!” was his refrain.
What struck me most about Yakov was his genuine affection and appreciation for America. He spoke in a way that isn’t fashionable now. He did not apologize for America, nor did he dwell on past sins in our nation’s long history. He shared his experience of Americans as a caring, hard working, and generous people. His personal story didn’t focus on governments; he focused on people looking out for their neighbors. It reminded me of the proper place for government: protect and defend us, but leave charity and humanity to people.
It touched something deep inside me to hear Yakov unashamedly praising his adopted home. Why do we hear nothing in the media but the pundits, the blasé beneficiaries of freedoms taken for granted, lamenting that we should be more like other countries? I don’t know the answer to that, but I know the remedy. Go see Yakov Smirnoff’s show and renew your patriotism and love for our unique nation.
P.S. The illustration for this post is a picture of a giant mural that Yakov Smirnoff the artist painted as an outlet for his grief after the Muslim terrorist attacks of 9-11. It was displayed at ground zero for over a year until damaged by a windstorm. The mural’s caption:
The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act, but by the size of the heart.