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Up To Date

Yakov Smirnoff: Comedy And A Russian View On Sochi

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

In America, you try to get to Olympics. In Russia, Olympics come and get you. Or at least, that's the way Russian comedian and Branson sensation Yakov Smirnoff might say it.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, Smirnoff joins Steve Kraske to talk about Sochi, comedy and more.


  • Yakov Smirnoff, comedian

Yakov Smirnoff on Sochi:

  • On the location: "Sochi is the weirdest choice to have Olympics, because it's like the warmest part of Russia. It's like having Winter Olympics in Miami ... I was concerned that the ski jump will be different there-- the skier will be pulled by a boat."
  • On hotel room problems: "It's not really the standard of the American customer. There is no curtains in the windows, there is no curtains in the shower. I guess when the Iron Curtain came down, all the curtains came down."
  • On food: "They tried to bring Taco Bell, but  Russian government didn't like the slogan, 'Run for the border.'"
  • On computer security: "Here, you call it hacking. In Russia, you call it room service."


Up To Date comedyOlympics
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.