As a company, we often see shows and visit attractions, which helps give us a truer sense of what the show or attraction offers to guests that visit Branson, Missouri. As I was waiting for team members to arrive one evening to see Yakov Smirnoff’s 2023 show “Laugh Your Yak Off!”, I reflected on the many times I’ve gotten to see his show over the years. I’ve seen the 2023 advertising campaign with the tag line “Celebrating 30 Yeras of LAUGHTER in Branson!” and that got me thinking...I bet I’ve seen his show about a dozen times. Each time it was completely different. So, I was more than a little curious to see what this year’s edition was like. I already knew it was going to be good. And funny! I had no idea what a remarkable evening I was in for...
...starting with our national anthem! What an amazing way to start a show. And even more amazing was the delightful rendition sung by Yakov’s wife, Olivia. It can be so easy to take a song or lyrics (or blessings for that matter) for granted when heard countless times. And then you hear someone else sing (or say) those same words, from her heart, and the whole perspective can change. This truly set the tone for a moving, patriotic, endearing evening...a retrospect, if you will, of Yakov’s life, complete with pictures, video, stories and humorous anecdotes.
Yakov has a gift. He learned early on how to put a funny spin on troubling or stressful situations and to lighten the mood while engaging others in laughter. This not only helped ease others’ troubled spirits, but it also helped protect himself and his parents from otherwise desperate and sorrowful circumstances by replacing would-be despair with connection and laughter.
It’s no surprise that Yakov has a Master’s Degree in Psychology. He’s taught classes, wrote books, conducted seminars on the importance of laughter in relationships...He shares about his friendship with former President Ronald Reagan and other political figures as well as celebrities and the important role laughter played in each. And in our own relationships...in particular, marriage! He makes a convincing point! And, after more stories and humor, he openly shares about his first marriage, his beautiful children, and the eventual loss of that marriage and how humor played a role in the healing and hope of finding his “happily ever after”.
He also showcases his paintings, which reveal even more of his genuine heart and patriotism both throughout the show and in the gallery that houses his paintings, at his theater right here in Branson, Missouri.
He tells of hearing about Lady Liberty and how he fell in love with her at a tender young age...and how he was determined to become a comedian. At age 26 he was able to come to America with his parents. As the story unfolded, it was tough to distinguish the audience’s laughter from the tears. And when the show reached the climactic peak, as Yakov sang a song he wrote about Lady Liberty, “Sweet Lady Liberty”, and Olivia once again gave a new perspective to our Statue of Liberty by bringing her to life and dancing with Yakov, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
If you’re ready for some good, hearty laughter and you don’t mind shedding a few tears, this show is the one for you. Call us and we’ll save you a few bucks! 877.368.3782 or click here to book reserve your seats today: