Legendary Comedian Yakov Smirnoff to Graduate with a Doctorate Degree from Pepperdine University Saturday, May 18, 2019

LOS ANGELES (MAY 13, 2019) –Yakov Smirnoff, the legendary comedian known for emigrating from the Soviet Union and skyrocketing to the top of the comedy world in America in the 1980’s, has earned his doctorate degree from Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology on May 18th. His dissertation – and stand up — on how laughter sustains human relationships and international diplomacy is both informative and hysterical.  Dr. Yakov is available for interview and speaking opportunities. 

“He’s a [expletive] good joke writer!  Yakov Smirnoff is still slingin’ it!  He comes to the comedy store.  He writes new material and it’s good!” – Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience

After having reached every career milestone as a stand-up, Yakov refuses to slow down.  With a full schedule of stand-up comedy dates, he has managed to find time to go back to school, earning his master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and now his doctorate at Pepperdine not far from his home in Malibu, California.  Yakov also has a home and theater in Branson, Missouri. 

Dr. Yakov is an expert on laughter and laughter’s relationship to love.  “Laughter is your GPS to happiness. The more love, the more laughter,” he says. Dr. Yakov’s research for his dissertation on the “Law of Laughter (LOL)” proves that laughter is like a gas gage in a car which tells you how much fuel you have – laughter lets you know how much happiness you have in your relationship.  “I’ve devoted my life to teaching others how to share love and laughter, and I look forward to sharing my doctoral research on this subject in the coming weeks,” says Dr. Yakov.   

See his stand-up here:

About Yakov Smirnoff:

In the 1980’s, Yakov Smirnoff’s life through the eyes of a poor immigrant captured the hearts of America.  He soared to the top of the comedy world performing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and countless other television programs, including as a regular character on Night Court and the star of his very own show, named after his famous catch-phrase, “What a Country!”  He branched out to the big screen where he starred in movies with Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, and Jack Nicholson to name a few.  Still, one of his favorite achievements is obtaining his American citizenship in front of the Statue of Liberty in 1986.  From his humble beginnings as a poor immigrant to living the American dream, Yakov has even performed for four U.S. Presidents and has been the main event for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

For interviews and booking information please contact John Lockhart at People Media Worldwide (800) 600-7111 x 224 or


Twitter: @Yakov_Smirnoff

Instagram: @yakov_smirnoff

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