Yakov Smirnoff (born January 24, 1951) is, according to his own description, a Russian-born American comedian.
Smirnoff, birth name Yakov Naumovich Pokhis, was born in a Jewish family in Odessa, Ukraine, at the time part of the Soviet Union. He has been an art teacher in Odessa, and continues to paint. He came to the U.S. in 1977 and became an American citizen on July 4, 1986. He was a roommate of comedian Andrew Dice Clay and has appeared in several motion pictures, such as Buckaroo Banzai and on television. Since 1992 he has been a fixture in Branson, Missouri.