Everyone loves a good joke, and the "in Soviet Russia" jokes are adaptable to just about anything, making them popular and fun.

But where did this Russian style joke come from?

Yakov Naumovich Pokhis, a.k.a. Yakov "Soviet Russia" Smirnoff is the comedian who conjured up this Russian reversal joke.

In America, you can always find a party.
In Soviet Russia, Party always find you!

Yakov Smirnoff was born in the USSR 1951. In 1977 he came to the United States and on July 4th 1986 he became a US citizen. Since the early eighties he has been making people laugh with his comedic wordplay contrasting his life in the Soviet Union and the communist regime compared to his life in the USA. He delivers his ironic jokes with a very strong accent of course.

Nowadays you can find Smirnoff in his own theater in Branson, Missouri.

Yakov Smirnoff
Yakov Smirnoff

Other interesting notes on Yakov:

  • He was a bartender during his first few years in the U.S.
  • He paints and teaches art.
  • He has been in many movies, "Moscow on the Hudson," "Brewster’s Millions," "The Money Pit," and "Heartburn."
  • He has appeared on T.V. shows.
  • He has starred in the Broadway show, "As Long As We Both Shall Laugh."
  • He is writes books.

Other interesting notes on "in Soviet Russia" jokes:

  • It is an antimetabole.
  • It is often called "Russian reversal" jokes.

Popular places you may have heard this joke:

  • Family Guy's Peter makes a "in Soviet Russia" joke about driving a car in one episode.
  • A Miller Lite commercial from 1985.
  • King of the Hill’s Bobby says "In America, you put ‘In God We Trust’ on your money. In Russia, we have no money!"
  • The Simpsons

About the author

Lindsey Mae is freelance artist who enjoys writing fun blog posts for and The Russian Store.