Celebrate Early and Often

Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, CAS ’89

We went on a family cruise to celebrate many happy occasions! Imagine my surprise one night that not only do we get to hear the famous comedian, Yakov Smirnoff, but also that he talks about his Masters degree in psychology from PENN! Of the six adults in our family, we hold four degrees from Penn!

My sister and I saw him upstairs after the show and ran up to him and sang, “Hurrah, Hurrah, Pennsylvania, Hurrah for the Red and the Blue!” We said, “We went to Penn too!” Unfortunately, he did not know the song but he said, “It was great for two young women to serenade him after his show!”

I have to agree with the website description of his show: Yakov’s comedy focuses on the dynamics between men and women, the happiness that can be found inside oneself, and a celebration of the spirit of life. He shares a vision of the world where laughter truly is the best medicine…”

Some memorable moments: He talks about first moving to America and ordering a hamburger: The waitress says: “How do you like it?” He says, “I haven’t eaten it yet!”

A man offers to set him up on a blind date: He says, “I don’t look that bad!”

A lady of the evening says: “$300 for a one night stand.” He says: “I can get the whole bedroom set for $300!”

He talks about the kindness of strangers when he and his family were new in America and about how we all need love and compassion for each other. I highly recommend his show, and his humor.

George Rajna, Jeffrey Bernstein (BA Penn 1990), Koby Bernstein (future Penn grad), Judi Niver, Yakov Smirnoff (MA Penn), Lisa Ellen Niver (BA Penn 1989), Susan Niver Bernstein (BA Penn 1991), Frank Niver (Penn Dental).

Penn People really are EVERYWHERE! Read more about it here.


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Lisa Ellen Niver

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