Mikhail Zhvanetsky is the symbol of Russian humor, Russia’s No.1 satirist and humor writer that have received national recognition. He began his career as the author of numerous brilliant satirical miniatures performed by Arkady Raikin (a legendary Russian comic actor). Zhvanetsky is truly a darling of the nation, performing his comic short stories and monologues in front of full houses. His phrases have become part of popular folklore in the form of favorite sayings and commonly used proverbs. His shows, whether in Russia or abroad, have the feeling of soirees. When on the stage, he rifles through a sheaf of papers that he carries in his signature wellworn leather briefcase. He pulls out one to read, discards another. Sometimes, if the audience doesn’t give him feedback, he’ll read the joke again. “Listen,” he’ll say, taking off his reading glasses, “it’s really very funny.”
In recent years, Zhvanetsky has actively worked in television, with the broadcasting of his “Collection of Best TV Works – All Zhvanetsky” and his personal TV show “Duty Man of the Country” that airs every month on the national TV Channel Russia 1. He also performs all over Russia and abroad and is the author of the books “Year For Two,” “Meetings on the Streets,” “My Odessa” and many others. He is the founder of the “Moscow Theatre of Miniatures” and the president of the Odessa International film-festival “Gold Duke.” Zvanetsky has been awarded many Russian and International prizes. He was granted the honorary titles of People’s Artist, Meritorious Artist of the Russian Federation and was decorated with Russian Order of Merit for the Fatherland, fourth class.
Zhvanetsky manages to infuse his sketches with philosophical insights. His work is in the same class as the books of Ilf and Petrov, writers of the 1930s admired by millions, who, like Zhvanetsky, were from Odessa, the Black Sea port known as the crucible of Russian-Jewish humor.
“In a nation that has always adored social satire, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, is the undisputed comic laureate of glasnost. Once forced to circulate tapes of his routines underground, today Zhvanetsky plays thousand-seat arenas, appears on national television and counts Politburo member Alexander Yakovlev among his fans.”
– TIME Magazine
- CityMoscow, Paris, London
- VenueVarious venues
- Datesince 2003 till nowadays