Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov

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Mikhail Zadornov
Zadornov mn.jpg
Zadornov in 2008
Birth nameMikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov
Born(1948-07-21)July 21, 1948
Jūrmala, Soviet Union
DiedNovember 10, 2017(2017-11-10) (aged 69)
Moscow, Russia
Nationality Russian
Years active1974 – 2017
Genres Satire
Website zadornov.net

Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov (Russian : Михаи́л Никола́евич Задо́рнов, Mihaíl Nikolájevič Zadórnov; July 21, 1948 in Jūrmala, Latvian SSR, USSR – November 10, 2017 in Moscow, Russia) [1] was a Soviet and Russian stand-up comedian and writer. Zadornov was born into an artistic family, his father Nikolai Zadornov being a notable writer from Riga. Zadornov’s mother, Elena Matusevich (1909-1992), came from an old noble family, which can trace its roots to the Polish king Stephen Bathory. [2]

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Jūrmala City in Latvia

Jūrmala is a city in Latvia, about 25 kilometres west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. It has a 33 km stretch of white-sand beach, and a population of 56,646, making it the fifth largest city in Latvia.

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.


As a child, Zadornov listened to his father reading him works of literature before he went to sleep, such as classic writings of adventure and suspense, and poems. Zadornov's parents wanted their son to become an engineer, so he went to an engineering institute. Mikhail Zadornov graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute. However, in the early 1980s he started a career as a humorist, and later mockingly remembered his engineering days.

Moscow Aviation Institute engineering higher education establishment in Moscow

Moscow Aviation Institute founded in 1930 is one of several major engineering higher education establishments in Moscow. Since its inception MAI has been spearheading advances in aerospace technology both within Russia and worldwide. The university laid emphasis on laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering, specific to demands of the aerospace industry. During World War II part of the university was evacuated to Almaty Kazakhstan, the university, staff and students continued to work on research and wartime production throughout the war. During the Post-War period, the university expanded and assimilated new technologies during the Jet age. Research conducted in the university contributed to heralding the space age.

Humorist profession

A humorist is an intellectual who uses humor in writing or public speaking. Humorists are distinct from comedians, who are show business entertainers whose business is to make an audience laugh, though some persons have occupied both roles in the course of their careers.


Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov had a long career path with different challenges. Zadornov's work was printed and first seen in 1976. In 1984 Zadornov appeared for the first time on TV. [3] In 1984-1985 he worked as a leader of a group of satire and humor in the magazine called Humor. Stories called “An Open Letter to the General Secretary” and “The Ninth Wagon” were written by Zadornov for the show "Around the Laughter" and also in the magazine called The Art of Cinema. Those pieces spread across the USSR quickly gained him popularity. During that period, a person saying, in public, anything negative or insultive to the government, was in high risk of being arrested and jailed – surprisingly Zadornov was not. New York Times had made a conclusion that “reconstruction has really started in USSR” (“что в СССР действительно началась перестройка”). [3] In 1998 Zadornov published four volumes of his incomplete works. Many plays were performed, written, and played based on those volumes. In parallel with writing pieces Zadornov started performing and making his own shows where he would compare life in Russia and other countries of the world, tell stories about his experience in other countries. His jokes in the end of 20th century concentrated more on satirizing USSR and its inhabitants, and later shifted to mockery and criticizing of the West. His most common stories are comparing Russians to Americans. In later concerts he praised the Soviet education system.


A recurring theme in Zadornov's humour is national stereotype and national mentality. He often satirically compared Russian traditions and lifestyle with that of other nations, especially Americans and former Soviet countries. Zadornov mocked westernization in both Russia and abroad. In 2002, Zadornov rescinded his visa to the United States as a protest to the American athletes' flag-waving behavior at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics. [4] As Mikhail sometimes targeted Russia's top power figures, some of his sketches were rejected or edited by state TV stations on political grounds.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Westernization (US) or Westernisation (UK), also Europeanization/Europeanisation or occidentalization/occidentalisation, is a process whereby societies come under or adopt Western culture in areas such as industry, technology, law, politics, economics, lifestyle, diet, clothing, language, alphabet, religion, philosophy, and values.

Salt Lake City State capital city in Utah, United States

Salt Lake City is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Utah, and county seat of Salt Lake County. With an estimated population of 190,884 in 2014, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,153,340. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,423,912. It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin.

He supported the revisionist fringe theory that the Russian language descends from the Vedas and Etruria, put forward by philosopher Valeriy Chudinov. Since 2006, Zadornov had incorporated Chudinov-style wordplay into his sketches, based on folk etymology. [3] Zadornov ran an internet site and quotes stories and jokes found on the Internet or e-mailed to him by fans.

In historiography, the term historical revisionism identifies the re-interpretation of the historical record. It usually means challenging the orthodox views held by professional scholars about a historical event, introducing contrary evidence, or reinterpreting the motivations and decisions of the people involved. The revision of the historical record can reflect new discoveries of fact, evidence, and interpretation, which then provokes a revised history. In dramatic cases, revisionism involves a reversal of older moral judgments.

Pseudoscientific language comparison is a form of pseudo-scholarship that has the objective of establishing historical associations between languages by naive postulations of similarities between them.

Vedas Ancient scriptures of Hinduism

The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless".

In March 2014 he signed a letter in support of the position of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on accession of Crimea to Russia. [5]

Vladimir Putin Russian politician, 2nd and 4th President of Russia

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer serving as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008. In between his presidential terms, he was also the Prime Minister of Russia under his close associate Dmitry Medvedev.


Zadornov attended a public school in Riga and showed a lot of interest in play acting and performing. [3] After Zadornov graduated, he went to Riga's Institute of Civil Aviation Engineers, as his parents wanted. Later on, he transferred to Moscow Aviation Institute, where he finished his studies in engines. After graduating from the institute, he remained in a dance club that performed plays and stories to entertain people. The club gained popularity and was known across Moscow. Zadornov also formed a student theater called "Agitteatr" (Агиттеатр), and they presented plays on certain topics. They would sing songs and tell stories that described life and did not insult the government. The group traveled to most of the parts of the USSR and gained popularity. Zadornov received a prestigious Lenin Komsomol Prize and was awarded the title of National Artist, a title given to a performer who reaches substantial popularity among the people.

Personal life

Zadornov was married in 1971 to Velta Kalnbērziņa (Велта Яновна Калнберзина); she is the daughter of Soviet Latvian politician Jānis Kalnbērziņš and a professor of English in the Philological Faculty of the Moscow State University. Mikhail and Velta went to the same school in Riga as children. They also studied together in the Moscow Aviation Institute. At the same time, Zadornov’s popularity was growing quickly. Also, at that moment, Zadornov started dating his administrator Elena Bombina (Елена Бомбина). Zadornov divorced Velta in 2009. Mikhail and Elena had a common-law marriage, and had one daughter named Elena Zadornova (Елена Задорнова); she studied at the Russian Academy of Theater Arts and became an actress.


Zadornov embraced Rodnovery (Slavic Native Faith) in 2007; he expressed his favour towards the social ideal of the Ringing Cedars' Anastasian movement, that is to say the "kinship homestead". [6]

Shortly before his death, he was baptised into the Russian Orthodox Church at the request of his relatives. [6]


Zadornov died of brain cancer [7] [8] on November 10, 2017 at 9:15 A.M. [9]

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  1. Михаил Задорнов умер в московской клинике
  2. Сестра Михаила Задорнова Людмила: «У Миши с детства с юмором все в порядке!»
  3. 1 2 3 4 Биография — Михаил Задорнов
  4. Oleg Rashidov (April 10, 2002). Писатель-сатирик Михаил Задорнов: Японскую визу я не зачеркну!. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Archived from the original on July 14, 2004.
  5. "Задорнов: в Латвии хотят запретить въезд Безрукову, Гергиеву, Михалкову". Argumenty i Fakty. April 10, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  6. 1 2 "Чем нам запомнился Михаил Задорнов" [What we remember of Mikhail Zadornov]. Рамблер (Rambler). November 10, 2017. Archived from the original on December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  7. Протоирей Андрей Новиков о соборовании Михаила Задорнова: Это таинство совершается для исцеления от недугов и прощения грехов
  8. Президент Российской Федерации Владимир Путин выразил соболезнования в связи со смертью Михаила Задорнова
  9. Умер Михаил Задорнов ‹See Tfd› (in Russian)