Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov

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This article is about satirist. For other persons named Zadornov, see Zadornov.
Mikhail Zadornov
Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov.jpg
Birth name Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov
Born (1948-07-21) July 21, 1948 (age 67)
Jūrmala, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Years active 1974 – present
Genres Satire
Website http://www.zadornov.net/

Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov (Russian: Михаи́л Никола́евич Задо́рнов; born July 21, 1948 in Jūrmala, Latvian SSR, USSR) is a Soviet and Russian stand-up comedian and writer. Zadornov was born in an artistic family, his father Nikolai Zadornov was 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 Stephan Batoria. [1] Zadornov’s father was a well-known writer, and Zadornov grew up listening to his father reading him works of literature, before he went to sleep. Such as classical writings of adventure and suspense, and poems. Zadornov’s parents wanted their son to become an engineer, so he went to an engineering institute. [2] Mikhail Zadornov graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute, however, in the early 1980s he started a career as a humorist instead of an engineer.


Mikhail Nikolayevich Zadornov had a long career path with different challenges. Zadornovs work was printed and first seen in 1976. In 1984 Zadornov on TV for the first time. In 1984-1985 he worked as a leader in a group of satire and humor in the magazine called Humor. A story called “An Open Letter to the General Secretary” or “The Ninth Wagon” was written by Zadornov in the show Around the Laughter and also in the magazine called The Art of Cinema. That spread across the USSR quickly gained popularity. In that period, if a person said anything negative or something that could insult the government was in a high risk of being arrested and put in jail surprisingly Zadornov did not. New York Times had made a conclusion “что в СССР действительно началась перестройка” the meaning of the quote is saying that there is really a reconstruction happening in the USSR. In 1998 Zadornov published four volumes of his incomplete works. Many plays were performed, written, and played based on those volumes. Later on Zadornov started performing and making his own concerts where he would tell stories about his experience in other countries and what he saw in that was different from Russian culture. One of his common stories is comparing Russians to Americans. Which show that both cultures have different kind of happiness in life. When Zadornov visited a hotel, the works had told him on how two of the cultures have a different view on life. [3]


Zadornov was married in 1971 to Velta Janovna Kaliberzina (Велта Яновна Калнберзина); she is a professor of English in the Philological Faculty of Moscow State University. Mikhail and Velta went to the same school in Riga as children. They also went together to the Moscow Aviation Institute. At the same time, Zadornov’s popularity was growing at high speed. 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 actor. [4]


Zadornov went to a public school in Riga and showed a lot of interest in play acting and performing. After Zadornov finished school, he went to Riga’s Institute of Civil Aviation Engineers, as his parents wanted. Later on, he transferred to Moscow’s Aviation Institute, where he finished his studies in engines. After finishing 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. The government gives the title National to a person when he or she reaches popularity among the people. [5]


A recurring theme in Zadornov's humour is national stereotype and national mentality. He often satirically compares Russian traditions and lifestyle with that of other nations, especially Americans and former Soviet countries. Zadornov deplorably mocks 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.[6] As Mikhail sometimes targets Russia's top power figures, some of his sketches were rejected by state TV stations on political grounds.

He supports the revisionist fringe theory that the Russian language descends from the Vedas and Etruria, put forward by philosopher Valery Chudinov. Since 2006, Zadornov incorporated Chudinov-style wordplay into his sketches, based on folk etymology. Zadornov is familiar with the Internet and often quotes jokes found in the Web or e-mailed by fans.


  1. ^ http://www.peoples.ru/ a company, many authors Ivan Matkovskii (Иван Матковский), Aleksei Bulaov (Алексей Булатов), Elena Murzina (Елена Мурзина), Evgenii Tancurin (Евгений Танцурин), Sveta Konfetkina (Света Конфеткина), Andrei Puminov (Андрей Пуминов), Yulia Griniuk (Юлия Гринюк)
  2. ^ http://www.vokrug.tv/ by Inna Kuziakova (Инна Кузякова)
  3. ^ http://www.kino-teatr.ru/ by many authors, a company website
  4. ^ http://www.uznayvse.ru/ it is a informational portal, a company many writers
  5. ^ http://dic.academic.ru/ a company used the website www.prazdniki.ru as a source
  6. ^ Oleg Rashidov (2002-04-10). Писатель-сатирик Михаил Задорнов: Японскую визу я не зачеркну!. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-10-21. 

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