A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 26, 2017
“In America, you can always find a party. In Russia, the party always finds you”

Soviet-born American comedian Yakov Smirnoff told a popular “Russian reversal” joke about the Soviet Union:

In America, you can always find a party. In (Soviet) Russia, Party always finds you.”

The joke was popularized in a November 1985 television commercial for Lite Beer from Miller.


Wikipedia: Yakov Smirnoff
Yakov Naumovich Pokhis, better known as Yakov Smirnoff (born 24 January 1951), is a Soviet-born American comedian, actor and writer. After emigrating to the United States in 1977, Smirnoff began performing as a stand-up comic. He reached his biggest success in the mid-to-late 1980s, appearing in several films and the television sitcom vehicle What a Country!. His comic persona was of a naive immigrant from the Soviet Union who was perpetually confused and delighted by life in the United States. His humor combined a mockery of life under Communism and of consumerism in the United States, as well as word play caused by misunderstanding of American phrases and culture, all punctuated by the catchphrase, “And I thought, ‘What a country!’”

Wikipedia: Russian reversal
A Russian reversal is a type of joke, usually starting with the words “In Soviet Russia”, in which the subject and objects of a statement are reversed, commonly as a snowclone pattern: “In America you , in Soviet Russia X to/with you.” Sometimes the first part is omitted.
(...)
The joke form is often credited to Ukrainian-American comedian Yakov Smirnoff, although he only rarely used Russian reversals; an example is a Miller Lite commercial in which he appeared in 1985, wherein he stated: “In America, there’s plenty of light beer and you can always find a party. In Russia, Party always finds you”.[

TV Tropes
Russian Reversal
aka: In Soviet Russia Trope Mocks You
“In America, you can always find a party.
“In Russia, the Party always finds YOU!!”

— Yakov Smirnoff, Miller Lite Commercial, 1985
The Russian Reversal, more technically called the transpositional pun, is a type of joke popularized by Ukrainian comedian Yakov Smirnoff. It is based on taking a statement about capitalist United States and inverting it to describe the then-communist Russia as an Orwellian hellhole. Smirnoff later added the prefix “Soviet” to indicate the jokes were meant to target the past regime, as opposed to The New Russia. For instance:
“In America, you watch Television.
“In Soviet Russia, television watches YOU!!”


10 November 1985, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Russian Comic Finds Freedom for Humor” by Ben Fong-Toirees, pg. 52:
“In America, you can always find a party; in Russia the party always finds you!”

19 December 1985, San Diego (CA) Union, “Russian invasion has begun” by Divine Infusino, pg. C-1:
“In America, you can always find a party,” he chortles. “In Russia, the party always finds you.”

2 January 1986, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News “What’s In, What’s Out, Right Now” by Rose DeWolf, pg. 39:
TV commercials that parody the Russians are in. (Wendy’s Russian fashion show - every model wears the same dress. Or Miller’s: “In America, there’s plenty of Lite Beer and you can always find a party. In Russia, the Party finds you.” )

Urban Dictionary
In Soviet Russia
Originated with Cold War comic genius Yakov Smirnoff.
In America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, party always finds you.—Yakov Smirnoff
Popular on slashdot, appearances on Family Guy, The Simpsons, Futurama.
In America, you watch television. In Soviet Russia, television watches you.
by Saggy June 08, 2004

YouTube
Yakov Smirnoff Miller Lite Commercial (1985)
mycommercials
Uploaded on Nov 11, 2007
Television commercial for Miller Lite featuring the Cold War Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff - 1985

Reddit—Jokes
In America, you can always find a party.
submitted May 27, 2017 by notactuallygnar
In Soviet Russia, the party always finds you.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, May 26, 2017 • Permalink