"World's best clown" Yuri Nikulin honored
International award-winning comics organize an entertaining gala in Saint Petersburg, in memory of the late Russian comedy icon Yuri Nikulin.
Award-winning comics on Sunday showcased the art of clowning and tomfoolery as they honored Russia's brightest circus star Yuri Nikulin who would have turned 100 at the weekend.
During a gala in Saint Petersburg, entertainers from a variety of countries including Russia, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico delighted the audience with sketches.
The performance wrapped up a four-day festival dubbed "The world's best clowns" which was dedicated to Russia's beloved clown and actor Nikulin.
💯years ago, outstanding Soviet-Russian actor & circus legend, Yuri #Nikulin, was born.— Russia 🇷🇺 (@Russia) December 18, 2021
🎭 He is an example of what a #GreatMan should be in cinema, on stage and in life, leaving behind an enormous legacy of endless love, which spanned generations, from children to grandparents. pic.twitter.com/b8dMiWLupU
David Larible, a prominent Italian performer who took part in the festival, said clowns all over the world knew and remembered Nikulin.
"He is a master, he is our father, he is a magnificent artist," Larible told AFP.
Under the Soviet Union, the circus was one of the country's most cherished institutions.
Known for his signature sailor cap, cropped trousers, and warmth, Nikulin became a cultural icon entertaining Russians for decades.
He starred in iconic Soviet comedies but was also known for his dramatic talent.
When the legendary comic died in 1997, Boris Yeltsin, Russia's president at the time, addressed the nation in a televised address, saying the country was grieving.
"We've all become orphans today," Yeltsin said at the time.
It is noteworthy that on December 12th, Russian football club Dynamo Moscow fans commemorated Nikulin's death by showing a banner displaying the late circus star, showcasing to the world the extent of the late clown's influence.
Сегодня исполняется 100 лет со дня рождения легендарного артиста и настоящего динамовца Юрия Никулина!— ФК «Динамо» Москва (@fcdynamo) December 18, 2021
Он боготворил динамовцев, а мы всегда будем помнить Юрия Владимировича за его великий талант дарить людям улыбку!#ДинамоМосква #ЮрийНикулин pic.twitter.com/tLZswSSh5D