"World War III"
Season 2, Episode 21
#34 in series (193 episodes)
2x21 - World War III.png
Yakov Korolenko (Yakov Smirnoff), now a naturalized US citizen, returns to the Manhattan Criminal Court and tries to solicit help for his brother Ivan (John Lykes, center), who's also trying to defect from the USSR, as Dan and the rest of the court staff tries to conceal Ivan's identity from a KGB agent (Matt Landers, on left) in "World War III" in Season 2 (ep.#21).
Series: Night Court
Network/Country: NBC-TV / United States
Air date May 2, 1985
Production code 185621
Written by: Nat Maudlin
Stu Kreisman (story editor)
Directed by: Alan Bergmann
Guest stars: Yakov Smirnoff
 Gordon Jump 
Leonard Stone 
Richard Brestoff 
Matt Landers
Faith Minton
John Lykes
Lana Schwab
Charlotte Portney
IMDb IMDb logo.png World War III
Episode guide
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Mac and Quon Le: Together Again" "Walk, Don't Wheel"
(Season 2 finale)
List of Night Court seasons/episodes


World War III was the 21st episode of Season 2 of Night Court, also the 34th overall series episode. Written by Nat Maudlin, the episode was directed by Alan Bergmann. The episode, which aired on NBC-TV, first aired on May 2, 1985. 

"World War III"
See Also:
Full Credits Scripts More Images


Harry searches for Yakov's brother, a Russian circus defector. Meanwhile, Soviet and American agents (Leonard Stone, Gordon Jump) negotiate an arms agreement.


Harry searches for Yakov's brother Ivan, a Russian circus defector. Meanwhile, Soviet and American U.N. agents Nikolai Karpov and Martin Glasscock (Leonard Stone, Gordon Jump) try to negotiate an arms agreement.

Plot Summary

Harry's courtroom becomes Ground Zero for several Cold War crises between the US and the former Soviet Union. It all begins when Harry (Harry Anderson) launches a search for the brother of Russian émigré Yakov (Yakov Smirnoff), a circus performer who has decided to defect. Before long, Night Court is swarming with clowns and jugglers, KGB and CIA agents, and even a pair of contentious arms negotiators

Cast (in credits order)


Guest stars/Recurring characters/cast

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.