Russian immigrant Yakov Korelenko, as played by comedian/actor Yakov Smirnoff in "Some Like it Hot" in Season 1.
|Appeared on:||Night Court|
|5 in Seasons 1-8|
|Played by:||Yakov Smirnoff|
Yakov, a Russian Immigrant who's a frequent visitor to the courtroom. In the episode "Some Like it Hot", Yakov, who was brought into court over a stolen materials, some stolen wristwatches which he bought from some huckster, with intent to sell charge, could only speak a few words of English, as he says the words "Go Yankees!" and "Lou Pinella" before being presented with the charges against him. When Harry tries to present the charges to him, Yakov thinks that Harry wishes to purchase a watch from him, as Harry says to him: "Mr. Korolenko I know you don't understand a word I'm saying, but it appears that you may have broken the law.", as he responds "$29.95!"
Distraught over not being able to find work, the prospect of being sent to jail, which he mistakenly interprets as being sent to a Russian type gulag, with hard labor, and torture, he threatens to commit suicide in Judge Stone's chambers. as Harry is able to talk him out of it, as they then exchange family photos. When he shows Harry a picture of his wife, Harry confuses it for a picture of former Soviet premier Brezhnev! Harry soon develops a friendship with Yakov, as he attempts to have his wife and kids brought stateside, as well as his brother Ivan Korolenko (John Lykes), whom he also attempts to help defect from the USSR in his second series appearance in the episode "World War III".