June 2, 2023
April 25 is the birthday of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who passed away just over a year ago.

April 25 is the birthday of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who passed away just over a year ago.

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

April 25 is the birthday of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who passed away just over a year ago. KP.RU turned to comedian, showman, actor Mikhail Grushevsky, who parodied the LDPR leader for many years.


– You knew Zhirinovsky from different sides.

– I knew him in public space. Yes, we talked both at concerts and on TV. Vladimir Volfovich was a fan of the work of my friend Mikhail Zakharovich Shufutinsky. Who, like Zhirinovsky, was born in April, but on the 13th. They are almost the same age. Volfovich came to Shufutinsky’s birthday party. He somehow was there informally, spent several hours. He not only congratulated with an extended toast, but also sang himself. Yes, he sang very peculiarly. Never got into the key, but in his key kept to the bitter end. Until the musicians began to accompany in the wrong key in which Zhirinovsky wanted to sing.

– Is it symbolic?

– Yes, he did exactly what he saw fit. And he was deeply us … t – as progressive humanity perceives it. Including our liberal representatives, these “bright-faced”. In politics, they are usually called Teflon – people who do not consider costs. But the simple definition of “teflon” will not work for him.


When did you start parodying him?

– A year in 1991. As soon as he took part in the presidential elections of the RSFSR, where Yeltsin triumphantly won. That’s when I started to parody it. Then off we go. And he also played.

– How did Zhirinovsky react to parodies of him?

– He was brilliant. And I was not the only parodist. I also voiced him in the program “Dolls”. Worked in shifts with Sergei Bezrukov. The author-creative part of the program came up with some words, beacon markers for each character. So that everyone immediately understands the sound – this is Zhirinovsky. And this is Yeltsin.

– Volfovich was assigned what?

– The word “definitely!” – and I immediately told them that it was not his word, but they said: this is how the people will recognize. And one day, at some concert, Zhirinovsky came on stage to me, and …

– Doused with juice like Nemtsov?

– No. He said: “I respect Grushevsky for the fact that he never used the moronic word “definitely!” on stage. Because if I said this moronic word – then please parody. But I never said that! Idiots say “definitely”, but Grushevsky does not.

– Revealing session.

– It was a separate number, he broke the applause. He has surpassed me in success.

– Have you been on the same stage more than once?

– More than once. He was very fond of going on stage, and he used the parody factor more than once. And for him it was not a problem that he was being mocked, parodied, some kind of ridicule – not a problem at all.

– Was he a good object of parodies?

– Perfect. As one well-known politician from the 90s told me: Volfovich should pay you extra. But it was we, the comedians, who had to pay him extra.

Mikhail Grushevsky

Mikhail Grushevsky

Photo: Boris KUDRYAVOV


– The audience is now asking you to remember Zhirinovsky

– People are nostalgic. Missing this brilliant man. And I still quote his hits. And people are still amazed. He had an amazing ability to defuse the situation.

– But he escalated the situation.

– Sometimes. Yes, there were scandals, fights, provocations. I could afford insults. And sometimes cut. Like at the Presidential Council on Culture, when he started talking about Mumu, about Turgenev, and about the fact that a dog cannot be a dog. Yes, even a deaf-mute janitor, well, idiots!

– Do you remember the reaction of top management?

– I saw that Putin was almost crying with laughter. Or when there are debates in the Duma, a sharp controversy, a tense situation, Zhirinovsky takes the podium: “Whose tea is Zyuganov? Replace immediately! There is hysteria in the Duma hall. Or his famous line: “It’s time for a bite to eat. Give the Liberal Democratic Party black caviar, and give the communists red!”


– Who can play Zhirinovsky in a movie?

– There must be a very plastic person who would play subtle transitions of moods. In everyday life, he could be absolutely unbearable. Boring. And suddenly exploded – and could become the center of any society. There must be a great actor, Mashkov or Khabensky. I don’t know who looks like him physically.

– Wouldn’t you?

– I participated in the Channel One project 10 years ago. It’s called “Repeat”. I was put on heavy makeup. And then, in 2013, I was the spitting image of Zhirinovsky. Voice – please, play – I can not.

– How should Zhirinovsky be shown on the artistic screen?

– The way we knew. He broke into politics during perestroika. These are his bright yellow and crimson jackets. He sewed costumes for Slava Zaitsev. No one stands next to eccentricity. And it wouldn’t work for anyone else. It is impossible to imagine another person, such as a communist leader, in such a role.

– Not enough of this?

– I have heard so many times this year that it is a pity that Vladimir Volfovich did not live to see it. How we miss him now. The most incredible thing that you now see in some telegram channels is his early performances. Stunning videos of how he is on Ukrainian TV from these scoundrels, from Gordon *, and from Shuster, he just in their face, in this aggressive environment, decades ahead of his time, predicted what we are seeing now. At that time, many people thought that it was a clownery. Well, just a politician from the Duma is just clown around, shocking the audience, and these were the prophecies of a man of genius.

*Recognized in the Russian Federation as a foreign agent, included in the register of terrorists and extremists

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