Leonid Gaidai (1923- 1993) had a dazzling career. His films breathed new life into Soviet comedy combining slapstick physicality with terse and satirical dialogue. His ability to critique through wit and parody earned him the title of ‘The King of Soviet Comedy’. Between 1961-1975, he released films that loom large in cultural memory: Operation Y and Shurik’s other Adventures (1965), The Diamond Arm (1969) and Twelve Chairs (1971) are a few of his best. Huge box office successes, they combine the accessibility of physical comedy with a pithy commentary on the absurdities of Soviet culture.