Three years ago, Maxim Galkin, Russia’s favorite comedian-slash-crooner-slash-TV-host of the Russian “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, started construction of a bungalow just outside of Moscow in a little hamlet called Gryaz’, which can only be translated as “Dirt.”
The bungalow, built in the modest style of a six-story medieval castle with a freight elevator, is now nearing completion. Galkin, who is currently the only Russian comedian allowed to parody the notoriously fickle prime minister Vladimir Putin, reportedly spent $10 million on construction alone. Cost of the hectare of land in Dirt once owned by tsarist functionary Nikolai Alexandrovich Tolstoi? Unknown.
What is now known, according to Russian tabloid Express Gazeta, is what will be inside and that that stuff cost almost three times as much as the construction. Apparently, this includes two houses for the help, five guest bedrooms, a $400,000 library (books sold separately), and wallpaper that costs almost $700 a square meter. Oh, and a million-dollar kitchen. Decorated in a traditional style, the palace will include a red suite for his love partner, 60-year-old singing legend Alla Pugacheva. (Galkin is 33.)
Local villagers say Galkin has become a sort of lord of the manor — king of the castle? — tossing metaphorical coins to the Dirt locals.
Not bad for a kid who got his start on college comedy show KVN.
Ironically, in a recent interview, Galkin made an interesting comment about his experiences hosting “Millionaire.” “I came to the conclusion,” he said, “that, as a rule, he who is smart is not rich.”
via Express Gazeta