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Mark Russell, political satirist whose profession spanned a half century, lifeless at 90

Political satirist Mark Russell died on Thursday at his house in Washington, D.C. He was 90 years previous. 

The Beltway satirist’s dying got here after a battle with prostate most cancers, his spouse instructed the Washington Put up. 

Russell performed musical parodies on the piano for greater than half a century, poking enjoyable on the absurdities of American politics.

His profession included a number of PBS comedy specials from 1975 to 2004, and he additionally hosted NBC’s information journal present “Actual Folks” from 1979 to 1984.


“Oh each side of a query I can communicate with rash impunity and I can sing a distinct music and please every rattling neighborhood,” Russell sang on this parody of a “Pirates of Penzance” music about political pandering. “I plan to say what pleases each form of resident till I depend sufficient of them to vote for me as president. In brief as a result of I keep in mind that successful’s very vital, I’m the very mannequin of a candidate political!”

Russell continued to carry out till 2017 when he satirized the 2016 presidential election. 

He additionally jokingly referred to himself as a “political cartoonist for the blind,” in accordance with the Put up. 

He as soon as stated that Democrats and Republicans each suppose the “different has no humorousness. They’re each incorrect,” the Put up reported.

“Mark Russell was a D.C. establishment who did the toughest factor a comic book can do: relentlessly and righteously mock his neighbors,” Jon Stewart stated in an announcement, in accordance with the Hollywood Reporter. 

Comic Lewis Black referred to as Russell an “terribly proficient satirist with a novel comedian voice. He had a rapier wit. That are phrases I hardly ever use to explain a comic.”

He started his profession doing a lounge act and got here to prominence across the time of Watergate. 

“I instructed my spouse this complete home, the present, the PBS present, my life, was constructed on this poor man,” Russell stated in 1989, referring to former President Nixon, in accordance with The Buffalo Information. 

Within the 1990s, he additionally milked former President Clinton’s scandal with Monica Lewinsky and his impeachment for materials, together with the music, “Once you Want Upon Ken Starr.” 


Whereas Russell wrote his personal materials, he as soon as wryly replied to the query: “Oh sure, I’ve 535 writers. 100 within the Senate and 435 within the Home of Representatives.”

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