An Evening & Conversation with Mark Russell

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Piano-playing political satirist Mark Russell comes to The Lyric with material ripped from today’s headlines. Known for skewering Democrats and Republicans alike, Russell’s unique brand of comedy earned him the Mark Twain Award for political comedy and has made him a popular favorite on PBS. Long before Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, there was Mark Russell, daring to joke and sing of the often absurd political process. The unquestioned master of musical-political satire, Mark Russell plumbs the absurdities of today’s political headlines to deliver his hilarious, star-spangled brand of comedy.
Where does noted political satirist Mark Russell get his material?  The daily newspaper. Some days, he says, the jokes jump off the pages and write themselves.  His answer to the frequently asked question, “Do you have many writers?” is “Oh yes. I have 535 writers; one hundred in the Senate and 435 in the House of Representatives.” — Oh, and don’t forget the president!  Russell takes to the piano and skewers official pomposity and spotlights the utterly outrageous, wielding his wit as deftly as a surgeon wields a scalpel. In presentations reflective of (literally) that day’s headlines freshly crafted for each event, he turns the Washington, DC scene into a musical comedy tour-de-force that leaves audiences rolling in the aisles.
Before The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, Mark Russell was entertaining audiences across the country with his witty commentary on the day’s biggest headlines. A veteran of comedy and a multi-talented musician and performer, Mark Russell excels in the spotlight, performing show after hilarious show featuring all new content and jokes, promising that no two shows are ever the same.  What began as a simple musical comedy skit in a piano bar on Capitol Hill became a highly successful career as a celebrated comedian and touring performer. Mark Russell’s shows feature witty satire on today’s current events set to Mark’s own accompaniment on the piano. A class clown from fourth grade onwards, Mark Russell has refined his comedy since elementary school, highlighting the plethora of political absurdities we encounter on a daily basis. Inspired by his self-proclaimed heroes of entertainment, from Fred Allen to Jack Benny, Mark Russell is the predecessor to the widely popular comedy news shows on Comedy Central today.