Mark Russell, Piano-Playing Political Satirist, Dies at 90
  • Author: Chris Koseluk
  • March 30,2023

Mark Russell, the sly satirist who skewered America’s political elite for more than a half-century by blending stand-up comedy with biting song parodies, died Thursday. He was 90.

Russell died at his home in Washington of complications from prostate cancer, his wife, Alison, told The Washington Post.

Perhaps best known for his series of one-man PBS comedy specials that aired from 1975-2004, Russell also served as one of the hosts of the popular 1979-83 NBC reality program Real People, and he wrote a syndicated column for the Los Angeles Times for several years.

However, he was most at home in front of a live audience, and he spent two decades on the speaking circuit, hitting his peak in 2000 when he racked up 100 appearances in 100 different cities.

“Mark Russell was a D.C. institution who did the hardest thing a comic can do … relentlessly and righteously mock his neighbors,” Jon Stewart said in a statement.
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