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Mark Russell

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The Laughter and Song of Politics Whenever Mark Russell is down in the dumps, he opens the newspaper and immediately cheers up. Practically everything he sees strikes him funny. Some days, he says, the jokes jump off the pages and write themselves.

TV GUIDE has called Mark Russell "the funniest man on television" but he disagrees. "No, the funniest guys are on C-SPAN."

He's now in his twenty-fourth season on PBS. He works live, fresh and topical, performing stand-up comedy while accompanying himself on the piano. The Mark Russell Comedy Specials have consistently been among the top-rated shows on that network.

Mark Russell readily admits that when he was a kid he dodged the draft. He did it by joining the Marine Corps.

After serving his full hitch, he found himself in the smoke-filled bars of Washington, DC, singing his funny songs. When he got a job in a Capitol Hill bar the first thing he thought was "I've started at the bottom but I've managed to work my way down."

Around the time the New Frontier was invading Washington, Mark Russell invaded the Shoreham Hotel for a risky two-week gig. It lasted for twenty years. The Marquee Lounge became the place where politicians would come to hear Mark's jokes about the thing they had done that day.

Today, his syndicated column is enjoyed all over America, as are his CD's tapes and videos.

Mark Russell's answer to the frequently asked question, "Do you have any writers?" is "Oh, yes...I have 535 writers. One hundred in the Senate and 435 in the House of Representatives."

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