CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 18, 2000
Political song satirist Mark Russell performs at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mark Russell, the piano-playing
political satirist whose 25 years of specials have made him a top-rated fixture
on public television, will leap into the middle of the heated campaign season
with two performances in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium --
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10.
The performances, less than two months before the
November national elections, will offer Russell's up-to-the-minute skewering
of the political issues and personalities of the moment.
Russell got his start in the mid-'50s, fresh out of
the Marine Corps, when he got a job as pianist at a Capitol Hill hotel bar.
He made up songs about the customers, many of whom were politicians, and his
popularity quickly outgrew the bar.
He became the resident comedian at Washington's Shoreham
Hotel for 20 years until his humorous takes on the Watergate scandal brought
him to national attention.
One of the secrets of his on-going success is that
his pointed but graceful humor is not partisan -- in the tradition of Mark
Twain and Will Rogers. As Phil Kloer of the Atlanta Constitution put it, "he
hands it out equally to Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals."
TV Guide has called Russell "the funniest man on television,"
but he disagrees. "No, the funniest guys are always on C-Span." In fact he
claims that many of his jokes leap off the newspaper pages and practically
People constantly marvel at his wealth of fresh material
and frequently ask "Do you have any writers?" He's always quick to admit,
"Oh, yes, I have 535 of them -- 100 in the Senate and 435 in the House of
In fact, he finds so much humor in current political
events that he has enough left over from his performances and CDs to fill
a regular Los Angeles Times column, carried by more than a hundred newspapers
across the country.
And now, with presidential and vice-presidential nominees
slugging it out as well, who knows what Russell may find to fillet in his
Tickets for Mark Russell are $30, $28 and $24. UI
students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and Zone 2
and 3 tickets are available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members
17 and younger are half price.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays
and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160.
Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may
be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students
may charge their purchases to their university bills,
and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information
and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
People with special needs for access, seating and
auxiliary services should dial
(319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared
to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating,
hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for
people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
The corporate sponsors of the Mark Russell performances
are Country Bancorporation and Kay Bernau, through the University of Iowa
Learn more about Mark Russell on the World Wide Web
at <http://www.markrussell.net/>. For UI arts information, visit this
new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa -- on the World Wide Web. To receive
UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.