Dining Out With Political Satirist Mark Russell

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Political satirist Mark Russell said he was unsure how he could remember all 90 minutes worth of material used in his sold-out performance at Ford's Theatre over the weekend.

"I don't recall," he joked.

Sixteen friends joined Russell for dinner after his Saturday performance -- including The New York Times' Marian Burros, The Washingtonian’s Barbara Matusow, Ambassador of Ireland Michael Collins and the author of this post -- and recalled how their friendship with the famed funnyman began.

"He just gets better and better and tops out," political journalist and author Jim Dickenson said.

Author Myra MacPherson, who came to D.C. from Detroit as a young woman, said she met Russell at the Carroll-Arms Hotel. She dissolved into tears because she knew no one in town and had no job.

"I heard someone at the piano -- it was Mark Russell, and we have been friends ever since," MacPherson said.

Barbara Cochran, president emeritus of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said she and her husband, ABC News vet John Cochran, have both developed deep relationships with Russell over time.

“I feel like I’ve known him since I came to Washington, but have gotten to know him better lately," Barbara said. "He is remarkable. His very first song tonight was something that happened yesterday. He is always so clever.” 

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