The voice of De Anza since 1967.

Satirical singer mocks candidates at Flint’s Celebrity Forum

February 1, 2016


Mark Russell sings of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ rise to prominence for the Democratic nomination.


Mark Russell, who describes himself as a confused independent, performed Jan. 21 at the Flint Center.

He left no one unscathed as he sang in his style of satirical snark about the state of the nation’s politics.

The Flint Center held a packed crowd, with the majority of the attendees in their senior years. Sadly, there were very few college students in attendance.

Although technically a political event, the night’s humorous agenda was both informative and lighthearted.

Russell’s talking points touched on many subjects, from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, to the refugees fleeing Syria. Most of his material was centered around the current presidential campaigns, where Russell doubted the chances of every candidate.

It was made clear that Trump was considered a buffoon by both Russell and the British Parliament, and that he had no real chance of winning the election. Russell performed a dark rendition of “Old McDonald Had a Farm” that recounted the antics of Trump’s campaign. It had the audience nearly in tears from laughter.

Hillary Clinton would never win, Russell said. He drew on history and how the Clinton and Bush families seem to be connected to each other by having run against one another in previous campaigns.

“Some of his archaic reminiscing of deep history that he had on his main platform was good for his niche demographic of baby boomers and the greatest generation, not for cynical libertarians,” said Ryan Flournoy, 28, a seismic construction project manager.

Flournoy was one of the few under the age of 30 in attendance that night.

When the topic came to Bernie Sanders, who is the clear front runner among the youth, the audience’s response was lacking. Cruz was the candidate with the most positive response from the crowd, highlighting the age divide.

Had Russell not been his comedic self, he could have pitted the audience against one another with all of the counter arguments he put forward. Instead, he gave people a chance to laugh at the silliness of the presidential campaigns and showed how petty politics can be. He allowed the community members to not just laugh at their neighbors, but also to make fun of themselves.

Russell brought the crowd together at the end of the night by having everyone sing the chorus to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” proving that despite our political differences, we all need to love one another.

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