Lawrence Christon is probably one of the more apt appraisers of comedy, but in his article on Mark Russell I wondered if he liked Mark Russell for his wit, or his political bias ("Russell Knows the Lighter Side of Washington," Feb. 22).
Russell made a stab at writing for TV, but if his words don't have a musical score behind them they lose something. However, while he was here he picked up--by osmosis--some of the Hollywood pseudopolitical chitchat, and where he used to show flashes of wit he now shows dismal vehemence.
It reminds one of the Smothers Brothers, who originally came on as musicians and once in a while were sort of funny, but through the ignorance of youth tried to attack the government with stupidly vicious, amateurish material and lost their audience. And that, incidentally, is why they went off the air, not because of censorship.
A network would guest the Ayatollah and Kadafi on Dolly Parton's show for a good rating.
I believe Mark Russell would score very well with college and high school students. They'll accept a false premise for a joke because most of them get their knowledge of the world from Dan Rather.