Russell, along with six others, will be inducted Sept. 28, during ceremonies at the Tralfamadore, in Theatre Place, in Buffalo.
TV Guide has called Russell "the funniest man on television" but he disagrees. "No, the funniest guys are on C-SPAN," he says.
Russell grew up in Buffalo and graduated from Canisius High School before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. After his military service, he performed in bars of Washington, singing satirical songs and making jokes about politics. He was hired at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington for a risky two-week gig, but he performed there for 20 years.
"The Mark Russell Comedy Specials" has appeared on PBS-TV for 27 years.
"He's got local roots and he's still part of Buffalo, where his national PBS specials are broadcast from (studios in WNED-TV in Buffalo)," Steve Cichon, president of the BBP told the Buffalo News. "People throughout this country know Mark Russell, and they know he's from Buffalo."