Ellen to Receive Prestigious Comedy Prize
By Joshua Gardner
Photo: Getty Images
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (or, you know, the Kennedy Center) announced today that its 15th Annual Mark Twain for American Humor will be presented to one of Out's Power50 and the world’s greatest dancing lesbian talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, at an October 22 ceremony that will be taped for a broadcast.
The award recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to its brilliant humorist and satirist namesake. Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein cited Degeneres’ “unique contributions to the world of comedy… through her television programs, stand-up appearances, movies, and even commercials, her special brand of humor has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years” as reasons behind why she was chosen for the honor, whose previous recipients include comedy legends like Lily Tomlin, Bob Newhart, and Richard Pryor.
And Degeneres made clear that she knows her place in this comedy canon. Upon accepting the award, she said, “It’s such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder… why didn’t I get this sooner?”
We were wondering the very same thing. Ellen. But, congrats! You deserve this!