Ellen DeGeneres has been named this year’s recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, making her the fourth woman to receive the honor since the award was launched in 1998.
Upon hearing the news that she would be honored DeGeneres proved worthy of it with a hilariously dry comment. “It’s such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize,” DeGeneres said according to the Washington Post. “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?”
Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said that DeGeneres was chosen because her “special brand of humor has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years.”
DeGeneres joins three other women who’ve been honored with the prize beginning with Whoopi Goldberg in 2001, Lily Tomlin in 2003 and Tina Fey in 2010.
“Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby and Ellen carried on that tradition of Twain’s observational humor,” said Cappy McGarr, an executive producer of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor event. McGarr added, “And Ellen is not just a comedian, she is a miracle worker. She got the president to dance, she got the First Lady to do push-ups and she got Tom Delay to laugh. She has such great charm.”
DeGeneres will receive her award at an event at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 22, according to the LA Times.
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