The Kennedy Center 18th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
On Sunday, October 18, 2015, Dave Chappelle, Whitney Cummings, Kathy Griffin, Arsenio Hall, Sam Moore, Kevin Nealon, Trevor Noah, Jay Pharoah, Joe Piscopo, Chris Rock and Other Special Guests will gather in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to salute Eddie Murphy, recipient of the 18th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The Prize, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists, will be given at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy, and will be taped for broadcast nationwide on PBS.
Upon learning he will receive the Mark Twain Prize, Eddie Murphy commented, “I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award.”
The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
The event is created by the Kennedy Center, and executive producers Mark Krantz, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, and Cappy McGarr. Talent Executive: David Paley, Talent Manager: Cat Del Buono, Transpo Logistics Specialist: Billy Amato for Bermuda Limousine International.
The Kennedy Center established The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in October 1998, and it has been televised annually. Recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), and Carol Burnett (2013).