prize

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The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Jay Leno

The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created in 1998 by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mark Krantz, Peter Kaminsky, Bob Kaminsky and Cappy McGarr to recognize the art of humorists who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. Each year, the Mark Twain Prize is awarded to a different comedian. The 2014 Mark Twain Prize recipient is Jay Leno and the evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the comedy icon. Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the special features a star-studded cast of Leno’s friends and colleagues including top entertainers and comedians, Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Robert Klein, Al Madrigal, Seth Myers, Jerry Seinfeld, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes and special appearances by Jamie Foxx and Betty White.

Jay Leno first appeared as a guest host on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in 1977, became the exclusive guest host in 1987, and became main host in 1992. Leno has also gained an international following on the internet with his new creation, Jaylenosgarage.com, winning an Emmy Award and two additional nominations for Outstanding Special Class–Short-Format Nonfiction Programs. Along with a variety of books, voice-overs, and charitable work, Leno is known as a fantastic comedian and television personality.

Tune into WETA TV26 & HD Sunday November 23 at 8pm for The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 2014: Jay Leno.
After the awards program, stay tuned for Richard Pryor: Icon at 9:30pm.
 

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Watch Mark Twain Prize honoring Ellen DeGeneres | Mark Twain: Ellen DeGeneres

Watch again Friday November 9 at 10:00pm & Monday November 12 at 10:00pm!

You’re invited! Join the celebration and prepare to laugh the night away as comedian Ellen DeGeneres is honored with the 2012 Mark Twain Prize at the Kennedy Center right here in Washington, DC.  Begun in 1998, The Mark Twain Prize annually recognizes comedians who had had an impact on society in ways comparable to Mark Twain, the 19th century writer. The 90-minute special will pay tribute to her success not only as a comedian, but recognize her myriad of accomplishments as a pioneer in the television and entertainment business, as well as her humanitarian achievements. From taking a stand against bullying, to supporting residents of her hometown- New Orleans- affected by Hurricane Katrina, helping others and standing up for what is right is just as important to DeGeneres as making audiences laugh. Further, DeGeneres has paved the way for others and broke ground after both she and her character on the hit television series Ellen came out as a lesbian.

With big dreams and a lot of talent, DeGeneres began her career as an emcee (not before attempting a very varied assortment of other careers) at a local comedy club in New Orleans. She was soon discovered, and was well on her way to the top. Television shows, comedic appearances, and talk shows would follow (not to mention an array of philanthropic causes).

With her signature dance moves, genuine kindness, and hilarious antics, Ellen has grooved her way into the homes and hearts of the world. In what is sure to be a star-studded evening, fellow comedians, actors, and personalities will show their praise for the woman who has become a comedic and popular culture icon. Presenters include Kristin Chenoweth, Steve Harvey, Sean Hayes, Jimmy Kimmel, John Krasinski, John Leguizamo, Jane Lynch, Jason Mraz, Lily Tomlin and Loudon Wainwright III.

Join the celebration and watch the MARK TWAIN PRIZE: Ellen DeGeneres Tuesday, October 30 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.