This article is missing information about the nominating process, the selection process, and whether there has been any open debate about either the process or the choices.February 2018)(
|Mark Twain Prize for American Humor|
The award is modeled after this bust
|Awarded for||having "had an impact on American society in ways similar to" Mark Twain|
|Presented by||John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts|
|Currently held by||Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018)|
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is an American award presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts annually since 1998. Named after the 19th century novelist, essayist, and humorist Mark Twain, it is presented to individuals who have "had an impact on American society in ways similar to" Twain. The JFK Center chose Twain due to his status as a controversial social commentator and his "uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly." A copy of Karl Gerhardt's 1884 bust of Twain is presented in an autumn ceremony taped in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C., during which the honoree is celebrated by his or her peers. The event is a significant fundraiser to benefit the Kennedy Center, which sells tickets as well as access to dinners and after-parties featuring the celebrities.
The inaugural recipient of the award was comedian Richard Pryor. The first two years of The Mark Twain Prize (Richard Pryor and Jonathan Winters) were taped and broadcast on Comedy Central. Since then, the award presentations have been taped for broadcast on PBS. The youngest recipient was actress and comedian Tina Fey, at age 40 in 2010.Bill Cosby accepted his award at the Kennedy Center in 2009. He had twice refused the honor, stating that he was disappointed with the profanity used in the inaugural ceremony honoring Richard Pryor. After Cosby was convicted of sexual assault in 2018, the center stripped Cosby of his award and his 1998 Kennedy Center Honors. As of 2018 , 20 individuals have received the honor, six women and 14 men.
|2001||Whoopi Goldberg||First female recipient of the award.|||
|2004||Lorne Michaels||The only recipient to be born and raised outside of the United States
(Michaels is Canadian-American).
|2008||George Carlin||The only posthumous award, due to the timing of Carlin's death the same year.|||
|2009||Rescinded in 2018 due to sexual assault conviction.|||
|2010||Tina Fey||Youngest ever recipient of the award.|||