Honor to be presented Nov. 9 at Concert Hall

WASHINGTON — Comedian Tina Fey has been selected by the Kennedy Center to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The honor will be presented Nov. 9 at the center’s Concert Hall, and will be taped for national TV broadcast.

As expected, a gaggle of entertainers will be on hand to roast the popular “30 Rock” creator and actress, whose precise impressions of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin returned her briefly to her former perch on “Saturday Night Live.”

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said that “like Mark Twain, Tina Fey offers her brilliance unconditionally. “Throughout her career, she’s earned legions of fans for her quick, unapologetic wit and social commentary.” Fey said she is “truly thrilled” to receive the honor. “I assume Betty White was disqualified for steroid use.”

As with most “SNL” regulars, Fey got her start with Chicago’s Second City improve group before joining the NBC show where she toiled for nine seasons as head writer, cast member and co-anchor of its “Weekend Update” segment. She expanded into films in 2004 as screenwriter and actress in Paramount’s “Mean Girls,” the Lorne Michaels produced comedy. She is currently featured in the 20th Century Fox pic “Date Night” with Steve Carell.

Previous recipients of the Twain prize include Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin and Bill Cosby.

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