Will Ferrell has been selected by the Kennedy Center to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Award will be presented Oct. 23 at a Kennedy Center event to be taped for later broadcast.
Ferrell’s selection makes it the second straight year the center has tapped a “Saturday Night Live” alum for the prestigious honor, following Tina Fey in 2010. Lorne Michaels is a 2004 recipient. Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein called Ferrell one of his generation’s finest comedic performers and a worthy addition to the prestigious list of honorees.
Event will follow its usual format of irreverent testimonials by numerous comic headliners, in this case certain to include a sampling of former “SNL” colleagues and video clips of the recipient’s TV and film moments. The show’s creators will have plenty to choose from considering Ferrell’s extensive career, including his recent stint on NBC’s “The Office.” As a member of the “SNL” cast for seven years, Ferrell is perhaps best known for the earnest “Craig the Spartan Cheerleader” skits with pal Cheri Oteri, and his broad range of impersonations including George W. Bush, Janet Reno and Alex Trebek. Recent pic credits include “The Other Guys,” “Megamind” and “Stranger Than Fiction.”
Ferrell reprised his Bush impersonation on Broadway in a hit limited run of “You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush” in 2009.
“I am truly honored to receive this distinction,” said Ferrell. “I will now begin cultivating a Mark Twain-esque moustache in anticipation of the event.”