WASHINGTON — Funnyman Billy Crystal has been tapped to receive the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The award and accompanying hijinks will be presented Oct. 11 in an event slated for later broadcast on PBS.
In announcing this year’s recipient, Kennedy Center chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman lauded Crystal’s work as a humanist as well as a humorist. The Center promises an all-star lineup of comics to roast its honoree, along with video highlights of his film and TV career.
The KenCen noted that Crystal has enjoyed one of the most versatile and prolific careers in the entertainment industry, finding success in front of the camera, as a performer in film and television, and behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer.
Previous winners of the award, currently in its 10th year, include Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Neil Simon.
The event is a joint production of the Kennedy Center, Mark Krantz, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky and Cappy McGarr. It benefits programs of the Center’s education department.