×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Carol Burnett Takes Kennedy Center’s Twain Prize

Comedian will be honored in an October ceremony to be broadcast on PBS

Comedian Carol Burnett has been selected by Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  Award will be presented Oct. 20 at a kudofest to be broadcast on PBS stations Oct. 30.

Per its time-honored format, the event in its 16th year will feature gentle roasting by an entourage of adoring comics and video highlights from her extensive catalog. It will no doubt include priceless bits from “The Carol Burnett Show,” which ran on CB S for 11 years.

It will be held at the center’s Concert Hall, where Burnett will be able to view the antics from the safety of a box seat. The selection by the center represents the first member of comedy’s senior generation to receive the prize since Bill Cosby was honored in 2009. Since then, the award has been presented to Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and Ellen DeGeneres.

“The Twain prize honors individuals who possess a full body of work,” says Cappy McGarr, one of the event’s executive producers. “Carol has been on the list since the beginning, and you see her legacy every time you turn on the TV. Her influence can be seen on every slapstick and sketch comedy show, for example.” He also praised the legendary performer for her extensive film and Broadway career.

When informed that she would receive the price, Burnett quipped, “I can’t believe I’m getting a humor prize from the Kennedy Center. It’s almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington.”

Other previous recipients include Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal and George Carlin.

More Legit

  • Signature Theatre Celebrates Millionth Subsidized Ticket

    Signature Theatre Offers $35 Subsidized Tickets, Celebrates Millionth Sold

    Just the other night, a Manhattan cab driver told Signature Theatre executive director Harold Wolpert that he couldn’t afford to take his girlfriend to a show. In response, Wolpert motioned to his theater, saying that they offer $35 subsidized tickets. The driver said he’d try it out. “It was a great moment,” Wolpert said. “We’re [...]

  • SOCRATES The Public Theater

    Tim Blake Nelson Waxes Philosophical on Writing a Play About Socrates

    Despite Tim Blake Nelson’s knack for playing folksy characters in films such as “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” in his soul lurks the heart of a classicist. Nelson, who stars in HBO’s “Watchmen” series this fall, has also penned the play “Socrates,” now running at New York’s Public Theater through June 2. Doug Hughes directs, [...]

  • TodayTix - Brian Fenty

    TodayTix Banks $73 Million to Boost Theater and Arts Ticketing App

    TodayTix, a Broadway-born mobile ticketing start-up, is looking to expand into a bigger global media and transaction enterprise with a capital infusion of $73 million led by private-equity firm Great Hill Partners. The investment brings TodayTix’s total capital raised to over $100 million, according to CEO and co-founder Brian Fenty. Part of the new funding [...]

  • Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Griffin

    BAM Gala Marks Leadership Change, Celebrates Brooklyn as 'Cultural Center of New York'

    Wednesday’s annual gala celebrating the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) served as a poignant moment of transition for the New York stalwart of contemporary performance. As long-time artistic director Joe Melillo, who along with Harvey Lichtenstein transformed BAM into a vanguard of progressive art, prepares to pass the torch to new leadership, gathered patrons and [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    Listen: Santino Fontana on How Broadway's 'Tootsie' Was Adapted for Our Times

    Broadway’s “Tootsie” has turned into one of this season’s Tony Awards frontrunners, winning raves for its deftly funny update of potentially problematic source material — and for a firecracker cast led by Tony nominee Santino Fontana (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Frozen”), who makes his character’s transformation, from difficult actor Michael Dorsey to female alter ego Dorothy Michaels, [...]

  • Death of a Salesman review

    London Theater Review: 'Death of a Salesman'

    August Wilson famously disavowed the idea of an all-black “Death of a Salesman.” In 1996, he declared any such staging “an assault on our presence and our difficult but honorable history in America.” Arthur Miller’s antihero is no everyman, Wilson implied; Willy Loman is very specifically white. Critic John Lahr was inclined to agree: “To [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content