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article imageMark Twain Prize for American Humor awarded to Carol Burnett

By Tim O'Brien     May 22, 2013 in Entertainment
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor now goes through the legendary Carol Burnett. It was announced today (May 22) that Burnett is this year's prize winner.
"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," Burnett said in a statement. Widely recognized and known for "The Carol Burnett Show," which grabbed 30 million per week when it aired, Burnett will be honored on Sunday, Oct. 20. The special will air on PBS.
In the statement, one reason why she will be so honored was noted. "It is Carol's artistic brilliance, her respect and appreciation of her fans, and her graciousness, integrity, warmth, and humor on and off screen that have made her one of the most beloved performers in entertainment and one of the most admired women in America."
But, for Burnett, there was so much more than that one show. "From her television program and appearances, as well as her performances on Broadway and in film, Carol Burnett has entertained generations of fans with her vibrant wit and hilarious characters," Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said.
This is the 16th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Past winners are Ellen DeGeneres, 2012; Will Ferrell, 2011; Tina Fey, 2010; Bill Cosby, 2009; George Carlin, 2008; Billy Crystal, 2007; Neil Simon, 2006; Steve Martin, 2005; Lorne Michaels, 2004; Lily Tomlin, 2003; Bob Newhart, 2002, Bob Newhart; Whoopi Goldberg, 2001; Carl Reiner, 2000; Jonathan Winters, 1999; Richard Pryor, 1998.
Some may wonder why it took so long for Burnett to be so honored and a case could be made. But now, at 80, she joins an elite group. "We are delighted to pay tribute to this unique and beloved entertainer," Rubenstein said.
Again, the show will air on PBS.
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