22nd Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Dave Chappelle will soon add the coveted Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to his growing list of honors and recognition. Chappelle will receive the award at the Kennedy Center in New York in October. As the 22nd recipient, Chappelle will join an elite list of the world’s funniest comedians, performers and authors.
The award recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. Richard Pryor received the first honor in 1998. Recent recipients include Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, David Letterman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus last year.
Originality finally wins in comedy
“Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand,’” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective. Dave is a hometown hero here in Washington, D.C., where he grew up. We’re so looking forward to welcoming him back home.”
Chappelle was the mastermind behind the 2003 hit, The Chappelle Show. Chappelle show was one of the highest rated programs on Comedy Central. The show earned three Emmy nominations and went on to become the best-selling TV show in DVD history.
Chappelle’s award cabinet grows
Chappelle won his first Emmy in 2017 for his debut episode on Saturday Night Live. He celebrated his 30th year in comedy that same year by releasing four stand-up specials on Netflix, all of which won Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album in 2018 and 2019. He captured his second Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special with Equanimity in 2018.