The Kennedy Center has announced that it will award the 18th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Eddie Murphy, in a star-studded show featuring tributes by Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Arsenio Hall, Trevor Noah, Jay Pharoah, Whitney Cummings, Kathy Griffin, Sam Moore, Kevin Nealon, Joe Piscopo, and other special guests.
“We look forward to paying tribute to Eddie Murphy’s important and lasting impact on American culture,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “Through his appearances on Saturday Night Live, groundbreaking stand-up comedy, and work as a movie star, Eddie Murphy has shown that like Mark Twain, he was years ahead of his time.”
Upon learning he will receive the Mark Twain Prize, Eddie Murphy commented, “I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award.”
Murphy began his career as a stand-up comedian nearly 40 years ago. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” and the rest is history.
Past recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize are Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Carol Burnett, and Jay Leno.
This year’s event is set for Sunday, October 18, 2015.