Dave Chappelle will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced.
The Kennedy Center said Tuesday that it had chosen Chappelle, the co-creator and star of “Chappelle’s Show,” as the 22nd recipient of the annual honor.
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“Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand,’" Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. "For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective.”
The standup comic, actor, producer and director will become the latest of a prestigious group of comedians to receive the award, including Carol Burnett, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart and Richard Pryor, who was the first to receive the distinction in 1998.
Chappelle will be honored at a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington. A tape of the event will air on PBS on Jan. 6.
His satirical comedy-sketch series, "Chappelle's Show," aired from 2003-2006 and was one of the highest-rated programs on Comedy Central. His impersonations of Prince, Rick James and Lil Jon are now legendary.
Chappelle, 45, has won two Emmys and two Grammys. In 2016, he signed a $60-million deal with Netflix. He released four Netflix specials in 2017.
Last year the Kennedy Center rescinded the Mark Twain Prize it had given to Bill Cosby in 2009 after he was convicted of sexual assault.