comScore Jay Leno to Receive 2014 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor | Mediaite

Jay Leno to Receive 2014 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Just months after leaving The Tonight Show, Jay Leno will be the 17th recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this year. When he heard the news, Leno said, “What an honor! I’m a big fan of Mark Twain’s. In fact, A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books!”

The ceremony will be held at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Sunday, October 19, 2014 and will air live on PBS on November 23.

Below is the full list of previous recipients, starting with Richard Pryor, who received the first prize in 1998:

1998 – Richard Pryor
1999 – Jonathan Winters
2000 – Carl Reiner
2001 – Whoopi Goldberg
2002 – Bob Newhart
2003 – Lily Tomlin
2004 – Lorne Michaels
2005 – Steve Martin
2006 – Neil Simon
2007 – Billy Crystal
2008 – George Carlin (posthumously)
2009 – Bill Cosby
2010 – Tina Fey
2011 – Will Ferrell
2012 – Ellen DeGeneres
2013 – Carol Burnett

In 2010, Tina Fey made news by “thanking” Sarah Palin in her acceptance speech. Her comments were ultimately stripped from the telecast that aired on PBS. The following year, Will Ferrell went with a more physical form of humor for his speech.

[Photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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