Julia Louis-Dreyfus Celebrated with the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize

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15 November 2018
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Mark Twain Prize
Courtesy of Scott Suchman
"The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor"
Monday, November 19 at 9 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
 
           The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor salutes Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The special features a star-studded cast of Louis-Dreyfus’ friends, admirers and collaborators including Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey, Ilana Glazer, Tony Hale, Abbi Jacobson, Keegan-Michael Key, Kumail Nanjiani, and Jerry Seinfeld. The evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the television icon.

 
Mark Twain Prize
Courtesy of Christopher Anderson
          Louis-Dreyfus earned worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of Elaine Benes in the hit NBC series Seinfeld, and as Christine Campbell in the CBS hit comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine. She currently stars in, and executive produces, the HBO series Veep. Between all shows combined, she has received 11 Emmy awards (six consecutively for Veep) with 24 nominations, a Golden Globe award, nine Screen Actors Guild awards which makes her the most decorated actor in the history of the SAG awards, three Television Critics Association awards, five American Comedy Awards, a Peabody Award, and the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy. She has broken the record for the most Emmy’s won by a single performer, as well as the most consecutive wins for a single role (Veep.)
 
         The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 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. As a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters, Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said, “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

 

          Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Past recipients of the prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009; rescinded in 2018), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), Carol Burnett (2013), Jay Leno (2014), Eddie Murphy (2015), Bill Murray (2016) and David Letterman (2017.) As a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize, Louis-Dreyfus will receive a copy of the 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940).

 
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