Originally Posted on nytimes.com
By Dave Itzkoff
He may have already won two Emmys, two Grammys and Player Hater of the Year, but for Dave Chappelle, there are still a few prestigious distinctions yet unclaimed in his accomplished comedy career. He will take home one more award later this year when he receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the annual honor bestowed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The Kennedy Center said Tuesday that it had chosen Chappelle, the indefatigable stand-up and co-creator and star of “Chappelle’s Show,” as the 22nd recipient of the Mark Twain Prize. Deborah F. Rutter, the Kennedy Center president, said in a statement, “Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.’ For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective.”
Chappelle will formally receive the prize (which includes a bronze bust of Mark Twain) on Oct. 27 in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington. That event, which traditionally features tributes from other comedians and entertainers, will be shown on PBS on Jan. 6.
Previous winners of the prize include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Letterman, Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy. Last year the Kennedy Center rescinded the Mark Twain Prize it had given to Bill Cosby in 2009 after he was convicted of sexual assault.