Dave Chappelle Kennedy Center: Comedian Dave Chappelle to receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Dave Chappelle is being honored as one of the world’s greatest comedians — he will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center.
Past recipients of the prestigious award include Richard Pryor, the first recipient in 1998; Whoopi Goldberg, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy and David Letterman, among others. Last year’s recipient was Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
“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 press release. “For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective.”
Chappelle, described as having a “trademark wit and sharp, irreverent social commentary explores race, popular culture, sex, drugs, politics, and fame,” has performed more than 1,600 concerts worldwide in the past four years, the Kennedy Center said.
The comedian, who grew up in Washington, D.C., will return to his hometown for a star-studded ceremony at the Kennedy Center in October, which will and will air on PBS in January 2020. He started doing standup at the city’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts at just 14 years, according to the press release.
Chappelle was at the helm of his his own Comedy Central show, “Chappelle’s Show” from 2003 to 2006. He has appeared in numerous films and TV series including “A Star is Born,” “Chi-Raq,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “The Nutty Professor,” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
He has also recorded several popular stand-up specials and held a residency at Radio City Music Hall in 2017. All four of his standup specials were nominated for best comedy album at the Grammys; he won twice. He won his first Emmy in 2017 for his debut appearance as a “Saturday Night Live” guest host.