'SNL' Stars Salute Kennedy Center Honoree Will Ferrell
7:56 PM PDT 10/24/2011 by Sofia M. Fernandez, Chris Godley
Will Ferrell accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Oct. 23 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Speakers feting the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member included Ed Asner, Jack Black, Matthew Broderick, Funny or Die co-founder Adam McKay, Conan O’Brien, John C. Reilly, Paul Rudd, and Molly Shannon.
The Southern California native is the 14th recipient of the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to Samuel Clemens, the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain.
Previous winners include Whoopi Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby and Tina Fey.
Ferrell's Elf co-star said, "When you see Will Ferrell on a marquis, he's going to give you 90 minutes to two hours of fascinating entertainment." He added that the actor "was so steeped in his character that I had to believe in mine."
Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg attended the event with his girlfriend, musician Joanna Newsom. On stage, he joked about public television and radio: "PBS: Because sometimes you’re listening to NPR and you’re thinking, those people are really interesting. I wish I knew what they looked like."
Like Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon played a Spartan cheerleader on Saturday Night Live. Her on stage comments about Ferrell may be included in an edited version of the proceedings that will be broadcast on PBS on Oct. 31.