Dave Chappelle to Receive Mark Twain Prize

Emmy Winners List - 2017 - Dave Chappelle performs onstage Controlled Danger- Getty - H 2018
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The comedian will be honored at the Kennedy Center this fall.

Dave Chappelle will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center this fall.

The comedian will be the 22nd recipient of the award, joining such illustrious past winners as Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, David Letterman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Bill Cosby was a recipient of the prize but the Kennedy Center rescinded his honor in 2018.

Chappelle will be honored at a gala event at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in his hometown of Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, which the organization said would feature "some of the biggest names in comedy." The evening will later be broadcast nationally on PBS stations on Jan. 6, 2020.

“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," Kennedy Center president Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. "Dave’s a great guy and a hometown hero here in Washington, D.C., where he grew up. We’re so looking forward to welcoming him back home.”

The award is just the latest in a series of accolades for Chappelle in recent years, with the comedian winning two Emmys — one in 2017 for hosting a memorable post-election episode of Saturday Night Live in 2016, and another in 2018 for one of his four Netflix stand-up specials released the year before, Equanimity — and a best comedy album Grammy in 2018.

His eponymous Comedy Central series, Chappelle's Show, received two Emmy nominations. His film credits include Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born remake, Spike Lee's Chi-Raq, Undercover Brother, Screwed, Blue Streak, 200 Cigarettes, You've Got Mail, Woo, Half Baked, The Real Blonde, Con Air, Joe's Apartment, The Nutty Professor, Getting In, Undercover Blues and Robin Hood: Men in Tights

The prize recognizes people who've had an impact on American society in ways similar to the 19th century novelist and essayist, whose real name was Samuel Clemens.