Stephen Colbert Returns to Host 2016 Kennedy Center Honors

Colbert_Election_Special - Publicity - H 2016
Scott Kowalchyk/SHOWTIME

This will be the 'Late Show' comedian's third Kennedy Center gig in a row.

Stephen Colbert will once again be hosting the Kennedy Center Honors.

Returning for his third year in a row, the Late Show comedian is set to host the 39th cultural awards gala, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced on Monday.

The annual event takes place Dec. 4 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the two-hour primetime special airs Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. on CBS. 

This year's honorees include actor Al Pacino, rock band Eagles, Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples and singer-songwriter James Taylor. They will be seated with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, who will welcome all the honorees, nominating members of the Artists Committee and Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House ahead of the taping.

The Kennedy Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. 

The Eagles were tapped for the honor last year but postponed the appearance because of founding member Glenn Frey's failing health. Frey died in January, about a month after the honors gala.