Ellen DeGeneres Honored with the Mark Twain Prize

Stand-up and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center last night in a ceremony that saw folks like Jane Lynch, Jimmy Kimmel, John Krasinski, Sean Hayes, and Lily Tomlin paying tribute to DeGeneres and her long, groundbreaking career. Ellen DeGeneres holds a historic place in the comedy community and the gay and lesbian community, as well, having been the first female comedian to ever be invited to Johnny Carson’s desk after a Tonight Show stand-up set and the first person to play a gay lead character on a network series. DeGeneres can add a 15th to that list of firsts, as she’s the 15th person to be given the Twain Prize, after Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Tina Fey, and most recently, Will Ferrell. The ceremony airs on PBS next Tuesday, October 23rd, and it’ll probably contain more silly dancing than your average PBS program.

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