Dave Chappelle is the latest to be awarded the coveted Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this year at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Chappelle will join the ranks of elite funny people such as David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, and Richard Pryor who was the recipient of the first-ever award in 1998.
“Dave is one of the truly original voices in comedy — the definition of a creative artist,” Matthew Winer, director of comedy and special programming at the Kennedy Center, said to NPR. “He’s a modern day sociologist, skewering stereotypes, defying boundaries and showing us that laughter can be a way to contextualize issues that we struggle to understand.”
“Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand,’ ” Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center, said in a prepared statement. “For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective.”
Chappelle will receive his award on October 28th at a gala at the Kennedy Center where it will be broadcast on PBS on January 6th 2020.