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Dave Chappelle to be awarded Mark Twain Prize for American Humor


Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Imagine LAIconic comedian Dave Chappelle will be presented with the 2019 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts made the announcement Tuesday, describing Chappelle as “one of the world’s greatest humorists.”

“Dave Chappelle is an internationally recognized stand-up comedian and actor whose trademark wit and sharp, irreverent social commentary explores race, popular culture, sex, drugs, politics and fame,” reads a description of Chappelle on the Kennedy Center’s website.

The award ceremony for the 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize will take place on October 27 and will be broadcast nationally on PBS on Jan. 6.

The prize recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, who was best known under his nom de plumeMark Twain.

“Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand,'” said Deborah Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center, in a statement. “For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original, yet relatable, perspective.”

Past recipients of the award have included Bill MurrayJulia Louis-DreyfusDavid LettermanTina FeyWill FerrellEllen DeGeneresJay LenoSteve MartinBilly Crystal, Lorne Michaels and Whoopi Goldberg.

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