Will Ferrell Honored With The Mark Twain Prize For American Humor
By Katey Rich 2011-10-24 07:58:51
Comedians can be some of the most influential and important people in culture, but there aren't that many prizes to specifically reward them. Sure, if you're on TV there's always the Emmy, and once in a blue moon a funny performance can win an Oscar (Kevin Kline pulled this off in A Fish Called Wanda), but for the most part comedians have to get their validation elsewhere.
That is, unless you're a real heavy hitter, and you win the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, handed out by Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Previous winners include Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin, and last night Will Ferrell joined their ranks, honored at a Kennedy Center ceremony that will air on PBS next week, on Halloween. MSNBC has some of the details and best jokes from the people who took to the stage to celebrate Ferrell, including Conan O'Brien, Jack Black, Molly Shannon,Ben Stiller, and even PBS's own Gwen Ifill, who helped Ferrell "train" as a journalist for his role as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman.
Unsurprisingly, it sounds like Ferrell might have been the one to steal the show-- when he was handed the award, he promptly dropped it and tried to pick up the pieces, then said he only accepted the prize for the chance to be seen on PBS "by hundreds of people across this country." When Fey won the prize last year the video was available online almost immediately, so I expect that next week we'll be able to get a look at Ferrell's remarks as well. In the meantime, celebrate Ferrell yourself-- let us know your favorite Ferrell performance, movie or even contribution to comedy. After all, without Ferrell we wouldn't even have Funny or Die-- the guy has managed to even make the Internet a better place.