WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — Comedian Dave Chappelle has been announced as the recipient of the 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
The 2019 Mark Twain Prize will be presented at a gala performance at the Kennedy Center on October 27, 2019. We’re promised that some of the “biggest names in comedy” will be in attendance, but a list of performers and presenters has yet to be announced.
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, named after pen name of the noted 19th-century author and satirist Samuel Clemons, is intended to recognize individuals who have had an impact on American society in a way that was similar to Twain’s on America at the time.
“Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.’ For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective. Dave’s a great guy and a hometown hero here in Washington, D.C., where he grew up. We’re so looking forward to welcoming him back home,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.
Over the course of his career, Chappelle has earned a reputation as a fearless and talented comedian. He famously stepped away from his hugely successful television sketch show “The Chappelle Show” after just two seasons due professional and ethical concerns, turning his back on a $50 million dollar contract from cable network Comedy Central for a third season.
In recent years, Chappelle has arguably been one of the top touring comics in the industry and performed more than 1,600 concerts worldwide in the past four years, selling out shows within minutes of their announcements.
In 2017, he received his first Emmy Award for his debut episode on Saturday Night Live, including his notable opening monologue which provided the nation with some much-needed comic relief in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election.
Chappelle marked his 30th year in comedy by releasing not one, but four stand-up specials on Netflix. The first two specials, The Age of Spin and Deep in the Heart of Texas, were released in March 2017.
That summer, Chappelle took up residency at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, selling more than 90,000 tickets and performing 16 shows that included 58 guests representing the biggest names in comedy and music. He capped off the year by releasing the remaining two specials, Equanimity and The Bird Revelations on New Year’s Eve.
The program will be broadcast on PBS stations on January 6, 2020. On-sale and ticketing information for this event will be available at a later date, and sponsorship packages for the Mark Twain Prize gala performance are on sale now.
Chappelle on SNL