Julia Louis-Dreyfus became just the sixth woman in a 20-year history to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, following in the footsteps of Tina Fey, Carol Burnett and Ellen DeGeneres.
The “Seinfeld” and “Veep” star accepted the award with style, delivering some sick burns at the expense of all the prior honorees.
“Tina was honored with the Mark Twain Prize, too. You know, before they got real serious about [it],” Louis-Dreyfus said during a ceremony at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in New York City.
Fey, who won the prize in 2011, applauded Louis-Dreyfus for being a performer who in “Seinfeld” didn’t feel the need to show a bare midriff in order to get attention.
“Julia’s not afraid to be unlikable — not onscreen and not in person. Just try sharing an elevator with her,” Fey joked.
Fey also pointed out everything the two actresses have in common, including developing at Chicago’s Second City and how they “both won Emmys for people who should never be vice president.” Fey portrayed Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live.”
Other stars presenting on behalf of Louis-Dreyfus included Stephen Colbert, Kumail Nanjiani, Jerry Seinfeld, “Broad City” stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and “Veep” co-star Tony Hale.
Colbert shared an image of Louis-Dreyfus in the 1986 fantasy film “Troll,” and Nanjiani shared an image of her making love to a clown in a GQ photo shoot.
“She knows how to deal with Congress because she already knows what it’s like to get screwed by clowns,” he said before sharing the photo. “I see you explaining it to your mom right now. I can not believe it has not come up before today.”
Louis-Dreyfus took a jab back at Nanjiani in return. “Kumail, thank you for being here,” she said. “It is so inspiring that you were able to co-opt your wife’s harrowing medical ordeal for an Oscar nomination.”
Louis-Dreyfus also addressed her recent breast cancer diagnosis, after telling Jimmy Kimmel last week that she’s now cancer free.
The Mark Twain Prize presentation honoring Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be broadcast nationally on PBS on Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. ET.