Ellen DeGeneres Honored With 2012 Mark Twain Prize

The 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be awarded to Ellen DeGeneres on October 22

Last Updated: May 15, 2012 @ 8:51 AM

Emmy winner and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been named the 2012 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The 15th annual Mark Twain Prize will be presented to DeGeneres at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 22. The ceremony, which honors "one of the world's greatest humorists," according to the Kennedy Center website, will be taped for a later broadcast.

"The Kennedy Center is happy to recognize Ellen DeGeneres' unique contributions to the world of comedy," Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said. "Through her television programs, stand-up appearances, movies, and even commercials, her special brand of humor has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years."

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DeGeneres' response to the Twain Prize: "It's such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder … why didn't I get this sooner?"

DeGeneres is currently hosting the ninth season of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which has won a total of 35 Daytime Emmy Awards. DeGeneres has also won a dozen People's Choice Awards in her career.

Past winners of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor include Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009), Tina Fey (2010) and Will Ferrell (2011).