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Arts & Culture

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Mark Twain Prize

Julia Louis-Dreyfus honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Courtesy of Scott Suchman
Julia Louis-Dreyfus honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Airs Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at 9 p.m. & Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 9:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

This November, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor salutes Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The program premieres Monday, November 19 nationwide.

The special, recorded at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 21, 2018, features a star-studded cast of Louis-Dreyfus’ friends, admirers and collaborators including Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey, Ilana Glazer, Tony Hale, Abbi Jacobson, Keegan-Michael Key, Kumail Nanjiani, and Jerry Seinfeld. The evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the television icon.

Commenting on the Twain Prize, Louis-Dreyfus said, “Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying.”

Louis-Dreyfus earned worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of Elaine Benes in the hit NBC series SEINFELD, and as Christine Campbell in the CBS hit comedy THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE. She currently stars in, and executive produces, the HBO series VEEP.

Between all shows combined, she has received 11 Emmy awards (six consecutively for VEEP) with 24 nominations, a Golden Globe award, nine Screen Actors Guild awards which makes her the most decorated actor in the history of the SAG awards, three Television Critics Association awards, five American Comedy Awards, a Peabody Award, and the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.

She has broken the record for the most Emmy’s won by a single performer, as well as the most consecutive wins for a single role (VEEP.)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

About The Prize:

The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain.

As a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters, Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.

He revealed the great truth of humor when he said, “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Credits:

A production of WETA Washington D.C. and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Executive Producers are Dalton Delan for WETA, Deborah Rutter for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, David Jammy for Done + Dusted. Producers are Bill Urban, Rick Austin, Chris Convy and Michael Matuza.