Former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart is preparing to receive the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ 23rd Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, as per Deadline. The award will be given to Stewart at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Sunday, April 24.
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honors individuals in the entertainment industry who have had an impact on American society similar to the late novelist Mark Twain. This will be the first ceremony since 2019, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Jon Stewart ‘Truly Honored’ To Receive The Award
In a statement, Stewart said that he was “truly honored to receive this award.”
“I have long admired and been influenced by the work of Mark Twain, or, as he was known by his given name, Samuel Leibowitz,” he added.
The Kennedy Center President, Deborah F. Rutter, said that Jon Stewart was selected as this year’s recipient due to his “undaunted advocacy” in these “often divisive and challenging times.”
“For more than three decades, Jon Stewart has brightened our lives and challenged our minds as he delivers current events and social satire with his trademark wit and wisdom,” she said.
“For me, tuning in to his television programs over the years has always been equal parts entertainment and truth,” she continued. In these often divisive and challenging times, someone like Jon, through his undaunted advocacy for first responders and veterans, also demonstrates that we all can make a difference in this world through humor, humanity, and patriotism.”
“He is most deserving of this award and I certainly cannot wait to hear the Concert Hall full of laughter again on April 24th,” she added.
Breaking news: @JonStewart is the next recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor!
— The Kennedy Center (@kencen) January 19, 2022
Who Is Jon Stewart?
Jon Stewart is a comedian, writer, producer, director, political commentator, actor, and television host. Born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, Stewart first made his break into the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedian.
He quickly stepped into television as the host of Comedy Centrals’ “Short Attention Span Theater.” He hosted two shows for MTV: “You Wrote It, You Watch It” from 1992 to 1993 and “The Jon Stewart Show” from 1993 to 1995. He eventually became the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 1999 and ceded his seat to Trevor Noah in 2015.
During his tenure, he won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and was also nominated for many news and journalism awards. He also co-authored the book “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction” in 2004 and “Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race” in 2010.
Stewart has used his profile to become an advocate for 9/11 first responders and for health benefits for war veterans. In 2019, he received the New York City Bronze Medallion for his “tireless advocacy, inspiration, and leadership to pass the permanent authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”
In addition to his hosting duties, Stewart has also appeared in over a dozen film projects, although many are cameos of himself. He appeared in 1998’s “Half Baked,” 1999’s “Big Daddy,” 2001’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” and 2002’s “Death to Smoochy.” He also made cameo appearances in 2007’s “Evan Almighty,” 2011’s “The Adjustment Bureau,” and 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” He also wrote, directed, and produced the 2020 film “Irresistible,” starring Steve Carell and Chris Cooper.
Although he stepped down from “The Daily Show,” Stewart is back on TV hosting “The Problem With Jon Stewart.” The series debuted in September 2021 on Apple TV+.
Who Are Past Recipients Of The Mark Twain Prize?
The Mark Twain Prize is considered one of the top awards in all of comedy. Previous winners of the esteemed award 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; rescinded in 2018)
- Tina Fey (2010)
- Will Ferrell (2011)
- Ellen DeGeneres (2012)
- Carol Burnett (2013)
- Jay Leno (2014)
- Eddie Murphy (2015)
- Bill Murray (2016)
- David Letterman (2017)
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018)
- Dave Chappelle (2019)
Fans are looking forward to Jon Stewart receiving his award at the ceremony on Sunday, April 24th.