PBS to Air Kennedy Center's Carol Burnett Celebration, 11/24; Julie Andrews, Tina Fey & More to Appear
A lineup of top entertainers including, Julie Andrews, Lucie Arnaz, Tony Bennett, Tim Conway, Tina Fey, Rashida Jones, Vicki Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Rosemary Watson and others will salute Carol Burnett at the 16th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. The evening will pay tribute the humor and accomplishments of Carol Burnett, and will be taped by WETA Washington, D.C. as Carol Burnett: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize. The program will air on PBS stations nationwide November 24, 2013 (check local listings). Artists are subject to change.
The 16th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, sponsored by Capital One Bank, focuses on the achievements of American comedic artists. The proceeds from the evening's event are used to support the Kennedy Center's programs, performances, and outreach. As recipient of the 2013 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Ms. Burnett will receive a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940). The bust and images of it are courtesy of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut.
As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens-the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist also known as Mark Twain-was a fearless observer of society who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said, "against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."
"Carol Burnett is a comedic icon, an actress and an author who truly represents the essence of the Mark Twain Award in honoring those who create humor from their uniquely American experience," said Jon Witter, President Retail and Direct Banking, Capital One Bank. "Capital One Bank is proud to support the Kennedy Center and salutes Ms. Burnett for the lifetime of laughter she has shared with us all."
Along with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the creators and executive producers of The Mark Twain Prize are Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz, and Cappy McGarr. WETA Washington, D.C. executive producers for Carol Burnett: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize are Dalton Delan and David S. Thompson.
The Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor was instituted as an annual event in October 1998. Recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize have been 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), Will Ferrell (2011) and Ellen Degeneres (2012).
Carol Burnett, award-winning actress and best-selling author, is widely recognized by the public and her peers for her comedic and dramatic roles on television, film, and Broadway, most notably The Carol Burnett Show. Named in 2007 by TIME magazine as one of the "100 Best Television Shows of All Time,"The Carol Burnett Show ran for 11 years, averaged 30 million viewers per week, and received 25 Emmy Awards, making it one of the most-honored shows in television history.
As a highly acclaimed actress, Carol has been honored with Emmys, Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, the Horatio Alger Award, an Ace Award, and the Peabody. A Kennedy Center Honoree, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2013, the City of Los Angeles honored Carol by naming the intersection of Highland Ave. and Selma directly adjacent to her alma mater, Hollywood High School, Carol Burnett Square.
Born in San Antonio, Texas in 1933, Carol, her mother, and grandmother moved to a less-than-glamorous section of Hollywood in the late 1930s. Raised in a small studio apartment by her grandmother, but with no financial means, Carol could only dream of college. After receiving an anonymous donation of $50 to pay for her tuition to UCLA, Carol enrolled. While studying journalism, Carol Took an acting class, and the rest is history.