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Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey and More to Present Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Mark Twain Prize

Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey and More to Present Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Mark Twain Prize

The KENNEDY Center today unveiled an all-star lineup and new producers for the 21st annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which this year will celebrate Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Under the direction of the creative team from Done + Dusted, the KENNEDY Center's new producing partner for the Mark Twain Prize, the cast will feature many of Louis-Dreyfus's admirers, friends, and collaborators, including Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey, Ilana Glazer, Tony Hale, Abbi Jacobson, Keegan-Michael Key, Kumail Nanjiani, and Jerry Seinfeld. The live Gala Performance will take place on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. ET in the KENNEDY Center Concert Hall, and will be taped by WETA Washington, D.C.

The program will air nationally on PBS stations as Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The KENNEDY Center Mark Twain Prize on November 19, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Artists are subject to change, and additional talent will be announced at a later date. Sponsorship packages for THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE Gala Performance are on sale now (see page 5 for more information).

Based in London and Los Angeles, Done + Dusted is responsible for some of the most innovative ceremonies and awards programs in contemporary television, and this year will serve as co-producers of the 2018 Emmy Awards. Other credits include the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in London, Stand Up To Cancer, and The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, among many others. Done + Dusted principal David Jammy will serve as executive producer, alongside showrunner Rick Austin and co-executive producer Chris Convy. The WETA Washington, D.C. executive producer for Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The KENNEDY Center Mark Twain Prize is Dalton Delan.

Commenting on the new producing partners, KENNEDY Center president Deborah F. Rutter said, "From the moment we met the Done + Dusted team, they understood that the Twain Prize is more than an awards show-it's an institution in and of itself, a vital fundraiser, a brand builder, a means for the Center to bring communities together, and the highest honor in comedy. They bring a storytelling aesthetic to all of their projects, and they understand that comedy is more than just laughs-it's dynamic and in-the-now. The best comedy makes you think and feel something."

Done + Dusted partner and executive producer David Jammy said of the show, "We are honored and inspired to partner with the KENNEDY Center on this fabulous project. Every once in a while, a project comes our way that touches our souls, because it speaks to our essence, to our desire to make work that counts for something, to the reason we get out of bed in the morning. The KENNEDY Center's MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR is the comedy community's highest accolade, and we feel privileged to associate ourselves with its rich and prestigious legacy. We could not be more thrilled to work on this tribute to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has changed the course of comedy history forever."

The Done + Dusted team builds on a foundation created by Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, and Mark Krantz, who co-founded the Twain Prize with the KENNEDY Center in 1998. The KENNEDY Center is grateful to Cappy McGarr for his steadfast support of the Twain Prize since its inception.

"Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, and Mark Krantz have been outstanding partners to the KENNEDY Center in creating THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE for American Humor, helping it grow into a marquee award program and an important cornerstone event for the KENNEDY Center," said Rutter. "The KENNEDY Center is deeply grateful to Bob, Peter, and Mark for their collaboration and vision for the last 20 years."

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."

As recipient of THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE for American Humor, Julia Louis-Dreyfus will receive a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940). Previous recipients of the KENNEDY Center Mark Twain Prize are 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), and David Letterman (2017).

The Twain Prize serves as a major fundraiser in support of the KENNEDY Center's national artistic and educational programs. This year marks the 21st consecutive year that the KENNEDY Center's marquee comedy award will be presented and broadcast nationally.

Capital One is the Presenting Sponsor of this year's KENNEDY Center MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR as part of the bank's gift to fund Comedy at the KENNEDY Center, a signature program at the Center focused on elevating comedy as an art form and uniting the community through laughter. The event is chaired by Amra and Damir Fazlic.

The John F. KENNEDY Center for the Performing Arts is America's living memorial to President Kennedy. It is the nation's busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts more than 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly 2 million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. Now in its 47th season, the Center presents performances of music, dance, and theater, supports artists in the creation of new work, and serves the nation as a leader in arts education.

Julia 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, which will soon begin its seventh season.

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).

Louis-Dreyfus received critical acclaim for her starring role in FOX Searchlight's Enough Said, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. Playing opposite the late James Gandolfini, Louis-Dreyfus earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role, making her one of the elite few concurrently nominated for both a film and television role.

Additional television credits include multiple appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm; a recurring role on The Simpsons; and a recurring role on Arrested Development, among many others. Louis-Dreyfus first made her mark on television during a three-year stint (1982-1985) on Saturday Night Live, opposite the likes of Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Eddie Murphy. She subsequently hosted the show twice, becoming the first female former cast member to return as host. Feature film credits include Disney's Planes; Pixar's animated hit A Bug's Life; Woody Allen's Academy Award-winning Hannah and Her Sisters and Deconstructing Harry; Rob Reiner's North; and Ivan Reitman's Fathers' Day.

A steadfast defender of the environment, Louis-Dreyfus serves on the leadership council for the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the Board of Directors of Heal the Bay, and the Honorary Board of Heal the Ocean.

She studied theater at Northwestern University, where she was a member of The Practical Theater Company, and Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Brad Hall, and their two sons, Charlie and Henry.

For more than 20 years, Done + Dusted has built an UNRIVALED global reputation for producing spectacular experiences and shareable content on behalf of nations, broadcasters, brands, artists, gamers, leaders, and educators. D+D approaches every show with the belief that storytelling is crucial for producing impactful content, and with the goal of inspiring audiences in THE ROOM and at home for years to come.


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