By Jessica Napoli
Published May 07, 2019
On Tuesday, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that the comedian and star of “Chappelle’s Show” will be the 22nd recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
The ceremony will take place at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Oct. 27 and broadcast on PBS on Jan. 6, 2020.
Last year's awardee was "Veep" star and multiple Emmy-winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus and other past winner includes comedy heavy-hitters such as 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Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009; rescinded in 2018), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), Carol Burnett (2013), Jay Leno (2014), Eddie Murphy (2015), Bill Murray (2016) and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).
“Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.’ For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective," said Kennedy Center president Deborah F. Rutter in a statement. "Dave is a hometown hero here in Washington, D.C., where he grew up. We’re so looking forward to welcoming him back home."
After years off the air, Chappelle returned to the stage in 2017 and released four stand-up specials on Netflix. He also appeared in the Oscar-winning movie "A Star Is Born" and had a comedy residency at Radio City Music Hall.
Also in 2017, he received his first Emmy award for his guest appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and another in 2018 for his special "Equanimity." And to add to his collection, the 45-year won two Grammys for Best Comedy Album and in 2018 and 2019.