Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston and Tina Fey are among the performers who will salute Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Kennedy Center on Oct.21, when she is honored with the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
New producers have signed on for the 21st annual award. Done + Dusted, the company behind the 2018 Emmy Awards, the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony and Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, replace Bob and Peter Kaminsky and Mark Krantz, three of the founders of the award. Producer Cappy McGarr becomes a special advisor to the Chairman of the Board of the Kennedy Center.
Known globally for her portrayal of Elaine on the hit NBC sit-com, “Seinfeld,” Louis-Dreyfus stars in “Veep,” the HBO series she executive produces that is entering its seventh season. She has earned 11 Emmy Awards, including six consecutive nods for “Veep,” as well as Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and American Comedy awards. The comedian and actor has also won a Peabody Award and the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.
The annual comedy prize is a critical fundraiser for the national arts center, with donations supporting its arts and education programs. It celebrates 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,” according to the Kennedy Center. Richard Pryor received the first prize in 1998, and last year’s award was given to David Letterman. Among the other recipients are Carol Burnett, Neil Simon, Eddie Murphy, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Carl Reiner.