Ellen DeGeneres Will Receive the Mark Twain Prize For American Humor, Comedy’s Highest Honor
by Jamie Frevele | 4:17 pm, May 15th, 2012
Nothing makes us happier than writing about good things happening to people we like! Ellen DeGeneres — comedian, actress, TV host, all-around lovely person — will be this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She will join the ranks of other honorees including Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, and Lily Tomlin and will be awarded the prize this October at the Kennedy Center. It’s so nice to see that people actually give awards to people for making us laugh for a variety of reasons, and it couldn’t have been bestowed upon a more joyfully silly person. Congratulations, Ellen DeGeneres!
While DeGeneres has been making her funny-living as an Emmy-winning daytime TV host in recent years, she was a pretty successful standup comedian for over a decade, beginning her career in the early ’80s before going on to win the award for Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic at the American Comedy Awards in 1991. She moved on to sitcoms, and in 1997, she famously came out in character and on the cover of Time magazine. And then they canceled her show after one more season. Well, at least we can say we’ve made some progress; after all, we have a sitting President of the United States who supports marriage equality now.
But we forget that while Ellen DeGeneres broke some serious ground in LGBT tolerance (I said “some,” I know there’s a long way to go), she has always been extremely funny. And without being mean, crude, or mocking, even when she called out the One Million — er, Few Thousand? — Moms after they demanded a boycott of JC Penney when DeGeneres was chosen as the company’s new spokesperson. (I can’t wait to see them freak out about this! They’ll protest anything if the gays are involved!)
Basically, a large portion of the country would like to have Ellen DeGeneres as a personal friend. She’d be your funniest friend. She’d mildly make fun of you, turn it around on herself, and then everyone would laugh. But don’t think for a second that she’s above being less than humble. In a written statement, she said:
“It’s such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder… why didn’t I get this sooner?”
Actually, that’s a rather valid question. Because I’d give her all the awards. For being wonderful.
Once again: Congratulations, Ellen!
(via The Hollywood Reporter)