Ellen DeGeneres has been named the 2012
recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
The 54-year-old DeGeneres is the host
of the daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She will be presented with the 15th
annual award at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on
October 22. The ceremony will be taped for a later broadcast,
“The Kennedy Center is happy to
recognize Ellen DeGeneres' unique contributions to the world of
comedy,” said David M. Rubenstein, chairman of the Kennedy Center.
“Through her television programs, stand-up appearances, movies, and
even commercials, her special brand of humor has allowed us to find
hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years.”
Responding to the news, DeGeneres 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
In 2003, Lily Tomlin became the first
openly gay person to win the prize.