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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present the 25th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Kevin Hart

The Prize, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists will be awarded to Kevin Hart at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy at the Kennedy Center on March 24, 2024. Broadcast and casting details to be announced at a later date.

Production Information

  • Genre

    Comedy

  • Presenting Sponsor

    Wells fargo

  • Join the Celebration

    Sponsorship Packages Available

    Limited performance-only ticket sales will be shared at a later date.

“To be honored in this commemorative year feels surreal. Comedy is my outlet for social commentary and observations on life—I am grateful to the Kennedy Center for recognizing my voice and impact on culture. I cant wait to celebrate!”

— Kevin Hart

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, presented by Wells Fargo, recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, colloquially known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters, Clemens was a fearless observer of society who delighted and informed onlookers with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.

About Kevin Hart

Emmy® and Grammy®–nominated Kevin Hart was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he launched his career as a comedian during an amateur night at a local comedy club. Over the years, Hart has become Hollywood’s box office powerhouse, opening 11 films at number one at the box office and grossing more than in $4.23 billion global revenue. Hart has also become a successful entrepreneur; he is chairman of Hartbeat, a global, multi-platform media company creating entertainment at the intersection of comedy and culture with a mission to “keep the world laughing together.”

Two Decades of the Mark Twain Prize

The inaugural Mark Twain Prize was presented to Richard Pryor during the first annual Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor, October 20, 1998. The event was created by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz, and John Schreiber and is televised annually. ݮƵѰapp is grateful to Cappy McGarr for his steadfast support of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor since its inception.

Previous recipients of the Mark Twain include 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), David Letterman (2017), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018), Dave Chappelle (2019), and Jon Stewart (2022).

Explore artist pages below.

Recent Video Highlights

Watch Mark Twain Prize Acceptance Speeches

Adam Sandler acceptance speech

Adam Sandler acceptance speech

Jon Stewart acceptance speech

Jon Stewart acceptance speech

Dave Chappelle acceptance speech

Dave Chappelle acceptance speech

Julia Louis-Dreyfus acceptance speech

Julia Louis-Dreyfus acceptance speech

Past Recipients

*2009 Bill Cosby; rescinded in 2018

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