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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents 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 was awarded to Kevin Hart at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy at the Kennedy Center on March 24, 2024.

Watch NOW on NETFLIX! 

Production Information

  • Genre

    Comedy

  • Presenting Sponsor

    Wells fargo

“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.

Watch Highlights

Kevin Hart: Mark Twain Prize Trailer

Kevin Hart: Mark Twain Prize Trailer

What Does Kevin Hart Deserve the Prize?

What Does Kevin Hart Deserve the Prize?

Jimmy Fallon on Kevin Hart

Jimmy Fallon on Kevin Hart

25 Years of the Mark Twain Prize

25 Years of the Mark Twain Prize

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.”

Special Guests

A lineup of leading performers salute Kevin Hart at the 25th annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

  • Dave Burd aka “Lil Dicky”

    Multi-platinum rapper, comedian, and actor.

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  • Nick Cannon

    Comedian, host, actor, and rapper.

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  • Dave Chappelle

    Comedian and 2019 Mark Twain Prize Recipient.

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  • Jimmy Fallon

    Award-winning talk show host.

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  • Tiffany Haddish

    Award-winning comedian, actress, and bestselling author.

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  • Regina Hall

    Award-winning actress and producer.

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  • Chelsea Handler

    Comedian, six-time bestselling author, advocate, and host.

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  • Nelly

    Award-winning rapper, singer, and actor.

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  • The Plastic Cup Boyz

    Internationally touring comedy group.

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  • Keith Robinson

    Comedian and actor widely acclaimed as a comic’s comic.

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  • Chris Rock

    Comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director lauded by peers and critics alike.

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    Chris Rock
  • Jerry Seinfeld

    Veteran comedian, actor, and director.

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  • J.B. Smoove

    Actor, comedian, writer, and epic improviser.

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  • Robin Thicke

    Singer, songwriter, and record producer.

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  • Adam Blackstone

    Award-winning musician.

    Read More

Kennedy Center Stories

Video Playlist

Watch pre-show festivities and Red Carpet Interviews with Artists and Comedians for the 2024 Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Kevin Hart

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), Jon Stewart (2022), and Adam Sandler (2023).

Explore artist pages below.

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

Sponsors

Official Airline of the Mark Twain Prize

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