Dave Chappelle to Receive Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Comedian Dave Chappelle attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Comedian Dave Chappelle has been chosen to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The 45-year-old Chappelle shot to international stardom through his Comedy Central program, “Chappelle’s Show,” which gleefully skewered racial stereotypes and hot-button societal issues. He later made headlines for walking away from a lucrative contract over creative differences.

Chappelle attended Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and his first hourlong comedy special was filmed in the nation’s capital.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter called Chappelle “a hometown hero” and said his social commentary and body of work embody Twain’s statement that “against the assault of humor, nothing can stand.”

Chappelle will be presented with the award in a star-studded ceremony on Oct. 29. The ceremony will be broadcast on television on Jan. 6, 2020.

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