Kevin Hart is honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

The comedian received one of the highest honors in comedy when he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize on Sunday.
Kevin Hart attends the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 25th Annual Mark Twain Prize.
Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 25, 2024

Comedian Kevin Hart is the latest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

One of the highest honors in the comedy industry, the award was created in 1998 and is given to 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.”

Held at the Kennedy Center on March 24, the ceremony began with a performance by Robin Thicke and Nelly and included other famous faces from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon and Chelsea Handler.

“For over three decades, Kevin Hart has been a source of laughter across America and throughout the world with his iconic characters, inimitable physical comedy and relatable narratives,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter in a press statement. “An accomplished writer, producer, actor and comedian, he has made lasting contributions to the comedic landscape and represents our celebration of American humor at the Kennedy Center.”

“I didn’t start doing what I was doing to get awards,” Hart said during the ceremony, according to The Associated Press. “I just fell in love with the idea of comedy.”

Hart received praise from his fellow comedians during the ceremony, including Dave Chappelle, who received the award in 2019. Saying Hart reminds him why he loves comedy, Chappelle also made sure Hart knew that he gave up a trip to Jamaica to attend the event.

“I am honored to know somebody like you,” he said. “I really wish you had come when I won this award.”

Last year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recipient was Adam Sandler, who credited his success in the industry to his family, who gives him “some insane weird confidence.” Other comedians who have received the Mark Twain Award include Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Jon Stewart.

You can watch Hart receive the award on Netflix on Saturday, May 11.

This story was originally published by Kaitlin Gates at Simplemost.

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