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Mark Twain

Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live  forever.  Mark Twain
Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Celebrating George Carlin

Broadcast information

The 11th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize will rebroadcast on PBS stations Monday, November 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

 

The 2008 Mark Twain Prize

Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 10, the 90-minute special features tributes and comic testimonials from a star-studded cast including Richard Belzer, Lewis Black, Margaret Cho, Ben E. King, Denis Leary, Bill Maher, Joan Rivers, Garry Shandling, Jon Stewart, and Lily Tomlin.

George Carlin combined a once-in-a-lifetime voice, a face that could do anything, and be anyone, an understanding of language that William Safire (or William Shakespeare) would have tipped their hats to and - oh yeah - he was fearlessly funny. Before George passed away, he learned he was receiving the Twain and was genuinely pleased about it.


The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created in 1998 by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mark Krantz, Peter Kaminsky and Bob Kaminsky and John Schreiber to recognize the art of humorists who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said, "Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand." George Carlin will be presented with a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain, sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940). The bust and its images are courtesy of the Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut.

Credits

Executive producers are Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz, Michael Kaiser, and Cappy McGarr.

More credits