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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 Carol Burnett

The All-star Cast

An all-star cast of actors, performers and musicians celebrate the life and humor of Carol Burnett.

Amy Poehler

Bruce Vilanch

Julie Andrews

Lucie Arnaz

Martin Short

Maya Rudolph

Rashida Jones

Rosemary Watson

Tim Conway

Tina Fey

Tony Bennett

Vicki Lawrence


 

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler is one of Hollywood's most versatile and sought after talents. She currently stars on the Emmy nominated NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, which recently began its sixth season. She also served as co-host of the extremely well received 70th Golden Globe with Tina Fey, helping earn the program a 2013 Emmy nod for Outstanding Special Class Program. After her much buzzed about portrayal of Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential election, Ms. Poehler completed her eighth and final season of Saturday Night Live. She has made memorable appearances on television ranging from Arrested Development and Wonder Showzen to Undeclared. She also was a voice on O'Grady and The Simpsons. Ms. Poehler's work extends beyond her roles in front of the camera. She serves as executive producer on the forthcoming scripted comedy Broad City, which will premiere on Comedy Central in 2014. She also produces and hosts the award-winning online series Smart Girls at the Party, which showcases real girls who are "changing the world by being themselves." Her past film credits include Baby Mama and Mean Girls to Spring Breakdown and Southland Tales. She will next appear opposite Adam Scott in A.C.O.D., will be heard as the voice of Jenny in the upcoming animated comedy Free Birds, and will star opposite Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis in You Are Here.

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Bruce Vilanch

Bruce Vilanch

Bruce Vilanch has appeared at Lincoln Center, Ford's Theatre, the Fillmore, the Taft Hotel (New Haven), the Nixon Theatre (Pittsburgh), the Madison (sketchy bar in Miami), the Hoover Dam, the George Washington Bridge, and the Cleveland Clinic, so he feels right at home here. Familiar to television audiences, and to anyone who will be familiar with him, he was a Hollywood Square for six years and a big mother on Broadway in the musical Hairspray. He has won Emmys for writing the Oscar show (23 times, not all of them winners) and has written for the redhead in question on many occasions.

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Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews has been a beloved and much-honored start of the stage, screen and television for more than half a century. Ms Andrews' iconic performance in 1964's Mary Poppins brought her an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award. The following year she earned a second Oscar nomination and won another Golden Globe Award for her unforgettable portrayal of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Earlier motion picture credits include The Americanization of Emily, Hawaii, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Star!, Darling Lili, 10, and Victor/Victoria. Her more recent film credits range from The Princess Diaries, to Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Despicable Me, and Enchanted. Her 1953 debut in the musical The Boy Friend marked the beginning of her stage career. She went on to create the role of Eliza Doolittle in Lerner and Lowe's Broadway musical My Fair Lady, which became an instant classic and the longest-running musical of its day. She also won the New York Drama Critics Award and garnered a Tony Award nomination for her performance. She has been honored for her work on television, beginning in 1957 with her Emmy-nominated performance in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Cinderella. She later won an Emmy for her own musical variety series, The Julie Andrews Hour, and also earned Emmy nominations for Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center (with her "chum" Carol Burnett) and her performance in the special Sounds of Christmas. From 1992 to 2006 she was honored as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Ms. Andrews received her honors as a Dame of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on New Year's Eve 1999. She was also a 2001 Kennedy Center Honoree.

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Lucie Arnaz

Lucie Arnaz

Lucie Arnaz began her long career in a recurring role on the television program The Lucy Show. She later starred in her own series The Lucie Arnaz Show, and later in the critically acclaimed Sons & Daughters on CBS. On film, Ms. Arnaz has co-starred in The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond and Sir Laurence Olivier, as well as starred in several made for television movies, including Who Killed the Black Dahlia, Washington Mistress, The Mating Season, Who Gets the Friends?, Abduction of Innocence, and Down to You.

On stage she first created the role of Kathy in the West Coast premiere of Vanities at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She then hit Broadway, starring as Gittel Mosca in the national company of the musical Seesaw. Past stage credits also include Annie Get Your Gun, They're Playing Our Song, Educating Rita, Whose Life is it Anyway?, I Do! I Do!, The Guardsman, Social Security, and Grace and Glorie. Most recently, she marked her return to Broadway in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Ms. Arnaz and her husband, actor and writer Laurence Luckinbill, together produced a documentary Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie, which aired on NBC and was honored with an Emmy.

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Martin Short

Martin Short

Martin Short, a celebrated comedian and actor, has won fans and accolades in television, film and theater since his breakout season on Saturday Night Live almost 30 years ago. His popularity and exposure on Saturday Night Live lead him to cross over quickly into feature films. One of Mr. Short's most memorable roles was in the remake of Father of the Bride as Franck the wedding planner. Past television credits include an Emmy-nominated role for the mini-series Merlin and host of The Martin Short Show. He was nominated for his 19th Emmy award in 2010 for his work as the lawyer Leonard Winstone on the critically acclaimed FX series Damages. Mr. Short can be seen on the CBS hit comedy series How I Met Your Mother in the recurring role of Garison Cootes. His voice can be heard as the Cat in the critically acclaimed PBS series Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That. An accomplished stage actor Mr. Short won a Tony and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his role in the revival of Little Me. He was also nominated for a Tony and took home an Outer Critics Circle Award for the musical version on Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl. In 1994 he was awarded the order of Canada, the Canadian equivalent to British Knighthood. He was also introduced into the Canadian Walk of Fame in June 2000.

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Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph is most widely known for her turn on NBC's Saturday Night Live, where she was one of the show's regular players for more than seven years. Also on the small screen, she starred as Ava on the NBC comedy Up All Night for executive producer Loren Michaels. Ms. Rudolph can most recently be seen in The Way, Way Back, the directoral debut of Oscar winning writers Jim Rash and Nat Faxon. The film received rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and was released by Fox Searchlight on July 5, 2013. She starred in Paul Feig's comedy Bridesmaids, which has grossed nearly $300 million in the box office worldwide and garnered numerous accolades since it opened May 13, 2011. Most recently Ms. Rudolph teamed up with musician Gretchen Liberum to form the female-fronted Prince cover band, Princess. In tribute to His Purple Majesty, the duo became an immediate Internet success last year when they performed "Darling Nikki" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She has lent her voice to such films as Zookeeper and Shrek the Third, and has appeared in films that range from Friends with Kids to A Prairie Home Companion. In 2009, she earned rave reviews for her performance opposite John Krasinski in the comedic and heartfelt film Away We Go, directed by Sam Medes from a script by Dave Eggers and Vedela Vida.

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Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones, with her versatility in both comedic and dramatic roles and her growing presence in Hollywood as a screenwriter, has quickly established herself as one of the industry's bright stars. She was at last year's Sundance Film Festival premiering her film Celest and Jesse Forever, which she copenned with writing partner Will McCormack, who she was recognized alongside on Variety's list of "Screenwriters to Watch." She recently finished production on the film Cuban Fury, starring Nick Frost, Chris O'Dowd, and Olivia Colman. Her past film credits have included Columbia Pictures' critically acclaimed and award winning film The Social Network, starring opposite Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake; the DreamWorks feature, I Love You, Man for writer and director John Hamburg, starring opposite Paul Rudd and Jason Segel; and Little Black Book, opposite Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates. On television she can currently be seen on NBC's Parks and Recreation. The show currently is in its fifth season and has won this year's TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, and was nominated for the same award in 2012 and 2010. She graduated from Harvard University where she appeared in several plays, including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Odd Couple: The Female Version, and H.M.S. Pinafore.

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Rosemary Watson

Rosemary Watson

As a voiceover artist and producer, Rosemary Watson's work has been heard around the world in just about every type of media, from television and cartoons to radio spots and iPad apps. An accomplished jazz singer, she has performed throughout Southern California and Las Vegas for hundreds of corporate events, as well as hotels such as the Bellagio and the Four Seasons. As an impersonator, comedienne, and satirist, she has generated many popular Internet videos and even gained international attention for her "spot-on" impersonation of Hillary Clinton. She has performed on stage in both comedic and dramatic roles and has appeared as a guest and host on HGTV, on the Discovery Channel, and in television and print ads.

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Tim Conway

Tim Conway

Tim Conway is best known for his role on The Carol Burnett Show, an 11-year stint that garnered him six Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and four generations of fans. His often-improvised humor, razor-sharp timing, and hilarious characters have made him one of the funniest and most authentic performers to grace the stage and studio in the last 40 years. In 1989 Mr. Conway received his much deserved star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. In 2004, he and Harvey Korman were inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame. In 2005, the duo joined the rest of the Carol Burnett cast in receiving TV Land's Legend Award. And in 2008, he received his seventh Emmy Award for his guest appearance on 30 Rock. His past film credits include Disney's The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, as well as The Private Eyes and The Prize Fighter, both of which he wrote and featured his Apple Dumpling costar, long time friend Don Knotts.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Tina Fey completed an iconic seven-season run as the executive producer, head writer, and star of NBC's three-time (2007, 2008, 2009) Emmy Award winning, one-of-a-kind comedy series 30 Rock. Her performance as Liz Lemon earned Ms. Fey an Emmy, two Golden Globes, four SAG Awards, and a People's Choice Award. Prior to creating 30 Rock, she completed nine seasons as head writer, cast member, and co-anchor of the "Weekend Update" segment on NBC's Saturday Night Live. For her writing on Saturday Night Live, she has won an Emmy and twice won a Writers Guild Award. In 2009 she won an Emmy Award for Guest Appearance by an Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Sarah Palin on the 2008-09 season of SNL. Ms. Fey also hosted the 2013 Golden Globe Awards with Amy Poehler to great praise and the highest ratings in the last six years and earned two Emmy nominations for Special Class Writing and Outstanding Special Class as a host. Her past film credits include Mean Girls, Baby Mama, Date Night, Megamind, and Admission. She recently completed film director Shawn Levy's next film, This is Where I Leave You. Ms. Fey was the youngest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2010.

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Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. With millions of records sold world-wide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received 17 Grammy Awards -- including a 1995 Grammy for Record of the Year for his MTV Unplugged CD, which introduced this American master to a whole new generation -- and the Grammy Lifetime Award. Mr. Bennett, is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has toured the world to sold out audiences with rave reviews whenever he performed. In celebration of his 85th birthday in 2011, he released his highly anticipated Duets II, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album charts, making him the only artist at the age of 85 to achieve this in the history of recorded music. Mr. Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January 2006, earned a Citizen of the World Award from the United Nations, and a Billboard magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music.

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Vicki Lawrence

Vicki Lawrence

Multi-talented actress Vicki Lawrence was cast as Carol Burnett's kid sister on The Carol Burnett Show. She spent 11 years with Carol, earning an Emmy Award and five Emmy nominations. After the Burnett show ended, she went on to star in her own television series, Mama's Family, with Ken Berry, Dorthy Lyman, Beverly Archer, and Allen Kayser. The last original episode was made in January 1990, completing five years of first-run syndication. She became one of the few successful, female game show hosts when she took on the daytime network version of Win, Lose or Draw. She further perfected her hosting skills on her daytime talk show, appropriately called Vicki!, from 1992 to 1994. She received critical acclaim when she was the only talk show host since Oprah to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy in her freshman year. On stage, Ms. Lawrence has appeared in numerous productions, including Carousel; Send Me No Flowers, No, No, Nanette; My Fat Friend; Chapter Two; Twigs; Hello Dolly; Special Occasions; I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road; Annie Get Your Gun; and live from the Grand Ole Opry, Nunsense 3: The Jamboree, which aired on TNN. Most recently, she appeared in the Vagina Monologues. Since 2002, she has spent much of her time on the road with her stage production Vicki Lawrence and Mama, A Two Woman Show.

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Major funding for Carol Burnett: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize is provided by Presenting Sponsor Capital One Bank®, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel is generously provided by American Airlines.