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[illustration: Mark Twain and Lorne Michaels]
[illustration: Mark Twain and Lorne Michaels]
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

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PBS Program Club Pick
The Mark Twain Prize (2003)

[photo: Lorne Michaels]On Stage at the Kennedy Center: The Mark Twain Prize salutes Lorne Michaels, creator of NBC's Saturday Night Live and the recipient of the Kennedy Center's seventh annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The program airs Wednesday, March 2, 2005 on PBS stations nationwide. (Check local listings.)

The 2004 Ceremony

Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 25, 2004, the 90-minute special features tributes and comic performances by an all-star cast including Dan Aykroyd, Candice Bergen, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut), Darrell Hammond, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Tim Meadows, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), Tracy Morgan, Conan O'Brien, Paul Simon, David Spade and Christopher Walken. The show's live band is led by former "SNL" musical director G.E. Smith.

[photo: Lorne Michaels accepts the Mark Twain Prize]The special features television clips from the NBC series and never-before-seen screen tests of some of the original "Not Ready for Primetime Players," as well as clips from Kids in the Hall and a selection of Michaels' movie productions, which include Mean Girls, Tommy Boy and Wayne's World.

Accepting the award, Michaels said, "Other than the fact that I work or have worked with some of the best comedy writers of my time I couldn't think of any reason I should be receiving this award. And then I thought of Huckleberry Finn, which I read as a boy and as a young man, and again a few years ago. [photo: Michaels waves to the audience, with SNL cast members gathered behind him] And I realized that Saturday Night Live has always been stuck in adolescence. That time of life when you first begin to question authority, declare your independence — a time of risk and adventure, and occasional bad behavior." In a nod to what's become a Saturday Night Live tradition, he closed the show by inviting all of the current and former SNL stars in the audience to join him on stage.


The Mark Twain House and Museum Corporation for Public Broadcasting United Technologies

Major funding for On Stage at the Kennedy Center: The Mark Twain Prize was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service. Additional funding was provided by The Mark Twain House & Museum and United Technologies and James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs.


"Mark Twain Prize" TM/© Chase Manhattan Bank and Richard A. Watson as trustees of The Mark Twain Foundation Trust under license authorized by CMG Worldwide Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, 46256 USA

A co-production of WETA Washington D.C.; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Mark Krantz Productions; and Comedia.

Copyright © 2005 GWETA | Published February 16, 2005