The Kennedy Center Presents: The 2006 Mark Twain Prize, will air on PBS stations nationwide on Monday, November 20 at 9pm ET.
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Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 15, 2006, the 90-minute special features tributes and comic testimonials from a star-studded cast of Simon's friends and colleagues including Jason Alexander, Christina Applegate, Lucie Arnaz, Matthew Broderick, Richard Dreyfuss, Heather Headley, Patricia Heaton, Jane Kaczmarek, Robert Klein, Nathan Lane, Robert Redford, Paul Reiser, Jonathan Silverman and Allen Toussaint.
Upon learning that he had won the 2006 Mark Twain Prize, Simon remarked, "I am awed, thrilled and delighted to receive The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize.......it makes up for my losing the Samuel Clemens Prize."
Neil Simon, born in the Bronx on July 4, 1927, is America's foremost playwright. For more than four decades, his plays have invigorated the stage with poignant stories and zany characters known for their family-based New York settings. He has authored more than 40 Broadway plays since 1961, ranging from humorous, lighthearted conceits (Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple) to deeper, autobiographical works (Chapter Two, the Eugene trilogy featuring Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound).
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, 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.. Recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004) and Steve Martin (2005).
Executive producers are Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz and Cappy McGarr. WETA executive producers are Dalton Delan and David S. Thompson.
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