Comedian and actor Eddie Murphy will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor during a ceremony Oct. 18 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C.
The Kennedy Center established the prize in October 1998 in honor of Mark Twain, author of the “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Twain’s birth name was Samuel Clemens. He was a social commentator, satirist who created memorable characters now part of American cultural history.
The first recipient of the award was Richard Pryor, the late comedian and actor. Murphy will be the 18th recipient. Other recipients include Bob Newhart, George Carlin, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg.
“I’m deeply honored to receive the Mark Twain Prize,” Murphy said. “I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award.”
In 1980, at 19, Murphy joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” The show served as a launching pad for his very successful career.
He has appeared in multiple $100 million box office hits over the past three decades. These films include “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Daddy Day Care,” “Trading Places,” “48 Hrs” and “Coming to America.”