The 2013 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be awarded to actress, comedian and bestselling author Carol Burnett, the Kennedy Center announced Tuesday.
Burnett, of course, was the star of “The Carol Burnett Show,” which won 25 Emmy Awards during its 11-year television run. She has appeared elsewhere onstage and on-screen, and is the author of the memoirs “One More Time,” “This Time Together” and “Carrie and Me.”
Most prior recipients of the Mark Twain Prize have been known, as Twain was, for both performing and for writing. They include Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, George Carlin, Carl Reiner and Bob Newhart.
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is now in is 16th year. Its first honoree was Richard Pryor. Not all who have received the award have extensive writing credits: Will Ferrell, who was given the award in 2011, has not yet penned a book.
Burnett is the fourth woman to receive the award, joining Fey, Lili Tomlin and 2012’s honoree, Ellen DeGeneres. In a release about the award, she quipped, “I can’t believe I’m getting a humor prize from the Kennedy Center. It’s almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington.”
Tickets to the Mark Twain Prize event aren’t cheap, but they benefit the Kennedy Center, where it takes place. The ceremony will be taped live -- something Burnett is used to -- for a later television broadcast.