Carol Burnett to receive 2013 Mark Twain Prize from The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center has announced it’s awarding Carol Burnett with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2013.

Burnett, 80, is the 16th recipient of the annual prize.

She’ll receive her honor in Washington, D.C., in October.

Known best for The Carol Burnett Show, her sketch comedy show that ran for 11 years on CBS from 1967-1978, Burnett already has won eight Golden Globes, six Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, induction into the Television Hall of Fame, as well as previously becoming a Kennedy Center Honoree.


Born in San Antonio but raised in Hollywood, Burnett attended UCLA before breaking into show business in New York City. Aspiring comedians and actors today will take note: Burnett first had to stage her own musical revues in NYC with her fellow unemployed roommates and colleagues. She eventually found work and landed a double hit in 1959 — parts in the original Broadway musical production of Once Upon a Mattress, and the cast of TV’s The Garry Moore Show.

After two years of honoring Generation X’ers in their primes in Tina Fey (2010) and Will Ferrell (2011), then a Baby Boomer last year in daytime TV queen Ellen DeGeneres (2012), the prize has reverted back (at least this year) to recognizing a performer with a full lifetime of achievement.

The Washington Post offered some insight into how The Kennedy Center awards its annual Mark Twain Prize.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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