Never heard of “The Mark Twain Prize” before? Let’s have the PBS website explain the significance to you.
The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
So each year the award is presented to a different comedian for their life’s work of bringing comedy to the masses. This year the award goes to Carol Burnett. Here’s the blurb from PBS about the reasoning behind selecting Burnett.
“From her television program and appearances, as well as her performances on Broadway and in film, Carol Burnett has entertained generations of fans with her vibrant wit and hilarious characters,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “We are delighted to pay tribute to this unique and beloved entertainer.” Upon learning she will receive the Mark Twain Prize, Carol Burnett remarked, “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.”
Tonight should be a hilarious trip through the career of Burnett with special care given to her work on “The Carol Burnett Show”. That show’s mix of sketch comedy and variety show hasn’t been duplicated since it went off the air. Check out a preview of tonight’s Tina Fey hosted spectacular.
The laughs and ear tugs kick off tonight as PBS airs “Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize”.
Date: Sunday, November 24th
Episode Title: “Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize”
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Online Stream: PBS.com