WASHINGTON — Comedian, writer, producer, author, director and activist Jon Stewart will be honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in a gala event at the Kennedy Center in April featuring some of the biggest names in comedy.
Stewart, best known as the host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2015, is the 23rd winner of the prize named for one of the world's greatest humorists. The ceremony on April 24, 2022, is the first since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the prize, Stewart said, “I am truly honored to receive this award. I have long admired and been influenced by the work of Mark Twain, or, as he was known by his given name, Samuel Leibowitz.”
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain.
Over his 16-year run as host and executive producer of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Stewart redefined political satire in American culture. Stewart and The Daily Show received a collective 56 Emmy Award nominations and won 20 times. Their 10 consecutive wins for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series represent the category’s longest streak in Emmy history. The Daily Show also received two prestigious Peabody Awards.
Most recently, Stewart launched The Problem with Jon Stewart on AppleTV+. He is also a best-selling author and he has written and directed two feature films, Irresistible in 2020, and Rosewater in 2014.
In addition to his work both in front and behind the camera, Stewart is also a dedicated social activist. His efforts have played an integral role in the passing of legislation such as the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Bill, which benefitted thousands of first responders and their families.
“For more than three decades, Jon Stewart has brightened our lives and challenged our minds as he delivers current events and social satire with his trademark wit and wisdom. For me, tuning in to his television programs over the years has always been equal parts entertainment and truth,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter in a statement. “In these often divisive and challenging times, someone like Jon, through his undaunted advocacy for first responders and veterans, also demonstrates that we all can make a difference in this world through humor, humanity, and patriotism. He is most deserving of this award and I certainly cannot wait to hear the Concert Hall full of laughter again on April 24th.”
Previous winners of the Mark Twain Prize include Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, and George Carlin, among others.
Performance-only tickets will go on sale to Kennedy Center Members on February 9 at 12 p.m., and to the general public on February 11 at 12 p.m.