Jay Leno To Receive Mark Twain Prize

Jay Leno To Receive Mark Twain Prize
(Washington, DC) -- Jay Leno is up for a special honor. The former "Tonight Show" host has been tapped as the next recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Center says the prize "recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to Mark Twain." Previous recipients have included Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby and Carol Burnett. Leno ended his 22-year run as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" in February. He will receive his Mark Twain Prize at a gala event on October 19th. PBS will broadcast highlights on November 23rd.

The chairman of the Kennedy Center says like Twain, Leno has "offered us a lifetime's worth of humorous commentary on American daily life." He says "For both men, no one was too high or too low to escape their wit, and we are all the better for it."