Julia Louis Dreyfus will be awarded comedy’s highest honors this year as the 2018 recipient of the Mark Twain Award. Today the Kennedy Center announced that Dreyfus will join the ranks of America’s most revered comedic voices including Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Murray, Will Ferrel, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Richard Pryor, Neil Simon, Lorne Michaels, Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters and most recently in 2017, David Letterman.
Louis Dreyfus will be the 21st person to receive the award which was first given to Richard Pryor in 1998.
“Like Mark Twain, Julia has enriched American culture with her iconic, unforgettable and outright hilarious brand of humor,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said. “Over four decades, her wildly original characters and her gift for physical comedy have left us in stitches. Julia is a role model for so many, and we look forward to honoring her on October 21.”
In her statement, Louis Dreyfus said she is looking forward to meeting Mark Twain: “Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying.”
The triple threat star of three hit comedy series- Veep, Seinfeld and the New Adventures of Old Christine (and a brief tenure at SNL)- has won eight Emmy awards for her performances as well as nine SAG awards. She will be honored with a ceremony at the Kennedy Center this fall, on October 21st.