Prize Will Be Awarded at the Kennedy Center at a Gala Performance on March 19, 2023.
(WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present the 24th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Adam Sandler on March 19, 2023 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The Prize, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists, will be awarded at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
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. As a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters, Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.
“Adam Sandler has entertained audiences for over three decades with his films, music, and his tenure as a fan favorite cast member on SNL,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter about this year’s recipient. “Adam has created characters that have made us laugh, cry, and cry from laughing. I am looking forward to a laughter-filled evening like no other as we celebrate his career at a ceremony that is sure to bring together the best in comedy.”
As a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Sandler will receive a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853–1940). Previous recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize are Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009; rescinded in 2018), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), Carol Burnett (2013), Jay Leno (2014), Eddie Murphy (2015), Bill Murray (2016), David Letterman (2017), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018), Dave Chappelle (2019), and Jon Stewart (2022).
The event was created by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz, and John Schreiber. The Kennedy Center is grateful to Cappy McGarr for his steadfast support of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor since its inception in 1998.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. It is the nation’s busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts more than 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly 2 million; Center-related touring productions and television and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. The Center presents performances of music, dance, and theater, supports artists in the creation of new work, and serves the nation as a leader in arts education.
ABOUT ADAM SANDLER
Adam Sandler needs no introduction. Over the past 30 years he has enjoyed phenomenal success as a comedian, actor, writer, producer, and musician.
Sandler’s films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide and include box offices hits such as Grown Ups, Big Daddy, The Longest Yard,The Waterboy, and Hotel T. His films on Netflix are some of the most watched films on the streamer, including Murder Mystery, The Meyerowitz Stories, and Hubie Halloween, among many others.
Hustle, Sandler’s latest Netflix film has been called by some, the greatest sports film ever, and he has already been awarded a Gotham Award for his work as Stanley Sugerman. His role as Howard Ratner in the Safdie Bros’ critically acclaimed film Uncut Gemsgarnered Sandler several nominations and awards including winning the National Board of Review and the Independent Spirit Award.
Sandler’s work has been recognized over the years with several awards including nine People’s Choice Awards, five MTV Movie Awards, and ten Kids Choice Awards. He has also been nominated for a Golden Globe® Award, four Emmy® Awards, and three Grammy® Awards for his multiple comedy albums which have gone multi-platinum and collectively sold more than six million copies.
Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions has produced many successful films and television shows including Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, Hotel Transylvania, Grown Ups, Click, Bedtime Stories, Murder Mystery, The Wrong Missy, ABC’s The Goldbergs, and CBS’s Rules of Engagement.
Sandler continues to work on music and in 2016 returned to touring and completed two sold-out comedy tours Here Comes the Funny and 100% Fresher, the latter was also filmed for his Netflix special Adam Sandler:100% Fresh. He is currently on the road again, selling out dates all over the country.
Next up for Sandler are the Netflix films Spaceman of Bohemia, Murder Mystery 2, and You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.
Sponsorship packages for the Mark Twain Prize gala performance, which start at $1,300 and include a pre-performance reception, gala performance tickets, and a post-performance celebration, are on sale now and can be reserved online or through the Development Office by emailing email@example.com. Funds raised through the event support the Kennedy Center’s mission to make the arts accessible to all, be a national leader in arts education, and honor President John F. Kennedy.
Information about limited sales of performance-only tickets will be made available at a later date.
Performance tickets will be available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, online at kennedy-center.org, and via phone through Instant Charge, (202) 467-4600; toll-free at (800) 444-1324. For all other ticket-related customer service inquires, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.
The Kennedy Center continues to prioritize the health and safety of artists, staff, and patrons. Current protocols can be found here and will continue to be updated as they evolve. For more information, please visit the Mark Twain Prize webpage.
For more information about the Kennedy Center, please visit our website.