The Twain gang

Steve Martin lands top US award

Steve Martin is to receive this year’s prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humour.

The award is given out by Washington’s John F Kennedy Centre to an artist who has made “a significant contribution to the world of American comedy”.

Centre chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said: “We are pleased to give Steve the Mark Twain Prize for an extraordinary career. His creations, be they on stage, on film, or in a book, have created a collective memory of humour and joy for all Americans."

And Martin jokedd: “I think Mark Twain is a great guy and I can't wait to meet him.”

The 59-year-old star will receive the award on October 23 in a star-studded ceremony at the centre. The event will celebrate his career from stand-up and writing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour through such movies as The Jerk, LA Story and Roxanne, to his  bestselling novellas and theatrical productions

Previous winners of the Mark Twain Prize include Martin's collaborators Lorne Michaels, Lily Tomlin and Carl Reiner. The full list of recipients is:

1998: Richard Pryor
1999: Carl Reiner
2000: Jonathan Winters
2001: Whoopi Goldberg
2002: Bob Newhart
2003: Lily Tomlin
2004: Lorne Michaels


Published: 12 May 2005

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