David Letterman wins the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor which is the top U.S. prize for humor, He was the longest-running host of late-night TV in U.S. history. Letterman hosted 6,028 late-night shows in 33 years on the air.
Washington’s Kennedy Centre said in a statement that Letterman will be honoured with the 20th annual prize named for the 19th century U.S. novelist and satirist on Oct. 22,
“Raise your hand if, like me, you shifted your bedtime because you didn’t want to miss a moment of Dave on television lest you not be part of the conversation with friends and co-workers the next day,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter.
“For 33 years, there was no better guest, no greater friend of the show, than Mark Twain. The guy could really tell a story,” he quipped in a statement.
The 70 year old comedian had won 10 Emmy Awards while hosting NBC’s “Late Night” and then “The Late Show” on CBS. His final show in May 2015 drew an audience of 13.8 million people.
Previous Mark Twain Prize honorees include Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Neil Simon, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno and Bill Murray, the 2016 winner.
“He didn’t save the show, but he saved me,” Letterman said.