Comedian Kevin Hart Honored With Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

WASHINGTON — Kevin Hart, who rose from the open mics and comedy clubs of his native Philadelphia to become one of the country’s most recognizable performers, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at a gala performance Sunday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Hart, 44, has honed a signature style that combines his diminutive height, expressive face and motor-mouth delivery into a successful stand-up act.

In Hollywood, Hart made his movie debut in the 2002 film “Paper Soldiers” and came to mainstream fame through a string of scene-stealing cameos in hits such as 2005’s “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin.”

Hart’s films have grossed more than $4.23 billion globally.

Now in its 25th year, the Mark Twain Prize annually honors performers who have made a lasting impact on humor and culture. Honorees receive a bronze bust of Twain, the iconic American writer and satirist whose real name was Samuel Clemens.

Mark Twain recipients are honored with a night of testimonials and video tributes, often featuring previous award winners. Other comedians receiving the lifetime achievement award include George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Dave Chapelle. Bill Cosby, the 2009 recipient, had his Mark Twain Prize rescinded in 2019 amid allegations of sexual assault.

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