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Jon Stewart to receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Stewart will be honoured on Apr 24 in Washington, in a televised ceremony, the first for the award since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jon Stewart to receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

FILE PHOTO: Jon Stewart holds his awards for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series and Outstanding Variety Talk Series for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" during the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Comedian Jon Stewart, whose irreverent brand of political and media satire made him a beloved figure on television, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington in April, becoming the 23rd recipient of the prize.

The national prize is named after novelist and essayist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain. Richard Pryor was the first recipient of the prize; its last recipient was Dave Chappelle.

"For more than three decades, Jon Stewart has brightened our lives and challenged our minds as he delivers current events and social satire with his trademark wit and wisdom," the Kennedy Center said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 19).

Stewart will be honoured on Apr 24 in Washington, in a televised ceremony, the first for the award since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am truly honoured to receive this award," Stewart said, according to the statement.

In 2021, six years after he quit his satirical The Daily Show, Stewart returned to television with a new venture looking at current affairs in depth. The Problem With Jon Stewart was launched on the Apple TV+ streaming platform on Sep 30.

Stewart's satire made him a beloved figure with influence far beyond the 2 million to 3 million nightly audience of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. The Daily Show won 20 Emmy Awards during his 16-year stint as host, and boosted the careers of other comedians, including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Samantha Bee. Its current host is Trevor Noah.

After stepping aside in 2015, Stewart made only infrequent public appearances, including advocating for wounded veterans and for healthcare benefits for first responders who became ill after the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, before making a comeback on the Apple TV+ streaming platform.

In 2020, he wrote and directed Irresistible, a political comedy film starring Steve Carell, that drew mixed reviews.

Source: Reuters/sr

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