WASHINGTON (AP) – Eddie Murphy will be awarded the nation’s top prize for humor this year by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The center announced Thursday that the 54-year-old Murphy will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Oct. 18 in a show that will be broadcast nationally. The humor prize honors those who influence society through their social commentary and satire in the tradition of Mark Twain.
Murphy got his break in comedy in 1980 when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” He went on to become one of the film industry’s top box office performers as an actor. The Kennedy Center says Murphy is the most commercially successful African-American actor in film history.
Past honorees include Jay Leno, Carol Burnett and Ellen DeGeneres.