Washington, D.C. native Dave Chappelle was handed the Kennedy Center’s 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on October 27.
Chappelle was previously named as the winner of this year’s award. Speaking to WTOP during Sunday’s ceremony, the comedian said:
“An honor like this would be special anywhere it happened, but the fact that it’s happening here in Washington does make me feel like I closed some sort of loop or circle,” Chappelle told WTOP on the red carpet.
“I came home and everyone’s OK. My friends still love me, everyone looks great, I learned a lot, I realized I got old while I was gone, but I’m just happy to be alive and happy to be with my friends tonight. I’m going to celebrate,” he added.
Among the celebrities who took part in the event were Bradley Cooper, who talked about directing Chappelle in A Star is Born, a 2018 movie directed and co-produced by Cooper.
“I’m just so grateful I got to meet you before I had my daughter. You taught me how to be a better man, Cooper said about Chappelle.
Dave Chappelle received the Mark Twain Prize, considered the top honor in comedy. Jon Stewart, Bradley Cooper, Tiffany Haddish, Kenan Thompson, and Sarah Silverman were just some of the guests who testified to how far-reaching his influence has been. https://t.co/iz6BDRSyVD
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 28, 2019
Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish took the stage in a jumpsuit resembling those Chappelle typically prefers on his stand-up shows, saying she realized why he wore those as they were so comfortable.
Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart also made an appearance at the event, where he said that he has known Chappelle since he was performing in the toughest comedy clubs in the ‘90s. Referring to those times, Stewart called the 17-year-old Chappelle “this young prodigy, this young Mozart.”
Being best-known for his satirical comedy series Chappelle’s Show that aired from 2003 through 2006, Chappelle’s career includes two Emmy’s and two Grammy’s. Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Stand Up Comics of All Time” ranked him ninth in 2017.
The Mark Twain Prize is given for “recognizing people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain.”