Because sometimes life isn’t fair, The New York Times reports that Jay Leno will join the ranks of comedy legends like George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Steve Martin when he receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this October. Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein says that Leno, like Twain, “has offered us a lifetime’s worth of humorous commentary on American daily life,” and that “[for] both men, no one was too high or too low to escape their wit, and we are all the better for it.” In response, Leno issued this statement, presumably before speeding off in a car worth more than most Americans’ retirement funds: “What an honor! I’m a big fan of Mark Twain’s. In fact, A Tale Of Two Cities is one of my favorite books!”
The award will be presented at a gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington on October 19, with a telecast airing on PBS on November 23. Meanwhile, at his mountain home in McLemoresville, Tennessee, Hal Holbrook sighs deeply, puts on a scratched 45 of The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, and begins sculpting his prosthetic chin.