Alright boys and girls. Let’s talk funny. Actually, let’s honor funny if you will. Of course I’m discussing the upcoming Mark Twain Prize. This, for those of you that aren’t familiar, is pretty much the Academy Awards for comedy without the long boring acceptance speeches, tears of joy, self aggrandizing, and fashion police. In other words… much more tolerable. In fact – just a quick sidebar if I may – are you aware that some of our POWs were forced to watch every garrulous acceptance speech consecutively since 1929 before being released. Talk about inhumane torture!
This year, the Associated Press reports that “Jack Black, Conan O’Brien and Larry King will honor Will Ferrell with the nation’s top humor prize.” Guest appearances from past ‘Saturday Night Live’ alum buddies will be on hand such as Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon. A killer lineup of top comedians will perform in honor of Ferrell’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Even though I’ve never heard Twain be announced as “Ladies and gentlemen, Comedian Mark Twain…” that’s apparently what we came up with.
Other notable names will include his longtime friend and collaborator Adam McKay, who had a hand in nearly all of Ferrell’s post ‘SNL’ comedy movies, Paul Rudd, John C. Reilly, and of course the most important guy in Ferrell’s career, ‘SNL’ creator and Executive Producer, Lorne Michaels. The AP did a brief bio on Ferrell highlighting milestone achievements: “Ferrell got his start in comedy with the Los Angeles improv group, The Groundlings, when he was discovered by ‘SNL.’ Ferrell starred on ‘Saturday Night Live’ for seven seasons, perfecting his character, President George W. Bush. He went on to create FunnyorDie.com with McKay in 2007 and took his Bush character to Broadway in 2009’s ‘You’re Welcome America: A final night with George W. Bush.’ ”
The Mark Twain prize is currently in it’s 14th year. Kind of a baby in award ceremonies. “Past winners include Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin.” This year’s funny business all goes down on Oct. 23 at the Kennedy Center in Washington and will be broadcast Oct. 31 on your local PBS stations nationwide.Tags: Adam McKay, conan obrien, Jack Black, Larry King, Lorne Michaels, Mark Twain Prize, Will Ferrell