Commenting on the prize, Stewart said, “I am truly honored to receive this award. I have long admired and been influenced by the work of Mark Twain, or, as he was known by his given name, Samuel Leibowitz.”
“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. For me, tuning into his television programs over the years has always been equal parts entertainment and truth”
— Deborah F. Rutter, Kennedy Center President
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters, Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.