Jon Stewart to receive Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor


(JTA) — Jon Stewart will be awarded this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of his political satire and activism. The award will be presented in April.

Past recipients of the award, which is given to comedians who have “had an impact on American society in ways similar to” Mark Twain, have included Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and Carol Burnett.

“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,” Stewart said, according to the Kennedy Center’s press release. Stewart’s given name was Jonathan Leibowitz.

Though no longer the host of “The Daily Show,” the program he hosted for 16 years, Stewart continues to offer up political satire through his new show “The Problem with Jon Stewart” and a podcast. He also continues to be involved with advocating for government assistance for 9/11 first responders.

Steward recently made headlines when he pointed out the similarities between the portrayal of goblins in the Harry Potter movies and classic antisemitic portrayals of Jews. Stewart later walked the comments back, saying he was joking. “Let me just say this, super clearly, as clearly as I can… I do not think J.K. Rowling is antisemitic,” he said.

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