Will Ferrell Wins Mark Twain Prize

The comedian took home the nation's top humor prize Sunday night.

By Eric Alt
|  Monday, Oct 24, 2011  |  Updated 7:16 AM PDT
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Comedian Will Ferrell received the Mark Twain award at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night.  He told reporters that Ron Burgundy would likely not have been allowed to attend the event.

Comedian Will Ferrell received the Mark Twain award at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night. He told reporters that Ron Burgundy would likely not have been allowed to attend the event.

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You stay classy, Will Ferrell.

The actor and comedian took home the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Sunday night at an event held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The 44-year-old former "Saturday Night Live" castmember and star of blockbuster comedies like "Anchorman," "Step Brothers," "Elf," "Old School," and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" was feted by friends and colleagues such as Conan O'Brien, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Ben Stiller, and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.

Ferrell, of course, also famously parodied former President George W. Bush, both as a member of "SNL" and the Broadway one-man show "You're Welcome, America: A Final Night with George W. Bush," make the D.C. setting an appropriate one.

"Washington is not a city much known for its comedy — at least not the intentional kind," said PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill, who became friends with Ferrell when the actor was researching his role in "Anchorman." 

After dropping the award onstage, Ferrell joked he had turned down the award "13 times" before giving in because of the "prize money" and so that he could be watched on PBS by "hundreds of people across the country." 

Last year, the award was given to another "SNL" alum, "30 Rock" creator and star Tina Fey.

Selected Reading: MSNBC, NPR, Washington Post

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