Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THANK YOU -- I SAW IT IN THE WINDOW AND JUST COULDN'T RESIST IT:  Two years ago, I gave up on griping about the Kennedy Center's selections for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, having gone with Will Ferrell and Tina Fey in successive years (and then Ellen DeGeneres in 2012) and seemingly abandoning its mandate to be recognition for lifetime achievement in the field of American humor. Instead, it seemed, the mandate was to produce a tv show for PBS stations to air during pledge drives. Feh, I said. Feh. Where was the recognition for Mike Nichols and Elaine May, David Letterman, Norman Lear, Eddie Murphy, Woody Allen, Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, and the late Nora Ephron?

[Indeed, explains the WaPo: "Would-be winners need to be famous enough to draw a large audience to a PBS telecast of the prize ceremony in the fall. They also have to be popular enough to draw corporate sponsors to a pre-show “rehearsal” dinner in their honor, and to sell tickets to the ceremony itself (all of which raises about $1 million a year for the Kennedy Center)."]

The 2013 honoree for the Mark Twain Prize is Carol Burnett, becoming the first woman to have received both a Kennedy Center Honor and this comedy-only award. Here she is in the late 1950s, with the love song "I Made A Fool Of Myself Over John Foster Dulles."


  1. Adam B.2:41 PM

    Related, in that WaPo article, per something we've also discussed here:

    "Latino groups had been critical of the Honors for underrepresenting performers of Hispanic heritage. The protests led the Kennedy Center to announce last week that it is broadening its selection process, with the creation of a special Latino Advisory Committee, among other changes."

  2. Carrie4:29 PM

    Thrilled. Elaine May is notoriously phobic about awards, which may explain her omission.

  3. Adam B.4:30 PM

    Fixed. Yikes.

  4. Genevieve5:31 PM

    Hooray for Carol Burnett! Now that's going to be an enjoyable ceremony to watch.

  5. Marsha5:34 PM

    Can't quibble with THAT choice on the "lifetime achievement" front. Love her.

    Whenever I get the chance, I use this as an audition song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDXxN-xapik I would kill to be able to do it a tenth as well as she does.

  6. Marsha5:36 PM

    Just noticed that that video has an extra verse I've never sung....

  7. Randy6:07 PM

    First in line: EGOT Rita Moreno. (I know I say this every time this comes up, but it's appalling that the Kennedy Center hasn't honored her.)

  8. Adam B.6:38 PM

    Yep. From the last time we discussed: http://throwingthings.blogspot.com/2012/09/ritas-rainbow-ribbon-we-would-not-be.html

  9. Can I set the DVR now? The only sad part is that Harvey Korman isn't still around for this.

  10. I like CB, but she loses points for suing Family Guy. http://www.buddytv.com/articles/family-guy/carol-burnett-loses-family-guy-7103.aspx

  11. Her episode of The Muppet Show, with the lonely asparagus, is dead brilliant. She whips Animal into a dancing frenzy at one point.

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