'Tonight Show' Host Jay Leno: Former Host Wins the Nation's Top Humor Award- 'The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor'
In recognition of Jay Leno's sterling performance in comedy shows, the acclaimed American Comedian was honoured with the nation's humor award, The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, on Sunday night at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, just a few months after his final stint as host of "Tonight Show" on Feb. 6.
The affair was also graced by leading female comedians, Chelsea Handler and Wanda Sykes, and the current host of "Tonight Show", Jimmy Fallon.
According to New York Daily News, Fallon, who replaced Leno as host after he stepped down, said that the award is indeed a fitting tribute to his predecessor, "a man who has done so much for NBC, so much that we had to celebrate his career on PBS."
The show will be broadcast nationally Nov. 23 on PBS, according to CBSNEWS.
Also in attendance to pay tribute to the Honoree were Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks and a long time friend, Jerry Seinfeld.
Leno, whose career was shaped in standup comedy, had been a top-rated late-night host for years. He feels honoured to receive the award because, unlike other phony awards in which you have to make donations or campaign for them, this one was beyond his expectations.
The award is given to those who have made valuable contribution in the realm of American Comedy, in a fashion similar to that of Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, a distinguished social commentator, satirist and essayist of the 19th century.
Jay Leno said that his years on the "The Tonight Show" were the best of his life and that receiving the Mark Twain award was a humbling experience.
Jay Leno is now among the ranks of other receipts of Mark Twain Prize which includes Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), and Carol Burnett (2013).
On the other hand, it seems that he is fated to keep the audience entertained. Portland Press Herald said that he is developing a new TV show about his other great passion: cars. "Jay Leno's Garage" will premiere on CNBC in 2015.
Tags : the tonight show the tonight show jimmy fallon the tonight show with jimmy fallon The Tonight Show host The Tonight Show host news The Tonight Show news The Tonight Show updates the tonight show jay leno Tonight Show Tonight Show hosts