American stand-up comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres was honored as the 15th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Honour at the John F Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts on October 22, 2012. The award is given to those who have made an impact on society with their work, just as Twain did.
In the past, personalities like Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby have been the recipient of the award. DeGeneres joked while she was accepting the award that she has “Never read Mark Twain before … But to be fair, he’s never seen my HBO specials”.
Attendees at the event included former Mark Twain Prize recipient Lily Tomlin, Jimmy Kimmel and ‘Glee’ star Jane Lynch, who thanked DeGeneres for opening the doors for other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) entertainers. Lynch has been open about her sexuality and said that she would not be able to be herself, or would not have had the career she has, if she hadn’t been like DeGeneres.
DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, as well as the Primetime Emmys. The TV hostess has also been an actress when she starred in Mr. Wrong; and has also lent her voice to the character ‘Dory’ in the animated movie ‘Finding Nemo’, for which she was awarded a Saturn Award for the Best Supporting actress.