Eddie Murphy to Be Honored with Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy has been tapped to receive the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for his humor this year, officials from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced on Thursday (April 9).

The announcement called Murphy “the most commercially successful African-American actor in the history of the motion picture business, and is one of the industry’s top-five box-office performers overall.”

Murphy is the 18th humorist to be honored with the nation’s top award for comedians. Previous recipients of the prize include Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Carol Burnett and Jay Leno.

In a statement, Murphy said, “I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award.”

The announcement comes just two months after the famed comedian returned to his Saturday Night Live roots for the 40th-anniversary special for the first time in over 30 years.

Murphy, 54, will receive the prize at the 18th annual gala performance in October, which will be broadcast.

Head over to The Associated Press for the full story.

(Photo Credit: ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)