Jay Leno is announced as the recipient for the 17th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this year. "What an honor! I'm a big fan of Mark Twain's. In fact, 'A Tale of Two Cities' is one of my favorite books!" the funnyman gushed.
He will be roasted by fellow comedians in a ceremony held by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 19. The event will air later on November 23 on PBS stations. The talent lineup will be revealed sometime soon.
Leno just retired from "The Tonight Show" in February this year. He passed the torch to Jimmy Fallon after emceeing the show for more than 20 years. He first hosted the TV program in 1992, taking it over from the legendary Johnny Carson.
"Like Mark Twain, Jay Leno has offered us a lifetime's worth of humorous commentary on American daily life," said Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein. "For both men, no one was too high or too low to escape their wit, and we are all the better for it."
Previous recipients for the Mark Twain prize include Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and Ellen DeGeneres. Last year, the Kennedy Center gave the kudo to Carol Burnett.