Will Ferrell Awarded Twain Humor Prize

...before dropping it on the floor
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 7:01 AM CDT
Will Ferrell Wins Mark Twain Prize
Will Ferrell and Viveca Paulin pose for photos on the red carpet.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Last year, it was Tina Fey; this year, Will Ferrell rocked the Kennedy Center as he won the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last night. The star-studded gala saw speeches from celebrities as diverse as Ben Stiller, Ed Asner, Molly Shannon, and Gwen Ifill, the Washington Post reports. It was a low-stress night for comedians, quipped Conan O’Brien: “Tonight, we only need to be PBS funny.” (The award ceremony airs on the channel next Monday.) Some highlights:

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  • Jack Black turned “We Will Rock You” into “Will Will Rock You,” reminding the audience that Ferrell “makes you laugh so hard you cry and pee at the same time.”
  • Or, to put it more thoughtfully: Ferrell “can crystallize what’s funny, absurd, and vulnerable about human beings,” Paul Rudd said.
  • As for Ferrell himself, “my mindset is finally,” he said. "That’s what we're all thinking. That’s what [you're] writing. Let’s be honest."
  • Upon receiving the award—a bust of Mark Twain—he dropped it and it shattered. Fortunately, it was a fake.
  • He thanked wife Viveca for their great life ... "except sometimes, you get a little lippy. You've got a big mouth, and you like to run it."
  • What's next for Ferrell? "I'm still hoping to start my own Kabuki dinner theater, because everyone loves Kabuki and everyone loves dinner theater. It's a market waiting to be tapped into."
(Read more Mark Twain stories.)

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