Bill Murray Wins Comedy Prize, Hands It to Audience

He's this year's Mark Twain winner
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2016 12:39 AM CDT
Bill Murray Awarded America's Top Comedy Honor
Bill Murray is honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Washington.   (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

Bill Murray accepted a bust of Mark Twain for his lifetime achievement in comedy—and immediately handed it to the audience to be passed around. Murray was honored Sunday night at the Kennedy Center by more than a dozen of his co-stars and collaborators, including David Letterman, Sigourney Weaver, and his older brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, the AP reports. Murray thanked his brother for helping him get his start in improvisational theater, saying, "My brother had more guts than anyone I ever knew." Murray then added, "He's been waiting a long time to hear that."

Performers introduced clips from Murray's movies and appearances on Saturday Night Live, and the evening was also a roast of sorts, with jokes about Murray's well-known tendencies to turn down roles and not return phone calls. The 66-year-old Murray joins several other SNL alumni who've received the prize, including Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and last year's winner, Eddie Murphy. The prize was first awarded in 1998 and goes to those who influence society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer and satirist better known as Mark Twain. (On Friday, Murray stepped in for White House press secretary Josh Earnest.)

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