Comedian Dave Chappelle has been chosen to receive this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the AP reports. The 45-year-old Grammy and Emmy winner shot to international stardom through his Comedy Central program, Chappelle's Show, which gleefully skewered racial stereotypes and hot-button societal issues. He later made headlines for walking away from a lucrative contract over creative differences. Prior recipients of the Mark Twain Prize include Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Murray, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and David Letterman, the New York Daily News reports.
Chappelle attended Washington's Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and his first hourlong comedy special was filmed in the nation's capital. "Dave is a hometown hero here in Washington, DC, where he grew up. We’re so looking forward to welcoming him back home," Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a statement, adding that his social commentary and body of work embody Twain's statement that "against the assault of humor, nothing can stand." Chappelle will be presented with the award in a star-studded ceremony on Oct. 27. The ceremony will be broadcast on television on Jan. 6, 2020. (Read more Dave Chappelle stories.)