A star-studded lineup of comedians including Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, George Lopez, Kathy Griffin and Arsenio Hall honored Eddie Murphy as an “American icon.”The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented the comedian Sunday with the Mark Twain Prize, the nation’s top prize for humor.
The evening’s most emotional tribute came from “Saturday Night Live” alum Tracy Morgan, who received a standing ovation from the audience. He called Murphy his “comedic hero.” Morgan survived a serious car crash last year that left him in a coma. Morgan said Murphy was the first person to call him on the phone and make him laugh after the tragic accident that killed a passenger in the limo and seriously injured two others. “He’s the reason I’m in comedy. He’s the reason I have a job. He’s the reason I have a career,” Morgan said.
The humor prize honors those who influence society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer and satirist known as Mark Twain. Past honorees include Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Richard Pryor. Read more