Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Martin to Receive Mark Twain Prize

Filed under
Misc

Steve Martin, the "wild and crazy guy" who has spread his comic skills throughout all areas of the performing arts, has been selected to receive this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The Kennedy Center, which has given the award for humor for the past eight years, said Martin embodies the American zest for versatility and funny, as well as biting, portrayals.

"The Kennedy Center is pleased to give Steve the Mark Twain Prize for an extraordinary career," said center chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman, who announced the award today. "His creations, be they on stage, on film or in a book, have created a collective memory of humor and joy for all Americans."

Martin issued a statement saying: "I think Mark Twain is a great guy and I can't wait to meet him."

Martin, 59, born in Waco, Tex., but raised in Southern California, started his career writing for television and soon won his first award -- an Emmy for his skits he created for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."

Martin made his first impression on American audiences through the late-night TV circuit. He has hosted "Saturday Night Live" so frequently that many viewers thought he was a member of the cast. He was not but he brought down the house in the 1970s with his "wild and crazy guy" routines and fully-costumed King Tut. He repeated this success on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."

He developed not only the physical interpretations -- with the lopsided shoulder walk -- but also a droll approach. When a close friend from childhood wrote a book about their early lives, Martin said, "Finally a book about me! I loved this book and fell deeply in love with the central character."

His film career started with a short called "The Absent-Minded Waiter," which was nominated for an Oscar. Then he teamed with Carl Reiner, a previous Twain winner, on "The Jerk," "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Man With Two Brains" and "All of Me." In the later he played opposite Lily Tomlin, another Twain recipient, and won best actor awards from the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review.

His hit comedy work includes "Parenthood," "Father of the Bride," "Father of the Bride Part II," "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Bringing Down the House." This summer Martin ventures into the risky territory of recreating a role associated with a comic legend. He will play Inspector Clouseau in "The Pink Panther," made famous by Peter Sellers.

Martin has won Grammy Awards for two comedy albums and another Grammy for Best Country Instrumentalist; he played banjo in the Earl Scruggs video "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" He also sat in with B. B. King in his video of "In the Midnight Hour."

"The Jerk," he may or may not be. Martin has shown a substantial serious side in his two best-selling novellas, his Off-Broadway plays and his assembly of a remarkable art collection that includes Picasso, Hooper, O'Keeffe and deKooning.

The Twain award will be presented Oct. 23 at the Kennedy Center. Previous winners, in addition to Reiner and Tomlin, were Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart and Lorne Michaels.

The essence of comedy is notoriously illusive, but Martin once took a stab at defining it: "What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke."

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Source.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel 3.12.47 LTS Out Now with Numerous x86 Improvements, Update Drivers

Jiri Slaby, the maintainer of the Linux 3.12 LTS (Long-Term Support) kernel branch, announced the immediate availability for download of the forty-seven maintenance release, a milestone that brings enhancements to various instruction set architectures, as well as many updated drivers. Read more

CUPS 2.1.0 Officially Released with Support for 3D Printers, IPP Everywhere, More

The CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) open-source and cross-platform printing system for GNU/Linux and Mac OS X operating systems reached version 2.1 after being in development for approximately three months. Read more

New Android-x86 Release Peppered With Problems

If you want one Linux-based OS to run on all of your devices, Android-x86 could become a viable alternative. The major advantage to running Android on all of your devices would be keeping all of your settings, apps and Google services on an equal footing. That is not happening yet, however. Chih-Wei Huang, project maintainer for the Android-x86 Project, last month announced the release of Android-x86-r3 -- the third stable release of the Android-x86 project. It certainly is more refined, but it is a work that needs more progress. Read more

Fanless network appliance runs Linux on Marvell Armada 370

Axiomtek’s fanless “NA150″ network appliance runs Linux on a Marvell Armada 370 SoC and offers five GbE ports, a 2.5-inch drive bay, and mini-PCIe wireless. The NA150 is latest addition to Axiomtek’s family of compact desktop and rack-mountable network appliances, but it appears to be the first to stray from the well-trodden x86 path. Unlike the company’s similar circa-2011 NA330 and NA320R systems, which were powered by Intel Atoms, the NA150 is built around Marvell’s ARMv7-based Armada 370 system-on-chip. Read more