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

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Canonical, Snappy and the marketing value of collaboration
    Canonical implies it is collaborating with nearly every major Linux distro for its Snappy project. It is not. And what could have been a marketing win for it is now a loss.
  • How to install MongoDB community edition on Ubuntu Linux
    MongoDB is a NoSQL database that avoids the traditional structure of relational databases in favor of document-oriented JSON-like objects. What this translates to is the integration between application and data is faster and easier. If that's not enough, consider this: MongoDB is one the databases preferred by big data and large enterprise companies, including Adobe, Craigslist, eBay, FIFA, Foursquare, and LinkedIn.
  • No WhatsApp, but fixes set to come for Ubuntu Phone
    Users of the Ubuntu Phone will have to get used to the fact that popular Android apps like WhatsApp are unlikely to be made available for the platform, at least not in in the short term. Facebook owns WhatsApp and the communications app now has more than a billion users.
  • Ubuntu Developers Discuss Again About Dropping Support For 32-bit x86
    Ubuntu developers are once again pondering the possibility of dropping support for i386 (32-bit x86) as installation media for their Linux distribution. The matter of dropping Ubuntu i386 ISOs has been brought up many times the past few years, but ultimately it's kept getting pushed back for users still running Ubuntu Linux on old hardware and other reasons. Dropping Ubuntu for i386 keeps getting brought up namely for the installer media rather than the i386 package archive itself.

Sabayon 16.07 Ships with Linux Kernel 4.6.3, Introduces the First LXQt Flavor

Today, June 28, 2016, the developers of the Gentoo-based Sabayon Linux computer operating system have had the great pleasure of announcing the general availability of new respin ISO images for the month of July 2016. Right on the schedule, Sabayon 16.07 Live ISO images are now available for download, switching the OS to the latest Linux 4.6.3 kernel from the deprecated Linux 4.5 branch that shipped with the May ISO respins of the GNU/Linux distribution, Sabayon 16.05. Read more

Android Apps Turn Chromebooks Into Macbook Killers

  • Android Apps Turn Chromebooks Into Macbook Killers
    When Chromebooks launched in the summer of 2011, they seemed destined to fail, much like the underpowered, internet-dependent netbooks that came before them. But in the five years since, Chromebooks have defied expectations, becoming the most used device in US classrooms and even outselling Macs for the first time this year. Still, people complain about their inability to run useful software, but that’s all about to change.
  • Android apps could turn Chromebooks into MacBook killers

today's leftovers

  • Permabit Debuts Only Complete Data Reduction for the Linux Storage Stack
    Permabit Technology Corporation, the leader in data reduction technology, today announced the latest release of its Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) software, VDO 6. The newest release of VDO delivers the company's patented deduplication, HIOPS Compression™ and thin provisioning in a commercial software package for Linux, expanding availability beyond the OEM marketplace to include the leading Professional Services organizations that are enabling today's modern Hybrid Cloud data centers.
  • My KIWI/OBS talk from oSC'16
    Last Friday, at openSUSE Conference 2016, I was giving a talk together with Christian Schneemann about KIWI and OBS (the events.opensuse.org software is not able to manage "two speakers for one talk", this is why I am not listed in the schedule).
  • AppliedMicro Announces the Availability of its Mudan Storage Platform at Red Hat Summit 2016
  • AsteroidOS smartwatch OS wants you, developers
    AsteroidOS is a new open source operating system specifically designed to serve software application development on smartwatches. The project is now gaining some traction and has been reported to now be looking for developer and community contribution engagement.