Ellen DeGeneres to receive top humor prize in D.C.

The comedian and talk show host will be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor tonight

By Brett Zongker

Published October 22, 2012 1:15PM (EDT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jane Lynch and John Leguizamo are joining a lineup that includes Jimmy Kimmel and Kristin Chenoweth to honor Ellen DeGeneres with the nation's top humor prize in Washington.

The Kennedy Center is awarding DeGeneres the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Monday night. The show will be broadcast Oct. 30 on PBS stations.

Star entertainers will deliver tribute performances to salute DeGeneres. The lineup also includes Jason Mraz, John Krasinski and Sean Hayes.

DeGeneres began her career as a comedy club emcee in her native New Orleans. Soon after, she became the first female comedian summoned to late-night host Johnny Carson's desk to chat.

The prize honors Mark Twain's tradition of satire and social commentary. Past winners include Bill Cosby, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and Steve Martin.

Brett Zongker

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