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Jon Stewart to receive Mark Twain Prize for American humor

Jon Stewart poses for a portrait in promotion of his film, "Rosewater," in New York, Nov. 7, 2014 (Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)
Jon Stewart poses for a portrait in promotion of his film, "Rosewater," in New York, Nov. 7, 2014 (Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)

A host of celebrities and comedy royalty will gather tonight at the Kennedy Center as comedian, talk show host and political influencer Jon Stewart receives the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in humor.

Stewart, the 23rd recipient of the prize, will be honored by testimonials and skits from fellow comedians and previous Mark Twain recipients. Stewart himself spoke during Dave Chappelle’s Mark Twain ceremony in 2019.

The 59-year-old Stewart — born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz — rose to prominence as a standup comic and host of multiple failed talk shows before taking over Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 1999. His 16-year run as “Daily Show” host turned him into a cultural and political force as Stewart trained his satirical eye on both politics and an increasingly polarized national media.

Since retiring from “The Daily Show” in 2015, Stewart has become a vocal proponent of a number of social causes and one of the most prominent voices in support of health care for Sept. 11 first responders in New York City. He recently returned to television as host of “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on Apple TV+.

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