Adam Sandler is set to be the next recipient of the prestigious honour, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, in 2023. The award is given each year to an American comedian who has been influential in the field.

Here is all you need to know about the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour:

History and significance

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been giving the prize since 1998. The only two years in which the award was not given were 2020 and 2021, because of the COVID pandemic.

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The award is named after novelist and humorist Mark Twain, and it is believed that the person who has received the award, has “had an impact on American society in ways similar to” the 19th-century author.

Playwright Murray Horwitz was the first person to suggest presenting an award to a notable comedian every year, and the White House was selected to be the venue of the ceremony. However, the White House ended up suggesting the Kennedy Center as the venue instead.

The statue

US sculptor Karl Gerhardt had made a bust of Twain in 1884. A replica of the same is awarded to the recipient of the honour every year. 

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Past recipients

Some of the most influential American comedians have been bestowed with this honour, including David Letterman, Dave Chappelle, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Jerry Seinfeld, and Will Ferrell.

Sandler is set to be the 24th recipient of this honour.


The only time the award was rescinded was in 2018, when it came to light that now-disgraced comedian Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted numerous women over the years. Cosby was presented with the award in 2009.