Jay Leno has honored with a ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on Sunday, where he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
The comedian joins previous honorees which include Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby.
Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes were among stars who roasted Leno.
Jerry said, “He showed me the way of what I wanted to be – to let your inner crankiness out. That can make good comedy. Entertaining complaining is a lot of what stand-up comedy is about. There’s no one more deserving to get this wonderful award obviously than Jay. No one – except and I really don’t want to sound bitter here – except maybe me? I mean come on”.
Chelsea Handler and Sykes spoke highly of the comedian at the event, saying that he gave them wider exposure.
Chelsea joked, “When I first heard that Jay was getting this Mark Twain Prize tonight, which is a huge honor, I found out it was for humor, and I was a little bit confused. I wasn’t sure what the connection was”.
Sykes shared a funny story about her plane ride to the award’s ceremony, saying, “On the plane, I sneezed twice, and everybody gave me the stink eye. This Ebola stuff is getting a little out of hand. It’s a little scary. I’m going back to just black. I’m not African anything”.
Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks, Seth Meyers, J.B. Smoove, Kristin Chenoweth and Ross Mathews were also among the audience.
Seth said, “Jay showed everybody how important the monologue is”.
Congrats to Jay Leno on his achievement!
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