Carol Burnett received the 16th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday evening at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Carol Burnett is seen as a role model to comedians past and present, such as Tina Fey, after she paved the way for women in comedy.
"I said 'well this is what I know, and this is what I want to do,'" Burnett said.
The Carol Burnett Show, Season 8, Episode 14 via Youtube
Burnett said it's a thrill to receive the award named for humorist and satirist Mark Twain and that she's in good company with past honorees, who include Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin and Ellen DeGeneres.
Fey opened the ceremony humorously of course, making jokes about Obamacare and the recent government shutdown, but then honored Burnett for opening doors for other women in comedy.
"You mean so much to me," Fey said. "I love you in a way that is just shy of creepy."
As she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor entertainers including Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and others performed in Burnett's honor.
"This is very encouraging," Burnett said in accepting the prize. "I mean it was a long time in coming, but I understand because there are so many people funnier than I am, especially here in Washington."
The show will be broadcast Nov. 24 on PBS stations.
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