Comedian Kevin Hart honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour

Comedian Kevin Hart Honoured With The Mark Twain Prize For American Humour
Hart’s films have grossed more than $4.23 billion globally. Photo: PA Images
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Ashraf Khalil, Associated Press

Kevin Hart received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour on Sunday in a gala performance at the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts.

Celebrities and prominent comedians joined in the tribute to Hart, with several specifically citing his work ethic, positivity and relentless dedication to his art.


“He’s just inspirational,” comic Nikki Glazer said on the red carpet.

“He’s one of the most naturally talented people I’ve met. But he also loves himself, which is not something you can say about every successful comic.”

25th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Kevin Hart
Shahidah Omar, left, and JB Smoove (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)


Comedic actor JB Smoove recalls a young up-and-coming Hart as almost problematically eager.

“Honestly, when he was first starting out, he was a pest,” Smoove said.

“But he was always picking up pieces from here or there, always learning from people and never afraid to learn.”

The show kicked off with a high energy duet by Robin Thicke and Nelly.


Hart, 44, has honed a signature style that combines his diminutive height, expressive face and motor-mouth delivery into a successful stand-up act.

25th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Kevin Hart
Eniko Hart and Kevin Hart (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

In Hollywood, Hart made his movie debut in the 2002 film Paper Soldiers and came to mainstream fame through a string of scene-stealing cameos in hits such as 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin.


Hart’s films have grossed more than $4.23 billion globally.

Now in its 25th year, the Mark Twain Prize annually honours performers who have made a lasting impact on humour and culture.

Honourees receive a bronze bust of Twain, the iconic American writer and satirist whose real name was Samuel Clemens.

Other comedians who have received the lifetime achievement award include inaugural recipient Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Dave Chapelle.


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