A slew of celebrities and dignitaries paid homage to comic legend Dave Chappelle as he was awarded the highest honor for a comedian in America.
Chappelle was bestowed with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, while a host of celeb pals and industry contemporaries attested to his indelible contribution to the genre.
The audience was treated to watching the salute to Chappelle from the likes of Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Neal Brennan, Morgan Freeman, Lorne Michaels, Bradley Cooper, Aziz Ansari, Jon Stewart and the “Saturday Night Live” cast members Kenan Thompson, Michael Che and Colin Jost, according to CNN.
“His critical thinking is his art,” said comedian Silverman, according to NPR. “Dave, can you believe this? You’re getting the freaking Mark Twain Prize. You deserve it. It’s the right thing. It’s actually perfect that you’re getting the Mark Twain Prize because you both love using the N-word in your masterpieces.”
As an added treat, several of Chappelle’s favorite musical acts, including Common, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, John Legend and Yasiin Bey performed throughout the elegant soiree.
Chappelle had already skyrocketed to fame through his hilarious stand-ups and his knee-slapping performances in the classic comedy films Blue Streak, opposite Martin Lawrence, and especially his masterpiece, Half Baked.
But it was the debut of his “Chappelle’s Show” on Comedy Central in the early 2000s that catapulted the current Ohio resident to all-time great status.
Unfortunately, fans will have to wait to view the latest edition of the Mark Twain Prize program as it won’t air on PBS stations until Jan. 7, 2020.