Carol Burnett, 80, gets Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Carol Burnett, 80, was on Sunday honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the most prestigious award for comedy in the United States.
The ceremony featured entertainers such as fellow TV comedy actresses Tina Fey, who received the honor in 2010, and Amy Poehler as well as former co-star Julie Andrews. The event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. will be broadcast on PBS on Nov. 24.
"This is very encouraging," said Burnett, while accepting the prize, according to the Associated Press. "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. With any luck, they'll soon get voted out, and I'll still have the Mark Twain prize."
"You mean so much to me," Fey said to Burnett on stage. "I love you in a way that is just shy of creepy."
The former "30 Rock" star also joked about politics -- poking fun at the Texas senator who has become one of the most prominent faces of the recent government shutdown due to his vocal criticism of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.
"We are here tonight to celebrate the first lady of American comedy, Ted Cruz." Fey said.
Burnett, who is also from Texas, was the star of the 1960s and 1970s series "The Carol Burnett Show," which won 25 Emmy awards. Former co-stars Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence attended the Kennedy Center gala. Burnett went on to appear in films such as "Annie" and on shows such as "Mad About You," "Touched By An Angel," "Desperate Housewives" and "Glee."
She also starred with Andrews, star of beloved films "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins," in the 1962 TV special "Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall," which won an Emmy. The two have been friends for 55 years, according to the New York Times.
At the ceremony, Andrews recalled how she and Burnett were set to perform for President Lyndon B. Johnson's inauguration in 1965 and decided to play a prank on director Mike Nichols but ended up startling First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, according to the New York Times, which quoted her as saying: Carol swears it was her, but I'm not so sure."