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Ellen DeGeneres appears in a promotional photo for Ellen posted on the shows Facebook page in February 2012. - Provided courtesy of Warner Bros. Television / facebook.com/ellentv

Ellen DeGeneres to receive Mark Twain humor prize in Washington, D.C.

Get more: Ellen DeGeneres
10/22/2012 by Nichole Hamilton

Ellen DeGeneres is gearing up to receive a huge honor.

DeGeneres, 54, is being awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by The Kennedy Center on Monday, October 22 in Washington. The show will be broadcast on October 30 on PBS stations.

Previous recipients of the prestigious award, which began in 1998, include Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, and Richard Pryor. DeGeneres is the fourth woman to receive the prize.

"I'm honored to be winning the Mark Twain prize in DC Monday," DeGeneres Tweeted to her 14 million followers on October 19.

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is awarded every year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to American humor. A host of celebrities including Jane Lynch, John Leguizamo, Jimmy Kimmel and Kristin Chenoweth are set to honor DeGeneres with the nation's top humor prize at the ceremony. Musician Jason Mraz as well as actors John Krasinski and Sean Hayes are set to present tribute performances as well.

DeGeneres got her start as an emcee in a comedy club, eventually nabbing her own television series, "Ellen," which ran from 1994 to 1998. She then went on to star in another comedy romance series in 2001, "The Ellen Show," but the sitcom was short-lived.

Her current talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," debuted in 2003 and is now on its 10th season, with the host having had iconic guests such as Oprah and Barack Obama. She also had a one-season stint as a judge on the reality talent series "American Idol" in 2009.

In November 2011, the honor was given to comedian Will Ferrell, who paid a visit to the White House briefing room prior to receiving his award to fool around.

The 44-year-old actor got a tour of the White House with Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, according to CNN. A video of his visit can be seen here.

In November 2010, the honor was given to yet another "Saturday Night Live" alum when comedienne Tina Fey nabbed the award. The actress thanked Sarah Palin who she often parodied on television that year.

The actress was given the award by Mark Twain himself, or rather, her "30 Rock" co-star Alec Baldwin, who donned a fake mustache to appear like the iconic late writer.

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