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ina Fey in a scene from 30 Rock. - Provided courtesy of NBC

Tina Fey gets Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, thanks Sarah Palin

Get more: Tina Fey
11/10/2010 by Corinne Heller

Tina Fey was recently given the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and thanked Sarah Palin, who she has parodied on television.

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.

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is awarded every year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to American humor. Fey, 40, is the youngest comedian to ever receive the honor. Previous recipients of The Mark Twain Prize, which began in 1998, include Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, and Richard Pryor. Fey is the third woman to receive the prize.

The award show honoring Fey is set to air on PBS on November 14.

"Tina, well that's a funny name for a man," the Associated Press quoted Baldwin as saying jokingly at the Tuesday ceremony, adding that he was "shocked" to hear it was a woman who had won because "their brains aren't shaped right."

The NBC series "30 Rock" began in 2006 and was created by Fey, who stars as Liz Lemon, the head writer of a sketch comedy show loosely based on "Saturday Night Live".

Fey has also starred in films such as "Mean Girls" and more recently, the animated comedy movie "Megamind" with Will Ferrell, another "Saturday Night Live" alum. Fey was a writer and performer on "Saturday Night Live" for almost a decade. She has won two Emmys for acting - one for her role in 30 Rock and one for her guest part on SNL as Palin.

"I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight," the Los Angeles Times quoted Fey as saying. "My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that have ever happened to me."

The actress' parodies of the Republican former governor of Alaska on "Saturday Night Live" have become some of the most popular viral online videos. She recently reprised her role on "The Late Show with David Letterman".

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