Ellen DeGeneres is to receive a prestigious comedy honour
The 54-year-old talk show host will receive the 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at a special tribute show on October 22, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced on 15.05.12, with the organisation hailing her as a "miracle worker".
Cappy McGarr, an executive producer for the Mark Twain Prize show and a Kennedy Center board member, praised Ellen`s observational humour and added: "She`s not just a comedian. She`s really a miracle worker. She got the president to dance, the first lady to do pushups and Tom Delay to laugh."
Following the announcement, Ellen joked she was surprised she hadn`t received the award - which has previously been given to stars including Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin - before now.
She said in a statement: "It`s such an honour to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder-why didn`t I get this sooner?"
The award is given to people who have an impact on society in the way Samuel Clemens - better known as Mark Twain - did as a social commentator and satirist.
Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said: "The Kennedy Center is happy to recognise EllenDeGeneres` unique contributions to the world of comedy.
"Through her television programs, stand-up appearances, movies and even commercials, her special brand of humour has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years."