Ellen DeGeneres Wins Mark Twain Prize for American Humor


Between Newsweek‘s proud proclamation that Barack Obama is America’s “first gay president” and Jay-Z rushing to co-sign the president’s support of same-sex marriage, it’s been a big week for the LGBT rights movement in pop culture. And now, in another sign of just how far we’ve come, Ellen DeGeneres — who, less than 15 years ago, introduced the first gay lead character on primetime and soon after saw her show canceled — has been named this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Over the past several years, DeGeneres has won the hearts of Middle America as host of the wildly successful Ellen DeGeneres Show, in addition to her brief stint as an American Idol judge. But that’s not to say her ascent to daytime dominance has hurt her comedy chops; in a response to the news of her win, DeGeneres said, “It’s such an honor 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?” [via The Wrap]