Ellen Degeneres Receives Mark Twain Award and Praised for Contribution to Comedy
Only six weeks ago Ellen Degeneres received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she is now being praised and rewarded again by being awarded the Mark Twain Award for Comedy, in aid of all she has done for comedy.
The Mark Twain Award is considered the US's highest achievement in comedy, with previous winners including Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin and Tina Fey. Of particular note in the minds of everyone that turned up to the Kennedy Centre to support and thank her, is her ongoing work for LGBT causes. Jane Lynch, who is known best for her hilarious and vitriolic character in Glee, said "I'm pretty darn sure I could not have the career I have, that I could not live as openly as I've lived, if it hadn't been for you," regarding Ellen coming out as a lesbian in 1997, as part of her first sitcom. "You really took one for the team". Jimmy Kimmel, a close friend of the comedienne, thanked Ellen for making vests an acceptable staple in the wardrobe of people that aren't magicians. The Huffington Post reported Sean Hayes, a gay comedian, saying "You've changed the world. We didn't have a voice until there was you."
In gracious acceptance of this prestigious award, Ellen gave a humble and humorous speech. She thanked PBS, undoubtedly a jibe against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who has threatened to get rid of it, and in true Ellen style, expressed her excitement about being in the Kennedy Centre: "Spaceships are launched here, right?" With her star and Twain award, Ellen is more and more firmly having her place stamped in comedic history, few deserve the accolades more.