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Carol Burnett to Receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Carol Burnett has been announced as this year's recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  The honor is presented annually to comedians "who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to" its namesake.

Burnett says in a statement, "I can't believe I'm getting a humor prize from the Kennedy Center.  It's almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington."

The 80-year-old TV legend will accept the 16th Annual Mark Twain Prize from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 20.  It will air as a PBS special on Oct. 30.

Burnett is most celebrated as the star of the sketch comedy program The Carol Burnett Show.  It aired for 11 years, beginning in 1967, and also featured Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, Tim Conway and others.

The 2012 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize was Ellen DeGeneres.  The list of past honorees also includes Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Richard Pryor.

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