Editor’s Chair: Carol Burnett Wins Mark Twain Prize & Other News

Tracy Wuster

Congratulations to Carol Burnett for winning the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  According to the Kennedy Center:

The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Upon being notified of the award, Burnett noted:

“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 ceremony will take place on October 20, with tickets starting at $1000.  In the meantime, enjoy one of Burnett’s best performances:

In other humor news:

*This week is the annual American Literature Association conference.  Please join the American Humor Studies Association for the following panels:

Session 5-G (Thursday 3:00)
Humor in American Periodicals (Great Republic 7th Floor)
 
Session 7-E (Friday 8:10)
Reading and Teaching Humorous Texts (St George D 3rd Floor)
 
Session 8-O (Friday 9:40)
Business Meeting (Parliament 7th Floor)
 
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And join the Mark Twain Circle of America for the following panels:

Session 15-C (Saturday 9:30)

Mark Twain: Iconic Texts Reconsidered (Essex North Center 3rd Floor)

Session 17-C (Saturday 12:30)

Mark Twain and History (Essex North Center 3rd Floor)

Session 18-M (Saturday 2:00)

Business Meeting: The Mark Twain Circle of America (North Star 7th Floor)

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*For panels on Kurt Vonnegut and others, see the schedule here.  Additionally, there has traditionally been a reception on Saturday.  I believe that 2-4 of the writers for this site will be there.

*A number of the authors of this page will also be at the 7th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies at the beginning of August.  The registration and program information can be found at the Center for Mark Twain Studies site.  Even if you are not a scholar, this conference is well worth the trip.  This year features a screening of a new documentary on Hal Holbrook, a keynote by Peter Kaminsky of the Mark Twain Prize, a closing picnic at Quarry Farm, and paper presentations by Sharon McCoy, Jeffrey Melton, ABE, and myself.

*Speaking of awards, did you know about the James Thurber Prize for American Humor, given annually for the best humorous writing of that year?

*And speaking of humor writing, if you are a student and in need of a term paper on American humor, look no further than this lovely writing, available for the bargain price of $15.90.

Third, a frosty streak of humor runs done American literary works from early times to present. In many cases, a dash of table salt humor saves a ripe penning from becoming in any case sentimental. American humor tends to be exaggerated rather than subtle. It reflects the peoples cleverness to laugh at themselves during the approximately voiceless times.

In these “approximately voiceless times,” how can you pass up such a bargain, and sure to get a D- or below!

*Ellie Kemper asks, “Can men be funny?

*Did you see, “Mel Brooks: Make a Noise“?

*Have you been watching YouTube Comedy Week?  Anyone want to write a review for us?

*Only 5 days until Arrested Development!

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One response

  1. […] State of Mark Twain Studies, which featured an excellent keynote speech by Peter Kaminsky on the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  We also published two issues of Studies in American Humor in the last year, as well as our […]

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