Ellen DeGeneres is set to step into rarified air this fall as she's been announced as the 2012 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
"The Kennedy Center is happy to recognize Ellen DeGeneres' unique contributions to the world of comedy," stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. "Through her television programs, stand-up appearances, movies, and even commercials, her special brand of humor has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years."
Now in its fifteenth year, the Mark Twain Prize is perhaps comedy's most prestigious award. Past recipients include Bill Cosby, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Steve Martin, George Carlin and Richard Pryor.
"It's such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize," said Ellen. The comedienne went on to joke, "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 ceremony for the 15th Annual Mark Twain Prize will take place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on October 22.