Bill Murray set to receive prestigious Mark Twain Prize for comedy

  • Bill Murray is this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
  • Murray is best remembered for his roles in Groundhog Day, Rushmore, and Ghostbusters
  • He is also one of the pioneers of the TV sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live

Actor and comedian Bill Murray is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The award, named after the 19th century novelist, essayist, and humorist Mark Twain, is given by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions in American humor.

The center’s decision to give the award to Murray is a nod to his more than four decades in television and film, including his memorable portrayals in such iconic movies as Groundhog DayRushmore, and the original Ghostbusters.

In addition, the comedian is also credited as one of the pioneers of the long-running and beloved comedy series Saturday Night Live as a cast member.

“Since his first performances on ‘Saturday Night Live’ more than three decades ago, Bill Murray has charmed us with unforgettable performances from an eclectic cast of characters that have become ingrained in our cultural vernacular. His unique brand of humor seems to defy time itself—always remaining relevant and relatable to new audiences—much like our award’s namesake,” Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter told The Washington Post.

Over the years, Murray has also proven to be a versatile actor, by earning critical acclaim in a number of more dramatic roles including as the lead protagonist in the 2003 film Lost in Translation which helped him rake a number of prizes including  a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

Commenting on being named this year’s Mark Twain Award recipient, Murray says he is “honored” to receive it.

“I’m honored by the award and by its timing. I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace,” he said.

Murray will officially receive the award during the gala performance and ceremony on October 23 in Washington, D.C.