Funny Lady Fey Lumped in With Missouri's Own Mark Twain


An American hero
  • An American hero
Last night in Washington, D.C., funny folks from all over came together to honor Tina Fey in the name of Missouri native son Mark Twain. Fey was the 13th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The prize recognizes Americans who, like Twain (Samuel Clemens for you purists out there), have used humor to comment on society.

From the Kennedy Center's description of the prize:

"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."

Fey, the youngest recipient ever at 40 and third woman to receive the prize, might be said to have had the greatest social impact with her dead-on impersonation of one-time vice presidential hopeful and polarizing pit bull/mama grizzly Sarah Palin.

According to the Washington Post's writeup of the event, the night was packed with well-wishers like SNL colleagues Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon and Lorne Michaels, as well as Betty White, with what seemed like the scene-stealing line of the night: "I'm the only one here who actually dated Mark Twain. And I can tell you they didn't call him Samuel Longhorne Clemens for nothing."

(It's actually Langhorne, but do you really want to deny an 88-year-old the chance to make a dick joke?)

Check out a broadcast of the soiree yourself this Sunday at 8 p.m. on local PBS affiliate KETC channel 9.