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Now Trending: Jay Leno awarded Mark Twain prize for humour

This Nov. 5, 2012 photo released by NBC shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," on the set in Burbank, Calif

Paul Drinkwater/AP


Did you hear the one about Jay Leno receiving America's most prestigious prize for achievement in humour?

Well, here's the punchline: It's true.

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The career comedian and former host of The Tonight Show has officially been named the recipient of the honour handed out each year by the Kennedy Center.

In recent years, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour has been bestowed upon such luminaries as Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby. The 64-year-old Leno becomes the 17th person to be awarded the Twain prize. The first recipient was the late Richard Pryor.

In the Kennedy Center statement announcing Leno's inclusion into the hallowed group, incoming president Deborah F. Rutter called the Twain prize "one of the foremost awards for achievement in comedy."

In typical form, Leno responded with a joke.

"What an honour!" said Leno in his own released statement. "I'm a big fan of Mark Twain's. In fact, 'A Tale of Two Cities' is one of my favourite books." (A Tale of Two Cities was, of course, written by Charles Dickens.)

And for those comedy purists who may be surprised that the rapid-fire comedy veteran was awarded the lofty award, the Kennedy Center insisted that Leno was due the honour.

"Jay has always been on our list," said Kennedy Center co-founder and co-executive producer Cappy McGarr. "He is the quintessential American humourist. He does it every night, and has done it for many, many years. And he is truly an equal opportunity satirist."

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To the general public, Leno is best known for helming The Tonight Show for a remarkable 22 years. He made his first standup appearance on the show in 1977 and became the regular guest host replacing Johnny Carson in 1987. When Carson retired from the show in 1992, Leno became his successor.

Whether you're a fan or Leno or not, you have to admit the man is devoted to his craft. Even during his Tonight Show tenure, he spent most weekends performing at casinos and clubs all over North America.

And he's still doing it: In the next few weeks, Leno has gigs booked in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Nashville and seemingly anywhere else people will show up to listen to him tell jokes.

"I've always been a standup comedian that had a day job," Leno told The Los Angeles Times shortly before his Tonight Show departure earlier this year. "This is my day job. I've always been on the road every single weekend – and the week, too – since I got this job. … You have to do it all the time."


It appears the man accused of stalking Sandra Bullock was far more dangerous than previously believed. Earlier this month, a man broke into the Oscar-winner's L.A. mansion, which lead the arrest of Joshua Corbett on charges of burglary and stalking. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Police Department added 19 felony counts after discovering Corbett had "an arsenal of weapon, including a half-dozen machine guns." Bullock and her four-year-old son Louis were at home at the time of the break-in but were not harmed. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office also revealed that Corbett, who has already plead not guilty to the stalking and burglary charges, kept a detailed diary about Bullock.

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Source: Us Weekly


Taylor Swift has a new pet cat and you'll never guess what she named it. The country superstar shared the new addition to the family on Wednesday by posting a picture of the tiny white kitten on Instagram along with the caption, "Meet Olivia Benson." For those unfamiliar with the moniker, Olivia Benson is the name of the female detective played by Mariska Hargitay on the long-running NBC series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.



Rumours of Charlie Hunnam's death have proven to be yet another Internet obituary hoax. Earlier this week, an unknown party created a Facebook page devoted to the "fallen" Sons of Anarchy star who had supposedly passed away suddenly. Within 24 hours, the hoax gained traction and the Facebook page generated more than one million likes. On Tuesday, Hunnam, who also starred in last summer's blockbuster movie Pacific Rim, was spotted alive and well while departing the Anarchy set in Los Angeles.



Martin Sheen has joined the cast of the coming Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie. The former West Wing star will play the husband of Grace, played by Jane Fonda. The single-camera comedy's premise centres on lifelong enemies Grace and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) whose lives are thrown into turmoil when they discover their respective husbands are gay and plan to get married. Grace and Frankie is slated to join the Netflix lineup in early 2015.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


The newest Barbie is going to be all business. Mattel has announced the release of Entrepreneur Barbie, who comes complete with a smartphone, briefcase and natty business suit. The plastic figure was inspired by 10 real-life businesswomen, including Reshma Saujani of the website Girls Who Code. "When you ask a girl what a computer scientist is, she usually pictures a geeky guy typing away," said Saujani. "And then we wonder why girls don't pursue careers in tech! We have to change popular culture and start showing more women, more cool, dynamic, creative women, in these roles."

Source: Huffington Post

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