Jon Stewart Celebrated in 'The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize' Airing Nationally on PBS Stations

April 18, 2022

Washington, D.C., April 18, 2022 — This summer, Jon Stewart: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize premieres on PBS stations nationwide on June 21, 2022, at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings) and on and the PBS Video App. The special will be recorded at a gala performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 24, 2022. Stewart is the 23rd recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The ceremony, the first since 2019 due to the pandemic, features a lineup of leading performers, including Samantha Bee, Steve Carell, Dave Chappelle, Gary Clark, Jr., Stephen Colbert, Pete Davidson, Jimmy Kimmel, Olivia Munn, Bassem Youssef and others. The evening pays tribute to Stewart’s humor and accomplishments.

Commenting on the prize, Stewart said, “I am truly honored to receive this award. I have long admired and been influenced by the work of Mark Twain, or, as he was known by his given name, Samuel Leibowitz.”

Jon Stewart is considered one of America’s top social and comedic voices. Over his 16-year run as host and executive producer of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Stewart redefined political satire in American culture. Recently, Stewart launched The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+ where he brings together people impacted by different parts of a global problem to discuss how we come up with change. Stewart is an award-winning television and film producer, a best-selling author, and a social activist. His dedicated efforts in social activism have played an integral role in the passing of legislation such as the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Bill, which benefitted thousands of first responders and their families. Stewart also works on behalf of America’s wounded veterans through initiatives led by organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project and Team Rubicon.

The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist, and creator of characters, Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.

Jon Stewart is the 23rd recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Past recipients of the prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009; rescinded in 2018), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), Carol Burnett (2013), Jay Leno (2014), Eddie Murphy (2015), Bill Murray (2016), David Letterman (2017), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018), and Dave Chappelle (2019.) As a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize, Stewart will receive a copy of the 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940). The bust and its images are courtesy of the Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut. 

Jon Stewart: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize is a production of WETA Washington, D.C.; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Done + Dusted. Executive producers are John F. Wilson for WETA, Deborah F. Rutter for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and David Jammy, Rick Austin and Kristen Wong for Done + Dusted. Corporate funding provided by Capital One. Major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. It is the nation’s busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts more than 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly 2 million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary season, the Center presents performances of music, dance, and theater, supports artists in the creation of new work, and serves the nation as a leader in arts education.


About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on T.V. – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.    

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @CPBmediaFacebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.

About WETA
WETA is the leading public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on television, radio and digital. WETA Washington, D.C., is the second-largest producing-station for public television in the United States, with news and public affairs programs, including PBS NewsHour and Washington Week; performance specials including In Performance at the White HouseThe Kennedy Center Mark Twain PrizeThe Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular SongNational Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth; films by Ken Burns and Florentine Films including Muhammad Ali and Benjamin Franklin; series and documentaries by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Making Black America: Through the Grapevine; and health content from Well Beings, a multiplatform campaign that includes original broadcast and digital content, engagement campaigns and events, and the documentary Ken Burns Presents Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at Visit on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.


For up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at
Program website is

Media contacts:
Cecily Van Praagh, WETA,
Becky Scullin, PBS,
PJ Feinstein, PBS,