Comedy Central announced Monday that Don Rickles will receive The Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence at the upcoming 2012 Comedy Awards. Rickles is the second recipient of the honor, after David Letterman received the award at the 2011 ceremony.
At the ceremony, which will be taped in New York City on April 28 and will air on Comedy Central on May 6, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart is scheduled to present the award to Rickles.
Rickles, 85, has been performing stand-up comedy since the early 1950s. He quickly developed a reputation as an "insult comedian," throwing out razor-sharp barbs at audience members as a trademark of his act. As a result of befriending Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, he has been a headliner in Las Vegas since he first performed there in 1959.
His first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" came in 1965, introducing him to a national audience. He went on to appear on the show over 100 times, either on the couch or as a guest host in Carson's absence.
Today, Rickles remains active as a performer and as a media presence. Notably, he provided the voice of Mr. Potato Head in all three "Toy Story" films, and frequently appears as a guest on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" He even recently released his own app for iPhone and Android last month.
The Comedy Awards, a Comedy Central-produced ceremony intended to recognize the best comedy seen in film, TV, stand-up and more over the last year, was started last year as an answer to the perception that comedy is often overlooked in major award shows. Last year, the Johnny Carson Award was presented by Bill Murray to Letterman in front of the original "Tonight Show" curtain. You can find the full list of 2012 nominees here.
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