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Jay Leno To Win Mark Twain Prize For American Humor In DC

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JAY LENO MARK TWAIN PRIZE
Jay Leno, with a tiger to used in a Penn and Teller bit, at 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect | Kevin Winter via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly retired from "The Tonight Show," Jay Leno is now being awarded the nation's top humor prize by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Leno will be honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by his fellow comedians in a performance Oct. 19 in Washington. The show will be broadcast nationally in November on PBS.

Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein says Leno followed in the tradition of Twain and has offered a lifetime's worth of humorous commentary on American life.

In a statement, Leno says he's a big fan of Twain's. He said "A Tale of Two Cities" is one of his favorite books. But that novel was written by Charles Dickens.

Since leaving NBC, Leno has gained an international following online with his new creation, JayLenosGarage.com.

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