Eddie Murphy was recipient of the 18th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and Chris Rock has been named host for the second time of the Academy Awards.
Surrounded by fellow comedians, including Tracy Morgan, Joe Piscopo, Arsenio Hall, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, Murphy was honored during a ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington D.C.
The prize is named in honor of author Mark Twain, one of the world’s greatest humorists. The event also raises funds for the Kennedy’s Center’s year-round educational and artistic initiatives.
“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award,” Murphy said.
Previous winners have included Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg. Pryor won the inaugural Mark Twain Prize on Oct. 20, 1998.
Murphy is the most commercially successful African-American actor in the history of the motion-picture industry. His hit movies have included “48 Hours,” “Trading Places,” and “Beverly Hills Cop.”
Chris Rock will host the 88th Academy Awards February 18, 2016 on the ABC Television Network, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday. He previously hosted the 77th Oscars in 2005.
“I ‘m so glad to be hosting the Oscars,” said Rock. “It’s great to be back.” Rock is a television star, director and documentary filmmaker. He was the writer, producer and star of “Good Hair.”
He also starred in the feature films “I Love My Wife,” and “2 Days in New York.”
“Chris may be best known as a stand-up comic, but we think of him as a creative innovator in many other ways,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO.